In line with Amir Gilboa's poem "I've Come to the Simplest Words," Mayor Ruvik Danilovich of Beer Sheva apparently came to leadership from the most authentic places. At a meeting with participants in the Mandel program for senior personnel fo the Beer Sheva municipality, he discussed the challenges of leadership in Beer Sheva. "I walk around the city a lot," he said, "and I get angry again each time I notice a hazard that has not been removed, a hazard that has not been dealt with, or a problem that no one notices…. My first expectation of you is that you will be present – that you will intervene, get involved, and set a personal example of constant civic involvement."
Continuing along this line of simplicity, Mayor Danilovich spoke about behavior and traits that he feels should go without saying which he says are not, such as responding to complaints from the public, politeness, tolerance, and the ability to bear complaints stoically, without making excuses.
Without minimizing the importance of philosophy or theory, Mayor Danilovich said that for him, leadership means, first and foremost, exemplary citizenship. "To others, we will be the most tolerant of people," he said, "but among ourselves, we must challenge one another relentlessly. The day we stagnate is the end of our time as leaders."
Twenty-three participants of the Mandel program for municipal officials working in the areas of education, society, and culture sat around the tables in Classroom 1 at the Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev and listened closely to Mayor Danilovich, who is leading his city toward improvement, excellence and better quality of life for Israel and for the entire Negev region.