With America focused on the lengthy and highly charged process of choosing the next president, the need for leadership - powerful, honorable, inspired leadership - is on many of our minds.

But a true leader is not so easy to find. In fact, a lack of true leadership is one of the signs of our times. The Talmud predicts this state of affairs when it says: "The face [i.e. the leadership] of [the] generation [immediately preceding the Messianic Redemption] will be like the face of a dog." One explanation: Just as a dog runs ahead of its master but turns around to make sure it's going in the direction its master wants it to go, so too our leaders.

On the surface it's a sad, even frightening state of affairs. But nevertheless, foreseen, predicted, and recorded in the Torah– and a necessary part of the spiritual transformation that our world is going through today.

In the gap of true leaders, in the absence of great leadership, each one of us must – and has the power to – tap into our own innate leadership powers.

Kabbalah tells us that we each have a spark of Moshiach (the ultimate leader) within us, and that that spark needs to be revealed. Moshiach will come to usher the final redemption into the world as a result of each individual connecting to and redeeming his own unique inner spark.

Most people are essentially passive, reacting to life’s circumstances and going where life takes them.

As a leader, you have to know where you're going. And you have to be moving toward that destination, that vision, with authentic passion and inspiration, the kind of passion that will inspire and ignite others as well. This is leadership in action.

So I want to ask you a very important question.

Where do you want to go in your journey through life, and whom do you have to be to get there?

Most people are essentially passive, reacting to life's circumstances and going where life takes them. Life gives, and they receive and react. When you live from this perspective, you are separate from your life, a victim of your circumstances. The world is big and you are small. The world affects you, but you have no real power to affect the world.

But, if you choose, you can become a leader. Leadership is more challenging in the short run, but in the long run infinitely more rewarding. It doesn't start with prestige, power, or a following. It begins within you, with a decision. It means taking the time to get in touch with what you authentically want and taking empowered, inspired action to make it real. It means seeing yourself not as a mere recipient of whatever life doles out, but as the "cause of all effects." True, there is a G‑d in the world, and He is the ultimate cause. But being a leader means that you relate to whatever happens to you and around you – that which G‑d gives you – in the light of your vision of leadership, using those circumstances as the raw material – the springboard – toward bringing that vision to life.

Recently I heard a radio interview with a "futurist" – a person who has found some method of predicting coming events and trends.

This particular futurist created a program that monitors the internet, focusing on the language people use in chatrooms and blogs when they talk about the future. The program analyzes the emotional tenor of the words and creates models that can be used to predict social and economic trends. When enough people are saying enough grim things about the economy, for example, people will begin to change their spending behavior accordingly. But the really fascinating part is that the models also predict "natural events," such as weather, natural disasters, and the like.

Assuming it's true, what does that tell us about our use of language - our stories, our beliefs, our attitudes, our complaints and fears? What does it tell us about the consequences of how we position ourselves in life, whether we choose to be passive or to lead?

In this time in history when true leadership is so desperately needed and so seemingly impossible to find, tap into your vast and Divine power of leadership. This means that in every aspect of your life, you make a commitment to yourself – to see yourself as the "cause of all effects," no matter whom or what else is involved. It means that you act with power, passion and purpose on behalf of what matters to you most, beginning with the myriad choices you encounter throughout each day in your life, your relationships, and the work that you do.

From a place of true leadership it doesn't really matter so much what you do or don't have right now. That's just a place to start. What matters – and what, as a leader, you must single-mindedly focus on – is what you want to create. And, of course, what you are going to do about making that real.