Is it just me, or does it seem like every other week we learn of another scandal involving some powerful, prominent leader?

A pious teacher who preached the high ground was found in a compromising situation. . . or the influential, squeaky-clean political figure was being bribed all along.

The rumors leak out, and we’re suddenly bombarded with proof about inappropriate conduct by individuals whom we had respected. Often enough, the scandal happened months or years before it becomes public. But sooner or later, the mask is stripped away and the fraudulent leader is exposed.

The Mishnah at the very end of Tractate Sotah tells us that the generation before Moshiach will have leaders with “the face of a dog.”

Ever watch a dog? He runs ahead freely, as if he is the master. But once there is a fork in the road, or a path that requires a decision, it becomes obvious that he is no leader. Now he looks back and awaits his master’s direction, because his own sense of right and wrong is so totally inadequate.

Doesn’t it sound a little like our generation, with our leaders lacking courage, backbone, and moral clarity? Leaders who don’t know how to lead.

Sarah’s name means “princess” or “ruler.” Sarah realized that in order for teachers to educate and lead effectively, they need to clearly uphold their authority as mentors. Sarah taught her family, by example, that a leader must have a sense of moral clarity and dignity.

She and her husband were on a mission to teach the world about the one and true G‑d. When she felt that there were negative influences in her own home, she took the uncomfortable position of insisting that they be sent away. And G‑d personally told Abraham, “Listen to her voice.”

But it was only at the end of her life that Sarah’s leadership was fully evident.

This week’s Parshah, Chayei Sarah, means “the life of Sarah.” Paradoxically, it begins by telling us about the death of Sarah. Yet after her death, when her children and followers carry on her ideals, her influence becomes even more realized.

The conclusion of Sarah’s life attested to the greatness of her leadership throughout her life, how she was constantly striving to reach higher.

Moreover, in her death, Sarah becomes even more alive. Her teachings and inspiration gain greater influence. By calling this portion, “the life of Sarah”, we learn that the true value of Sarah’s life became clear following her death, when the eternity of her values become revealed and carried on through those she influenced so positively and so thoroughly.

Because a true leader doesn’t just lead. Through his personal example, he empowers others to lead.

A leader doesn’t just do good deeds. He teaches others the meaning of goodness.

A leader doesn’t just act with moral clarity. He teaches others what morality means.

Imagine if we had more examples of such leadership today. Imagine if we would become such examples.