Many people can point to influential teachers who had a significant impact on their lives and the direction of their careers. From early childhood through college, teachers have the ability to help students learn and to establish good habits that will serve them well beyond the classroom.
But does learning end when a career begins?
Not at all. In fact, it has just begun.
Learning is a lifelong growth process. And the leaders in business and community organizations become the teachers who pick up where schooling leaves off.
What can you, as a business or community leader, learn from teachers?
1. Have a passion for your work.
If you don’t enjoy what you do, your people will know it! They will see it in your actions and attitude. And worse, they will model it.
If you have a passion for your work, it can set the tone for the entire team or organization. Enthusiasm is contagious. Teachers know that if they are enthusiastic about a subject, their students will take an avid interest in the subject as well, simply because of the teacher’s example.
2. Create an environment for success.
Great teachers know that students learn in different ways. While some students may respond well in a competitive environment, other more introverted students may find it deeply disturbing. Teachers practice the art of reaching students at their level, with their best means, and in their areas of interest.
For instance, a child who struggles with reading may develop an avid interest if the subject matter is changed to something that is of interest to them.
A student who cannot sit still in class may excel in a hands-on lab or workshop environment.
Just as a teacher tailors the learning experience and environment to set their individual students up for success; so, a leader can – and should – do the same.
Consider this concept as you prepare for meetings and presentations. Ask yourself if the presentation is geared toward reaching different people in ways tailored to them. Engage the five senses and incorporate the four personality types. You will be amazed at how environment and engagement go hand-in-hand toward success.
3. Learn the strengths and challenges of each person on your team.
This is a common scenario.
A company hires an exceptionally talented individual for a certain position. This person exceeds expectations; so much so, that they are promoted to a different position. And therein lies a critical juncture.
Often, they fail to consider whether or not this new position is within the individual’s strengths zone. A position can be outside a person’s comfort zone, and they will generally grow into it. But if it is outside their strengths zone, they will struggle, fail, and may quit.
This is why knowing the strengths and skills of each person on your team is critically important. This continually sets them – and the organization – up for success.
4. Create lesson plans with care.
Lesson plans are to a teacher what strategic planning is for a business leader. It is where you determine the results you want to achieve for the team or organization; and you map the way there.
You do this by year or at least by quarter; and you break it down by month and week. As you approach each month, you break those weeks into days. And, thus, you have a step-by-step plan to reach the goals you have set.
5. Realize that the lessons learned most come not from what you say but from how you make them feel.
John Maxwell says it often: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
This principle extends well beyond the classroom and into all areas of life.
6. Celebrate wins!
Teachers do something business leaders tend to forgo.
They take time to celebrate the wins. Author and Coach, Dan Sullivan, calls this “The Gap and the Gain.”
Be sure as you reach toward new goals that you also look back at how much your team has accomplished along the way. Before racing into the next initiative, give your people a celebration moment. Recognize their individual efforts. And measure success, not by some unseen point in the future, but by how far you have come to get to the present day.
Burnout has become a real issue in the workplace in recent years. And the people who get burned out are the people you need the most – they are the passionate achievers.
But what they need from you is a leader who will give them a chance to pause, celebrate, and restore their energy before deep diving into the next project or initiative.
How can you be a great leader?
It’s simple, really. Do your homework. Review these key points for being a good teacher, and carry the torch forward with the team you serve.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer, and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, and using the Maxwell Method, Deb helps leaders and teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results