Teaching us to lead: Things we learn from our teachers
“The best CEOs I know are teachers, and at the core of what they teach is strategy” – Michael Porter
From blackboards to boardrooms – the learning never stops, and neither does teaching. This Teacher’s Day, let’s not celebrate the efforts of just the ones who taught us in schools or colleges, but let us exalt the little lessons that we receive from anybody around us. Because when we learn everyday, we pay a tribute to our mentors who shaped us to follow that path.
As a professional, I am immensely proud to have had mentors in all my organizations, including the current one, from whom I learnt and learn every day. The ambit has changed – like it’s not really a classroom set-up but they are all life’s lessons which are important for me to imbibe because experiences of these mentors are invaluable!
And who are our leaders? They are basically the ones who have absorbed every bit of what our teachers taught us, and they have been able to live by examples of those teachings.
Teachers and Leaders teach us that to be successful – personally and professionally one needs to have the following points:
A leader knows that an organization can be built only by trusting the capabilities of others. Entrusting a position to an expert, a leader makes way for the trust to build in, knowing fully that the person might leave the organization one day.
Being at the upper echelon of the functional pyramid, the leader is fully aware that his/her actions will have implications. How he/she manages people, deals with competitors, whether bucks under pressure, or even lets go off his/her trusted lieutenants when in utter distress always have impact among the employees. It’s stressful to be a perfect role model for everyone, but nevertheless they do it with élan!
Every day, they train different people with their actions. Of course, there are some proper in-house trainings that keep happening to help employees develop newer skillsets, but unconsciously the leader also helps in nurturing the talent of the individuals. For example: how a leader sends emails to people using the right tonality is something to learn about.
To drive engagement, to drive profit, and to drive people to excel every single day, you will rarely find a leader who will throw everything up and leave. You will always find him/her to be managing the situation (positive or negative) in a balanced way.
How many times have you heard colleagues/friends around you say “It’s impossible. Can’t be done.” But have you heard a leader/teacher say that? Mostly, NO! Why? Because they have the dedication to see their business up and running. And to do that, they need to find ways to be able to do the impossible. And they do!
Lend an ear to the woes of your employees. Leaders do believe in this. Great leaders are always the one who help when an employee is distressed or is going through a difficult situation. Organizations have figured out that by shunning a talented yet distressed employee is going to fundamentally affect their productivity. So taking care of them, asking them about the problems will eventually help in retaining the top talent.
And these 6 are not the only lessons, leaders offer more!
I was not a great student when it came to exams. Not even mediocre. At least my annual marksheets till class 10th would tell you that. My group of friends were unlike me in studies, at least. They used to be scorers – be it in studies or otherwise. But I didn’t feel inadequate when I hung out with them. Why? Because of my teachers who taught me one simple thing throughout – you excel in what you are good at, and not at what others are interested in. This philosophy coupled with the ones I mentioned above have struck with me forever. And whichever ways I lead my life and also help others (including my kid) lead theirs, I somehow put in all the efforts that my teachers did when I was growing up.
So, what do you do? Share about your experiences of your bestest teacher with us. We will be glad to know your story!
People Matters wishes all the teachers and leaders in the world a very Happy Teacher's Day!