This teacher changed you — made you rethink the world and your place in it. The best teachers don’t just improve a person’s understanding — they change a person from the inside out.
We live in a world where everyone is trying to get a leadership edge. Your company wants to get more attention and convert people into followers/customers/clients. No profession has more experience in capturing and converting followers than teachers.
My nearly 20 years working in schools has allowed me expert access to what makes great teachers such leadership rockstars. You want to be a leader that your team/clients believe in? Engage like a teacher.
the secret to great leadership?
Every message has context. Simon Sinek told you to know your “Why.” I’m telling you to know your “Who, When, and Where.” I call it Contexting.
You need to be a communication monster when you are a leader. Build your messaging around who you are talking to, their background knowledge, what they care about/are afraid of, where they are, and when they are. It’s not about you. It’s about them.
People aren’t empty vessels waiting to be the recipients of your genius. Have respect for the fact that everyone hears/sees things in a different way. If they don’t understand you, they won’t pay attention to you.
2. Take full responsibility for miscommunication.
People get so caught up in what broke down in a miscommunication. “Whose fault was it?” people ask. Who cares? Even if it isn’t your fault when you were misunderstood, it’s your job to fix it.
Miscommunication is one of the greatest creators of problems in human history. This is true in markets, too. Be the adult in the room. Deal with it.
3. Listen because you mean it.
Respect and loyalty are plants in a garden. They take time to develop and are easy to kill. If you act like you give a shit but you actually don’t, your listeners will figure it out. And then they’ll not only bail, they won’t want to come back.
You want to build an audience/employee team without loyalty? Fine. Watch them leave when the next shiny object floats by. Pay attention to them — their needs, their worries, their dreams — and they’ll resist leaving you.
4. Your greatest success is achieved through others.
Teachers know: you can’t do anything TO your students. You can only achieve things THROUGH your students.
Your clients need to believe that their success is of critical importance to you — not simply a collateral consequence after you get them to sign a contract. Same with your employees: when the people who work for you believe that you actually care about their success, they’ll work harder and longer for you and with you.
Remember: your people are the ones who “graduate” — not you.
Great teachers aren’t selfless. They are “otherfull.” Make your work about building greatness in others.
Isn’t that what great leadership is all about?