But Wait … Leaders Should Teach?

Leaders Should TeachDoug Dickerson tells this cute story.

“At school one day, a little boy was asked what he was thankful for. The boy replied, “My glasses.” “That’s good,” said the teacher, “they help you see well.” “No,” responded the child, “I’m thankful for my glasses because they keep the other boys from hitting and fighting with me and the girls from kissing me.”

This was probably not the reason the teacher expected to hear, but the little boy made his point. As a team leader, the life lessons you share are just as important. John Maxwell said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” This is one of your functions as a team leader. A formal classroom setting is not always required, but teaching lessons are important.

Here are a few lessons I believe that every leader should teach.

How to give praise.
Most people tend to respond better to praise and so will your team members. When your team receives sincere and generous praise and encouragement from you they have the sense that you “have their backs.”

How to listen.
This is one of the most important skills that you will develop as a team leader. Many leaders like to talk but you will be a more effective leader when you learn to listen and hear what others have to say. Then, you can make better and more informed decisions.

How to let things go.
As a team leader you face many challenges and frustrations. People get on your nerves and rub you the wrong way. You have pressures, deadlines, and disappointments. Teach your team how to let things go and not get so stressed out over every little obstacle that comes their way. Not everything endeavor will always go according to plan. Let it go.

How to say thank you.
This one simple act can make a world of difference. Why it’s hard at times for leaders to do it puzzles me. But if you want to see the atmosphere in your team or organization improve, take the time to thank those around you for all of their hard work. And while you are at it – make it personal. Hand-written notes are especially nice.

How to set priorities.
Jim Rohn said, “Either you run the day or the day runs you.” Your team needs to see that you have a set of priorities that you live by – family, faith, work, etc. You teach priorities by your routines and time management. What’s important to you is given priority. It’s that simple.

How to delegate.
Delegation is the key to your success and that involves everyone in the process. Delegation is not just by divvying up or dumping work. It’s about matching the right people with the right skills to maximize productivity, skill and career development and results. Team leaders must not try to do it all by themselves. Delegate more effectively to achieve higher levels of success.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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Posted in Coaching, Leadership, Performance Management, Training and Development

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