To be a great leader, you must be a great teacher.
In life, there is no such thing as a loser. There are only winners, and those who haven’t yet learned how to win. Winners who teach others how to win, become leaders. Leaders who teach enough people how to win become great leaders.
Leadership, at its essence, is showing the way, lighting the path, and guiding your people towards a greater and more fulfilling destination. But in order to get there, your people will need skills to navigate the inevitable swamps, chasms, and deserts along the way. And in order to teach those skills, the leader must possess four qualities: passion, proficiency, precision, persistence.
- Passion: If you don’t bring passion with you on your leadership journey, no one will ever follow you. But if you truly enjoy what you do, your passion will show through in how and what you teach. If you feel joy, if you often catch yourself deep in thought, or if you find yourself talking about a topic often, these are surefire signs that it may be a source of passion for you. Go teach it.
- Proficiency: But first, you have to know what you’re talking about. The more you know, the deeper your inventory, the more you can teach. Study high performers, read the most important books in your field, and be proactive in applying what you’ve learned. Do this long enough, and people will naturally come to you for direction.
- Precision: Any great teacher knows you must be clear, concise, and precise in your communication. You may have all the knowledge in the world, but if it’s not packaged and presented in a digestible way, few will remember, and even fewer will learn. Think of it like a PowerPoint presentation—put all your knowledge onto a few slides, and no one will remember anything you taught. So keep it simple—one clear idea per slide, one bite-size chunk at a time.
- Persistence: Persistence is all about repetition and patience. Knowledge is rarely transferred perfectly on the first try. Understand that those you lead do not yet have the knowledge that you do. Be patient. Give people the opportunity to make mistakes. Through imperfection comes authenticity. And through authenticity comes excellence.
To be a great teacher, always carry these four P’s with you. Soon enough, you’ll be a great leader.
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