Should Great Leaders Also Be Great Teachers?


Should great leaders also be great teachers? Leaders are bestowed with many vital responsibilities. There are many questions that need to be answered in reference to these responsibilities. Does a strong leader justify their position on leadership qualities alone, or should they use their position to educate and empower those they lead? Most experts would agree that the leaders primary function is to lead but the opportunities to teach should not be ignored or avoided.

The leader of a company should want their employees to be extremely knowledgeable on particular areas that relate to the business. Traditionally, those in need of learning are sent off to attend classes or are required to view the educational material within the confines of the establishment. The problem here is that everyone learns differently and often at a different pace.

The Alternative

What if the leaders in the company were to pursue an alternative approach to teaching? Consider the possibility of managers taking on the role of teaching as part of their responsibility. True leaders have a unique opportunity to pass on valuable information on a daily basis. The direct supervisor interacts with their employees consistently and is more likely to grasp the attention of their employees. The theory is if the boss is doing the training, the employees are more likely to stand up and take notice. A strong leader is often respected by their peers. Who better to teach them what they need to know?

Employees are more likely to have a bond with their direct leader. A good leader should lead by example. Their responsibility should be to establish themselves as a sound role model for the company. They have the chance to own the information they are teaching and encourage their employees to own it as well. Those that doubt the effectiveness of this theory will suggest that leaders already have too much on their plate. They will also argue that all leaders do not have the most effective teaching skills. However, a strong leader can be taught to present the information in an effective way. Teaching will only make the leader stronger in the long run.

A gifted leader is constantly seeking a challenge and teaching can certainly provide that option. The strong leader cannot be selfish. They must not narrow their focus to their own success, but consider the success of others as well. It is imperative that a good leader wants their peers to be as successful as they have become. Being a great leader deserves respect, but to also become an inspirational mentor is the icing on the cake.

Every great leader should want to not only get the most out of those they lead but to bring out the best in them. They should be optimistic and enthusiastic in the face of all challenges. There are many ways to teach and this is one of them. There is truly a difference between being a manager and a leader. The leader listens to their team and works together to obtain the set goals. There is a time to lead, a time to manage, and a time to teach. It is essential to maintain a comfortable balance to ensure the success of all involved.