Do You Have a Leadership Teacher?

4 Traits of Great Teachers

Many of my favorite people are teachers. Topping the list is my sister who has been investing in students for over two decades.

I have friends who teach a variety of subjects, yet one things remains constant no matter the grade level or topic. The best students are always a reflection of great teachers.

As a leader I am constantly on the lookout for those who can help me improve. Do you have people who are challenging you to grow? If not, how do you identify someone who can help? It is not enough to find a teacher. You need to find the right teacher.

When looking for a leadership teacher, there are a few things I look for.

1. Passion – The greatest teachers I have ever learned from were full of passion.  Energy, enthusiasm, zeal … call it whatever you want, but their spirit was contagious. They wanted to be there, so I wanted to be there. You can learn something from almost anyone, but if you want it to stick, pick someone with passion.

2. Performance – At the end of the day, performance matters. “Leaders are achievers.” You are in business to produce. If you are going to improve your performance, you need to find someone with a proven track record who has something to say.

3. Position – When looking for people to learn from, I like to choose people who are working in a similar position in their environment as I am in mine. Like minded leaders often speed up the learning process.

4. Perseverance – Few things matter to me more than staying power. Not stodgy, old, irrelevant experience. But passionate, high performance, endurance. Find someone who has made it for the long haul and you will find someone who is full of wisdom.

Passion, performance, position, and perseverance. Find all four of those in a teacher and you will accelerate your growth.

Randy

What do you look for in a great teacher?

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Is it Time to Do Something Really Radical?

In his book, Great by Choice, author Jim Collins suggests there are several myths companies embrace to try to keep up with the competition.

One of the “entrenched myths,” as he calls it is . . .“Radical change on the outside requires radical change on the inside” 

The research shows that great companies react much less to outside circumstances than average ones do. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, and yet at every turn I see the masses following the masses.

Let me make up a new definition of average. Average = following the crowd.

But if great leaders refuse to follow the latest and greatest crowd, what should they do?

Collins says they should maintain their discipline in a fanatical way. He writes, “Discipline, in essence, is consistency of action – consistency with values, consistency with long-term goals, consistency with performance standards, consistency of method, consistency over time. Discipline is not the same as regimentation. Discipline is not the same as measurement. Discipline is not the same as hierarchical obedience or adherence to bureaucratic rules. True discipline requires the independence of mind to reject pressures to conform in ways incompatible with values, performance standards, and long term aspirations. For a great leader, the only legitimate form of discipline is self-discipline, having the inner will to do whatever it takes to create a great outcome, no matter how difficult.”

Wow! What a great reminder of the importance of self-leadership and self-discipline. Leaders don’t go against the grain nor do they go with the flow. They stay true to their mission, no matter what everyone else is doing.

If you find yourself wondering if you need to make a radical change, maybe you should consider doing something really radical like staying the same, only with a renewed commitment to radical discipline.

Parades are overrated. The difference makers are the ones who march to the beat of their own drum.

Randy

Why do you think so many organizations fall into the temptation of copying their competition?

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Is it Time to Say it Differently?

Do you ever feel like no one is listening? Like you are Charlie Brown’s teacher, wah, wah, wah, wah?

It might be time to imagine you are a baseball pitcher and change things up.

In their book, Made to Stick, Authors Chip and Dan Heath say, “The most basic way to get someone’s attention is this: Break a pattern.”

Is there a message in your organization that feels tired and worn? If so, today is the day to say it in a new way.

Randy

What message do you need to change up in your organization?

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Are You Ready for Groundhog Day?

Today is Groundhog Day. Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is on pins and needles.

Will the little critter see his shadow and head back into his hole marking six more weeks of winter, or will a cloudy day signal spring is near?

The groundhog was never more popular than he was back in 1993 when the movie, Groundhog Day, was released. The comedy featured Bill Murray, who played a zany weather reporter named Phil Connors. Because of some crazy spell, every day was February 2 … Groundhog Day for Phil.

My favorite line of the movie was when Murray quipped, “What if there was no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.”

If there was no tomorrow for you, what would you do differently today? I suspect your answer to the question reflects spending your last day on the things that are most important to you.

As you live through this Groundhog Day, I challenge you to make the day count. Laugh. Love. Lead.

And then get up again and do it tomorrow.

Randy

What is one thing you want to do before this day is over? 

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