Taking Steps Toward Leadership–getting help

You are a leader.  You chose to be.  You wanted to be.  You didn’t want to be.  You were voluntold.  But you are now a leader.  Where do you get help growing into the position?  Here’s a list.

Teacher:  someone who tells you what to do in situations and tells you where to look for answers to your questions.

Trainer:  someone watches you go through the motions and tweaks your performance based on their experiences with other clients.

Mentor:  someone who tells you what he/she did to get to the position they are and discusses your options with you.

Mate/Friend:  someone that encourages you and joins you in successes and cries with you on your failures.

Psychologist:  someone who asks you why you do what you do and why you think how you think and tries to corral you into a new way of thinking.

Coach:  someone who helps you discover your talents and make use of them to help you grow.

???  Good lord!  Who knew there was that much help out there?!  Oh dear.  Here’s the shocker though.  Each of those definitions is only PARTIALLY correct.  They are the manifestations of how our culture sees each of these helpers, and these titles have been usurped by too many folks that have no idea what they’re doing.

Today, let’s focus on the teacher.  Picture a teacher in your head.  He or she stands in front of the classroom behind a lectern with a stack of notes and a remote that operates a power point presentation.  He reads, he clicks, and you take notes.  Then there’s a test.  The test, in order to be easy to grade, is a set of true/false or multiple guess questions where the answers are chosen by filling in a dot or checking a box.  How do you learn in these situations?  You memorize facts–names, dates, places.  You write down what the teacher thinks is important and then you regurgitate what you think he wants to hear.  If you pass the test, you pass the class and now you know the material.  Is it relevant?  Is it insightful?  Can it be applied outside the classroom?  Will you remember it 2 hours after you take the test?  2 days?  2 weeks? forever?  If you don’t need to know the information forever, why do you need to take the class?

A REAL teacher gives you a process by which you can learn anything.  The information you glean from this teacher’s classes are applicable immediately and forever in your life.  The process is transferable to any discipline and any field of study.  A REAL teacher shows you how to connect the dots, he doesn’t draw the line for you.  A REAL teacher gets you so curious that you will seek answers in multiple places (not just google!)  A REAL teacher will be able to know if you have digested the information by the questions you ask, by the answers you give, by the way you apply the information.  How many of you have ever had a REAL teacher?  If you find one, stick close to him!  He will teach you more than you can imagine because as you learn, your imagination grows.

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