Great Leaders are Great Teachers and Students

John Krautzel
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Good leaders demonstrate a variety of skills. They are often goal oriented, passionate, focused, confident, intelligent, inspiring visionaries who can coax the best out of their teams. Great leaders seek out two-way communication, teaching what they know to those who support them and learning from people who have knowledge they don't possess. In other words, they are able to be great leaders, great teachers, and great students.

 A lack of confidence is often what separates good leaders from great leaders. When a leader doesn't possess enough confidence in himself and the people around him, fear and paranoia are usually on the horizon. Great leaders possess a tremendous amount of self-confidence, which gives them the freedom to become great teachers as they share their knowledge with those around them.

Leaders are supposed to do more than just lead: they must inspire, motivate, and teach their teams how to be successful and achieve the company's goals. This is accomplished by setting examples of employees they should be conducting business, opening up and allowing them to see the big picture instead of the small piece each part of a team is involved in, and encouraging them to thrive and grow. Great teachers support their students in every way possible and reward them when they do well.

When leaders are successful at being teachers, they create a new crop of employees who possess all the knowledge and skills necessary to do the leader's job. Good leaders know how to identify underdeveloped talent and then mentor, teaching people how to become leaders themselves. They give them the opportunity to lead meetings, spearhead projects, and be accountable for teams within the organization so that they can learn.

Self-confidence also allows great leaders to admit that they don't know everything. This lets them surround themselves with others who have knowledge and skills they don't possess and undertake the role of the student. Australian business leader Peter Scanlon has put himself square in the role of student as he surrounds himself with a team that is culturally diverse. Scanlon understands how important it is to understand different cultures when doing business, and he allows his team to take the lead in situations where it's required.

There is more to being a good leader than simply setting and achieving the company's goals. You must select a talented team to support you, teach them what they need to know to be successful and thrive, and fill in your knowledge gaps by learning from them. Great leaders aren't afraid of talented team members; they embrace them. When a leader is able to lead, teach, and learn at the same time, success is almost inevitable.



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