Do you have to be a teacher to be a great leader?

With experience came realization that to be a good leader, you MUST be a great teacher.

It’s not enough for you to know your field very well and be excellent at it. You must understand how to teach it to others.   

As a new leader, I expected people to just do their job. We are all professionals after all, why can’t I just say “I need X, Y and Z” and expect them to be able to figure out how to get it done?

Not so quick. Before you tell them what to do, you need to teach them how to do it. And not just the technical/mechanical stuff, but also how YOU expect these things done. You need to teach them your values, methodologies, and expectations.

It took me over 2 years to come to this realization. In the process I got frustrated with my fully capable and talented employees for not “getting” what I was asking of them. They either did it wrong, not the way I expected it done, or got overwhelmed and frustrated. I now know it’s been my fault all along, not theirs.

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