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BUSINESS MATTERS: Leaders are Teachers

By Glen J. Dalakian Sr.

These days it is more and more difficult to find the right help to run and/or expand any business. Employee retention is a key element to the success of any operation. We must find ways to not only motivate our staff but give them reason to be an active and productive part of the team. One benefit any manager can offer is to go beyond training and teach their players how to excel at what they do now or what they might wish to do in the future. 

Much is expected from those who lead, but one area that is often overlooked is the ability and willingness to teach. In my opinion, one of the greatest gifts you can share with others is teaching them what brought you to success. Yes, people need to be trained in the step-by-step process of how to do their job, but teaching goes beyond that in many ways.

People want to know they will be well-trained to perform the tasks the firm has set for them. They look for and need that support, but the best people thrive on learning to improve themselves for their current or perhaps future positions. Teaching the team to go beyond themselves is a worthwhile investment in them and in the company.

Now I surely know the importance of time, especially when it comes to a business owner or executive. Certainly you cannot possibly be teaching all the time or you will never get your own work done. Evaluate who is worth the investment of your efforts. Test them to see if they are a willing “sponge” who will soak up the wisdom you offer. If so, schedule the time, perhaps even early mornings or at the end of the day. If the trainee is willing to come in a bit early or stay a little late to learn from you, that’s a true diamond in the rough worth cultivating.

As you lead, keep an eye in the rearview mirror to see who is following and how closely. You don’t want to lose anyone, but the ones who keep up with you may be the future leaders of your business. Always look for those who are hungry to learn, and if they have the skills, teach them (either yourself or have someone in your management team do so). A regular program of leaders teaching others on your team will serve your enterprise well and develop people that your organization will grow and succeed with.

As you teach individuals who standout, others will take notice. Some may be bitter (“why not me?”), but more may see it as an opportunity (“maybe I could be next”) that will inspire them to work harder and be more productive. Example is by far the best way to motivate, train and maintain the quality of performance of your team.


“Teaching means inspiring someone’s mind, not just filling their head.” – Katie Lusk

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