Recently (OK, not that recently) Harvard Business Review published an article that discussed the 10 most common characteristics of bad leaders. Their list, as seen below, is not dissimilar to the characteristics shown by bad teachers.
Bad Leaders/Bad Teachers
1. Lack energy and enthusiasm. 6. Don't walk the talk.
2. Accept their own mediocre performance. 7. Resist new ideas.
3. Lack clear vision and direction. 8. Don't learn from mistakes.
4. Have poor judgment. 9. Lack interpersonal skills.
5. Don't collaborate. 10. Fail to develop others.
This list made me think: If bad leaders and bad teachers share so many things in common, could it not also be possible that great leaders and great teachers also share many things in common? Well, I think the answer to this is a resounding YES! The traits that great leaders and great teachers have in common are almost identical. Seriously! Think about it.
Ok, you don’t have to think about it, Forbes did that for us. In a 2012 article Forbes listed their Top 10 Qualities That Make A Great Leader – a list that includes many of the traits evident in great teachers.
Great Leaders/Great Teachers
1. Are honest 6. Have a positive attitude
2. Know how to delegate 7. Are creative
3. Have great communication skills 8. Have intuition
4. Are confident 9. Inspire others
5. Show commitment 10. Use suitable approaches
My conclusion – Teachers need to understand their roles as not just teachers, but also as leaders.
I hope you feel the same way. I hope you don’t just see yourself as someone who goes into a classroom to teach English (or your chosen subject). Instead, I truly hope you see your role as both an educator and a leader.
The reason I think that having this mindset is important is very simple. This type of mindset helps to create a situation where we have teachers who personify many of the characteristics we are trying to instill in our students (i.e., setting a great example for students to follow and emulate).
By seeing ourselves as leaders and educators I believe we can more effectively inspire our students to reach greater heights (the overall goal of teaching) as a direct result of our own sense of value, duty, and leader + educator mindset.
Thanks for reading (and for pondering),
Keep English Real!
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