Are You A Teachable Leader?
Great leaders know one thing….that they don’t know it all.
But there is another thing that separates these leaders from those that have little influence, it’s the fact that great leaders are teachable.
Teachable people allow themselves to learn at every opportunity. Not just when it serves them or when it feels good. Teachable leaders allow themselves to be taught in good and bad times, when it both feels good and when it may be embarrassing.
This is even more than the “leaders are readers” truth (and cliche). A leader who prospers and grows is one who has a teachable spirit about them.
Here are some traits of teachable leaders:
- They hold themselves accountable for their actions and decisions. Leaders who show themselves that they are not above the law reveal their true heart, that they are setting an example for others to follow.
- They listen to constructive criticism and feedback, and put that advice into practice. A leader who allows themselves to be approached with a better way, or a correction of their decisions, lets themselves be taught how do be better. They communicate this attitude through humility and acknowledgement of their deficiencies.
- They allow the input of others to help them understand situations. These leaders don’t think they know it all, and recognize their folks as key assets to their organization. They learn from their people, and use their expertise to help themselves grow and become wiser and more knowledgeable of their company and industry.
- They take responsibility and don’t pass blame. Great leaders let situations teach them more about their leadership. They would rather find the opportunity to master the situation rather than vice-versa. They take ultimate responsibility for the overall outcome because they don’t blame situations, or others.
- They remember where they’ve come from. These leaders have no problem rolling up their sleeves and helping out because they know what it takes to grind out the hard work and are willing to assist their people when needed. They don’t ever feel that the work is beneath them.
- They “seek first to understand”. These leaders work to discern the facts beyond their viewpoints, biases, or scope of knowledge. They fact-find and work to be objective so that the correct decisions can be made.
People that are not teachable lose credibility, influence, and respect. They generate disdain from their people and will find that many shy away or dance around them. The resulting disengagement leads to all other issues in the organization.
Don’t let this happen to you. Allow yourself to be teachable. It’s not a sign of weakness, but a sign of a leader that people will respect through good and bad times.