#ThursdayThought – Unteachable
The stories of leaders who are unteachable can be found everywhere. Here a just a few examples.
A C-level leader who won’t talk to anyone inside or outside his company if they don’t provide enough value for him based on their experience.
A couple who buy a proven franchise and close after two years, saying there was no corporate support. In actuality, they had never opened the franchise playbook and refused all other systematic resources.
A doctor who tells patients what they need without listening to them. Their reason? “I’m the one with the medical degree, not them.”
These are just the tip of the iceberg of unteachable leaders. These type of leaders are very prevalent but sometimes hard to spot. How can you identify these “unteachable leaders” – leaders around whom you should exercise a great deal of caution?
- They believe their title and/or letters after their name (MD, CPA, COO) are the be-all-end-all.
- They don’t learn or listen from those younger or less experienced than them.
- They are overconfident in their abilities and knowledge.
- They’re not about influence, only developing a power base.
- They treat only a small inner circle with value, and devalue everyone else.
- They can’t learn from someone younger than them.
- No one can give them any straight talk or feedback.
- They don’t study if at all. If they do, they just glance over and make their own minds up to the content.
- They are aloof.
- They don’t look at all sides of a situation.
- They have favorites, mostly those that stroke their ego.
- They prove their intellect and superiority at every turn.
- They typically cover for a feeling of some inferiority in their behavior.
Unteachable leaders seldom grow themselves and they hardly ever grow their people. The best way to deal with an unteachable leader if they can’t be confronted, is to leave and loosen their power base.
You can’t change an unteachable person, only the situation in which you find yourself. Seek people and leaders who are teachable and willing to change and help others grow as well.