"Leaders Are Teachers": Great Insights on Leadership and Developing Your People from The Mentorship Forum

Chad Foster has a new post up on his new site "The Mentorship Forum: Leaders Learning Together for the Good of their Team" titled "Leaders Are teachers" that will get you to reflect on how you teach.There is most definitely a science and art to developing people and that teaching is indeed of the utmost importance to leading people. In policing this idea as Chad Foster puts it: "Teachers are leaders . . . and the best leaders are great teachers" is all too often forgotten, at it worse and put on the back burner at its least. The article puts it this way:

"This is an idea that should, in my estimation, be obvious to everyone. However, it is common to view teaching as something separate from (and inferior to) taking action to support organizational success. What’s the old saying? Those who can do. Those who can’t teach. Or something like that. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, and any organization that does not value the sacred task of teaching is one that has a not-so-bright future. Like a tree with rotting roots, it might hold together today, but it will not be able to thrive in the long term."

Policing has to value their instructors and understand that instructors are also the leaders of their departments and support their frontline leaders as they develop their people day in and day out.  In my over 35 years in policing i have often see any efforts by frontline leaders to develop their people during roll call or in the aftermath of an incident frowned upon. I have actually seen it punished. Yes individuals disciplined for developing their cops during a roll call. I could go on hear but I will digress because this article is taking a positive look at leadership and the roll of teaching and developing your people, as Chad Foster says:

"My argument is simply this:  teaching junior teammates is inherent to leadership. If one is not teaching, he or she is not really leading. Those in leadership positions must devote a significant amount of their own time and energy toward the development of subordinates. Instead of thinking of junior team members only in terms of the duties they hold today, consider them to be apprentices for bigger responsibilities in the future. Don’t just look to get them better at their current jobs, search for opportunities to allow them to practice and perform at a higher level. Underwrite the honest mistakes that might occur during those opportunities as the natural (and necessary) cost of investing in your team’s future. Leaders who do this effectively will have no trouble identifying the nascent talent that should be rewarded, retained, and promoted in the future. Leaders also earn the trust and loyalty of their team in the process by demonstrating, through action rather than merely rhetoric, that the people that comprise the organization are valued assets that will be treated as such."

Policing can reflect on and learn much from this piece so be sure to go read the full article Leaders Are Teachers and if you like the work Chad Foster is doing at The Mentorship Forum:  Leaders Learning Together for the Good of their Teams please help him spread the word by sharing.

Stay Oriented!

Fred