Be a Student To Be a Great Leader

By: Joe Crisara

Be a Student

 

As a leader in your organization, and as a coach to your team, you do your best to make sure that your team has the proper knowledge, training and support to succeed.  You hold meetings and training sessions. You ride along with them on calls and share everything you know so that the lessons you’ve learned along the way might help your team members become more successful.

You try to be a good leader, teacher, and above all else… a great coach.

But there’s one crucial aspect of being a great coach that you MUST remember.

Great leaders and coaches throughout history have embraced this aspect of leading others as one of the keys to their incredible success.  In fact, if you’re not doing this one thing, you’re shortchanging your team and yourself… and you could very well be setting yourself up for future disappointment.

The ‘Secret’ Isn’t so Secret

So what is this one thing that every great coach MUST do to ensure the success of their team and themselves?

It’s not really a big secret. I’ll guarantee you’ve heard it many times before, although you might not be doing it.

Great coaches are committed to being lifelong learners.

When coaches feel they already know everything, they not only fail to adapt to changes that occur around them, but in doing so they let down their team.  Being a “know it all” leader creates a closed door mindset between you and your team.  Basically your people feel, “Why tell him anything? He’ll never listen to what i have to say.”

Whether it’s in sports or business, I’ll bet you can pretty easily name a coach who was once on top of the world, but wound up on the scrap heap simply because they bypassed new opportunities to learn about how new ideas and changes in the world around them could positively impact their teams.

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” – Harry S. Truman

Remember that the level of success you’re enjoying today was achieved based on what things used to be like. Past conditions.  Mediocre coaches rest on their laurels. They don’t push themselves to learn more each day.

Great coaches who are truly transformational realize that they don’t already know everything. They’re always searching out new ideas and pursuing new knowledge.

For some coaches, it’s a matter of ego. You have to be secure enough in your leadership role to also be able to openly seek out new information with childlike curiosity. When you adopt that mindset, you’ll always be a step ahead of the challenges that you’ll face in the future.

Why You Need to Practice What Your Preach

If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard me say your ego is NOT your amigo. It’s a fun way to remember the very serious message that to be successful long term, you have to let go of your ego and false pride.

That old school “I’m the boss and I know everything” management style doesn’t work anymore.Tweetable Truman

To be a great coach you need to be a manager and a teacher… but even more importantly you need to be a student leader who learns and grows with the team.

Part of the Navy Seal Creed is “My training is never complete.” Every coach or leader should adopt that attitude.

If you preach that your team should always be learning and focusing on personal growth but you don’t do the same, your team will see through it. They’ll lose faith in you and tune you out over time. Because after all, a teacher (or a coach) who isn’t also a learner has no credibility.

So how do you make ongoing learning a priority for you and your team?

Opportunities For You and Your Team to Learn Together

There are a lot of ways you can embrace lifelong learning on both a team and individual level.

  • Find successful non-competitive companies than you can visit and learn from
  • Look at the weaknesses of your team and buy books or attend seminars to make those a strength
  • Read new business and personal development books – Both on your own and also as a team activity
  • Ask your team to bring up, discuss, and solve problems they encounter in the field during meetings
  • Pay attention to lessons learned by you and the staff each week, and share those experiences with your team
  • Invest in professional training programs and courses that change your thinking to grow your results

And lastly, invest in coaching for yourself.  Even if you’re a transparent coach who is open to suggestions from your team, sometimes it gets lonely at the top. And when things get hectic, it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. Having your own coach is an investment you’ll never regret.

The First Step to Becoming a Lifelong Learner

Take just a minute right now and think about how much time you spend learning new things that can make you better and that you can teach your team.  It’s probably pretty rare that you take time out from your busy life to invest in learning. My suggestion is you ramp up that investment. It’s one of the few that always guarantees a great return!

Here’s an easy way to start investing in your education…

Join ContractorSelling.com today so you can read the latest material and watch videos on how to increase the value of your services to your clients.  Come join us yourself… or even better, get a group membership for your team!

Click here to join ContractorSelling.com  and take the first steps to becoming a top-notch performance coach.