Behavior 11: Teach and Coach for Success

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“Great leaders are great teachers!”

Noel Tichy, the management guru from University of Michigan, said this. Tichy pioneered the “leader as teacher” research, promoting the principle that all great leaders need clarity on what they are teaching —he called this their “teachable point of view.” And, of course, if you are going to have a “teachable point of view,” you need the exact thing discussed in the previous blog, namely, clarity about your business’s success factors.

The most important role of the serving leader is to teach and coach others. This is the most valuable service the leader can perform. People on the front lines cannot perform at the highest level if they do not have a clear understanding and commitment to the success factors. A self-serving leader is afraid to teach the things that produce success, because they are afraid they will produce people who can do the leader’s job…which is the very mark of great leadership. Serving leaders equip and empower amazing people who can massively increase their impact.

It is also important for the serving leader to know when to teach and when to coach. Teaching involves informing and demonstrating; it is needed when the person being taught does not know the success factors or has not learned the standard processes and measures for success. Coaching is used when the person has the knowledge but is struggling to perform at the expected level. Coaching is also the right approach when the problem being encountered can be handled with a variety of approaches.

Teach and Coach for Success” is the second of three parts taught in the Serving Leader Action called Blaze the Trail. Case stories and step-by-step exercises found in the The Serving Leader Development System (SLDS) provide a road-map for leaders and managers who want to learn how to teach newcomers the “critical to quality” success factors in your organization, when to shift from teaching to coaching, and how to be a great coach to those team members who are ready to take their contribution to your organization to the next level. This module in the SLDS helps your managers learn how to teach, how to coach, and when to do one versus the other.