Learning & Development

Mar 17, 2022 10 min read

Leaders as teachers

Author has a demonstrated history of working in GAIL across the gas value chain like Projects, O&M of pipelines & associated facilities etc. He is graduate in mechanical engineering from NIT-Bhopal and PGD in financial management & Applied economics from MSU Vadodara. A sportsman, nature enthusiast & climate activist with penchant for emerging trends in energy sector.

Learning is the continuous process and run in tandem with development. One leads to other; every development brings new learning and every application of learning bring forth the new development. Corporate are engines thriving on the principle are primarily directed by leadership and driven by strategy. The leaders at the helm of the affair are people with rich experience of navigating through all weathers in all conditions. They know well when to pull up and when to pull down the sail, how to invigorate the spirit about to give up and when to push hard to let your people surprised by their own capacity to achieve deemed impossible.

The journey from executive to leader cannot be travelled without the companionship of learning. As one traverse the journey of corporate life learning helps in understanding what to why. Executive learn to appreciate the importance of high standards to be set for themselves not only in what but in how and why. Leaders when trains they reenergize and re-inspires participants by let them share the Personal challenges overcome, success achieved, and mistakes made during their journey of moving up to the ladder of corporate world.

What leaders bring forth as teachers


  • How to get right application of skills needed to lead in present time.

  • Great Strategy is not enough for getting great results it takes subtle tactics and nuance to succeed.

  • Business Principle and life lessons needed to lead in VUCA world.

  • Informal and Organic lessons, flowing out of task in hand, easy to emulate and imitate.

  • They know what works hence what to teach, when to teach, and how to make your lessons stick.

  • The leaders are the best teachers when it comes to teaching the nuance of what works. Leaders contributing in growth and development of its team by sharing the insights and wisdom. The growing size of economy and complexity of organisation occasional informal learning opportunities are not enough.

It is long recognized that leaders led instruction fosters not just competence or compliance but mastery of skills and independence of thought and action. However, this type of teaching is yet to employed in a business context. To actualise the potential corporate world these days is working towards formalising the occasional process in to corporate practice to engage leaders as teachers


Unforgettable Lessons

Great leaders teach on a range of topics, but their best lessons—so relevant and useful that direct reports are often still applying and sharing them years later—fall into three buckets:


  • Learning from their leaders the value of emphasizing integrity and high ethical standards and how to conduct oneself professionally.

  • Ability to effectively conduct outcome-based meetings, how to communicate a vision when attempting to sell, and how to look at the industry not as it is but as it could become.

  • How to mentor subordinates in an appropriate and constructive manner—guiding them while still respecting their independence.


Points of craft

  • Leaders trains their people in the same highly disciplined approach that they employed themselves—one rooted in extensive knowledge and experience. Moreover, leaders would leave instruction about the nuts and bolts of their business as well.

  • Leaders at any given time, know so much about so many different companies and competitive forces that an average person’s head would spin. Harbour unique perspective of how to achieve authenticity and integrity in process and practices irrespective to magnitude of value being added.

Life lessons

Of course, great leaders don’t limit themselves to teaching about work—they also proffer deeper wisdom about life. That might seem like overstepping, but it is discovered that managers found it extremely helpful. The spectrum rages from simple note card on which he had written his near-term goals, intermediate-term goals, and long-term goals, to complex like managing across the cultures.

Perfect Timing

When leaders teach is almost as important as what they teach. The leaders in session don’t wait for people to get ready to absorb critical lessons, they seized and creates opportunities to impart wisdom.

On the job.

When leaders are around in the session it engages participants more as they understand that lessons could come at any time. It may be like advice on tactics or discussing how to be a better manager. It is observed that leaders as teachers “out to teach you a lesson” in every interaction, showing “how to do things and how to run a business.”

Leaders ensure on-the-session learning by sharing a trick or two in session that allow participants to appreciate insights offered and encouraged to get in to deeper conversations. Others opt for more-conventional strategic management but make a point of getting the implementation right for achieving the results. They offer lessons on the spur of the moment—when people can best process and embrace them.

In manufactured moments.

Leaders don’t have to wait for the “perfect” opening. They create teaching moments—as this is more-relaxed out of office settings.

Expert Delivery

No matter when or where they chose to teach their lessons, the leaders are smart enough not to pompously pontificate or pummel employees with too much information. They deployed these more-nuanced techniques

Customized instruction

Best-in-class educators embrace personalization, tailoring lessons and support to match students’ individual learning profiles. And business leaders do the same thing. They know that subordinate’s/ team members should be taught in a way that suits his or her skills and competence.


Leaders also take a page from Socrates and teach by asking sharp, relevant questions, often in the course of furthering their own learning. Asking probing questions to find out what is happening. They do it to “educate themselves, not to make others feel like they are doing something appropriate or inappropriate. It is just a mutual educational venture.

Thus, true leaders wears many hats but the hat of learning is what he wears always & groom many other leaders like to take the business forward. A true leader is teacher first & boss later.


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