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Leadership is displayed in many forms and fashions inside independent contracting companies, one of which being an individual’s ability to teach their team.  There are also levels inside a company leader’s ability to teach, train, and lead.  Each level increases based on the amount of energy, drive, and work that the leader is willing to devote to their teaching style.  In our blog today, we are going to breakdown an interesting quote by William Arthur Ward that displays these levels of leadership: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

-Level 1: “The mediocre teacher tells”-

When leaders are first delving into their individual leadership style it can be natural for them to begin their journey as a “telling teacher.”  When we tell our teammates what we want to teach we are merely scratching the surface.  It is like we are giving our team a generalized and undetailed glimpse of our teaching notes and saying, “okay, you can figure it out from here.”  While there is nothing inherently wrong with telling what we teach, it simply lacks the heart and the depth that team members need to both learn and be inspired.  Telling is a part of the teaching process but it must be built upon if we want to take our team and leadership skills to the next level.

-Level 2: “The good teacher explains”-

The next level of leadership is teaching through explaining.  When leaders inside a company move from telling to explaining it makes team learning happen at a faster rate and in a less chaotic fashion because team members get a glimpse into the internal thought process and the internal working of an idea.  Explaining works to breakdown material so it can be better received by the learner as well as help to put to rest questions, confusion, and concerns.  While this next level of leadership shows progress it is important that team leaders continue to grow and remember to not become stagnant at this level.  Putting in extra effort, time, and heart will take leaders to the next level and help them grow their company and their team.

-Level 3: “The superior teacher demonstrates”-

This next level of leadership builds directly upon the explaining level but moves to a more hands-on approach to teaching and learning.  It is said that learners can retain a great deal more of information when they have the ability to see and interact with what they are learning rather than merely be told the information.  In this demonstration level, teachers make themselves more vulnerable by reveal their ability to perform the tasks and information they’re teaching.  But in the long run, this added vulnerability and exposure helps team members learn, retain, and grow.  This level of leadership displays significant development in teaching as well as leading but it is important to build upon this solid foundation by adding the next level of leadership to the top.

-Level 4: “The great teacher inspires”-

While all of these levels of leadership build on each other to create a strong leadership foundation, it is so important to layer on thick the level of inspiration.  A teacher and leader can tell, explain, and demonstrate all day everyday to their team but without adding the zest of inspiration and passion to the mix, the training material or skills may not stick.  This stage of inspiration gives learner the ability to see that the material they are learning goes far beyond simply gaining information but works to transform their ability to grow inside their career, develop as a stronger team player, and progress their level of service excellence.  Learners that are inspired by leaders go on to be strong and inspiring leaders themselves.

Leadership through teaching is a process that works to grow a company team into more knowledgeable and growth-oriented team players.  In our post today, we broke down an interesting quote that explains the layering levels of leadership: telling, explaining, demonstrating, and inspiring. Thank you for following our weekly post.  Here at Service Excellence Training, we love turning your learning into earning!

-Resource curated by Whitney Stewart of Service Excellence Training