Follow our Fearless Leader

As a teacher, I see that my profession is often compared to the private sector. Metrics including wages, hours, pensions, and contracts are measured against private corporations. While there is certain value that can be ascertained from specific comparisons, it must also be recognized that public and private services are notoriously difficult to adequately compare. People usually speak about public education and how it should be improving alongside specific metrics found in private sectors. To adequately comment on the efficacy of public education, comparing it to private companies oversimplifies a concept riddled with uncontrollable dynamics from student engagement, to parenting techniques, to political actions, to social influences. In my experiences, playing this game creates a polarizing environment whereby the public is never as good as the private, which leads to enforcing negative stigmas about public educators.

I go on about dangers of simple comparisons of metric between massively different sectors, but there is one thing of note that all sectors can benefit from – effective leadership. Leadership and management are often used interchangeably to mean the same thing, but they’re not. Management is a position, a career, a job, being in direct or indirect control. Leadership is a state. It’s the ability to inspire, motivate, engage, and create inclusivity and positive learning and working environments. Managers and leaders are not causal: just because you are in a position of management does not mean you’re a leader, and vice versa. Leaders are found in all shapes and sizes. Credence is appropriately given to the saying “following our fearless leader.”

This infographic is a compilation of my favorite lessons on leadership spoken by massively successful business leaders. They’ve each achieved their goals due in part to the development and respect of the people around them. Leadership requires patience and the ability to interact with others. 

10 Lessons on Leadership
10 Lessons on Leadership

Of course, these leadership techniques are not just useful for how we interact with our colleagues. They’re great to use in the classroom too! Most noteworthy to me is #10 by Richard Branson. As educators, we focus on the always have to be disseminators of knowledge to the receiving students. It’s easy to get carried away with all the ministry expectations and bombard students with information, information, and more information! In today’s world, the information is already accessible, which leaves time in the day for relationship building. Listening to the students is the most effective way to get to know students’ personalities and family life. Listening to what they have to say instead of drowning them out with information will lead to an engaged student who feels comfortable and willing to learn. 

1. “Foster Teamwork” Peter Drucker

2. “Encourage Growth in Others” Jack Welch
3. “Boost Employee Self-Esteem” Sam Walton
4. “Take Care of People” Marissa Mayer
5. “Coordinate, Aim for a Goal” Walt Disney
6. “Be Willing to be Misunderstood” Jeff Bezos
7. “Get People to Follow You” Anne Mulcahy
8. “Inspire People” Fred Smith
9. “Understand Reality and Give Hope” Ken Chenault
10. “Be a Good Listener” Richard Branson

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