What am I? Just a teacher – a member of one of the great professions in the world.
The coach must never forget that he is, first of all, a teacher. He must come (be present), see (diagnose), and conquer (correct). He must continuously be exploring for ways to improve himself in order that he may improve others and welcome every person and everything that may be helpful to him. As has been said, he must remember, “Others, too, have brains.”
Coach John Wooden, Wooden on Leadership
We all need a…teacher…
I recently saw quite a tweet from a well-known, highly respected business author. It is an author I have read, and admire; one I recommend. I have presented synopses of more than one book written by this author.
The tweet took aim at “coaches.” The author opined that we have too many coaches out there who are not… very good coaches.
It was a pretty blunt take.
I know some coaches. Some pretty good ones; a few great ones.. But, truth be told, I suspect I’ve been exposed to a few coaches that are not all that good at what they do.
On the one hand, we could lambast coaching because there are plenty of bad coaches.
But, on the other hand, name a profession that has only great exemplars filling out their ranks. That old bell curve always looms over us…
So, I got to thinking…
Just what am I? What is it I have to offer?
I know counselors, coaches, consultants, advisors… I suspect I touch on all of these in my work at one time or another.
But my conclusion about me, about what I do, is this: I am a teacher.
I started out as a preacher. The kind of preaching that I practiced was “expository preaching.”’ It was preaching that incorporated plenty of teaching.
And, I have taught speech at the college level for many years.
And, I believe it is correct to say that I have now served, for many years, as a teacher to business people with my synopses of business books.
Business people, like all people, wish they knew the content of the important books. But, they don’t have time to read them all. (No one does). And, their minds are so bombarded with information that even when they do read some books, they seldom STUDY them closely enough to pull out the most important insights and actionable principles.
And, then, after reading, they quickly go on to their next task, and they forget what they have recently read.
I read the books; I find the important lessons and takeaways.
I say to those I teach: “STOP; LOOK AT THIS; THIS COULD BE HELPFUL AND USEFUL!”
My synopses help people focus, take a pretty deep dive into the most important takeaways, and then, maybe, put some things into practice.
And, after I present my synopses, one can read my synopsis handouts (one participant calls them my synopsis artifacts), providing an easy way to refresh your mind on the key content of the book presented.
My job is to teach.
For the people I teach, their job is to learn.
I hope that I am a good example of a teacher. But, this much I am certain of: we all need a good teacher, or two, or three, in our lives.
The authors of the best books I read are some of my best teachers.
Who are your teachers?