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Business leaders can learn from school teachers, too.

September 15, 2021   Christine Wilson

Most of us can remember one or more great teachers we had, whose kind guidance positively impacted our life’s trajectory. Learning from dedicated educators is not limited to students, though. Business leaders can benefit greatly by employing a teacher’s viewpoint and expertise into their decision-making process.


In this issue of The Pulse, we examine the ways in which an educator’s experience could help expand a business leader’s skillset.


Teachers are trained in knowledge sharing.


Teachers are specifically trained in taking their existing knowledge, paired with new information, and passing it on to their pupils. They are trained in explaining, demonstrating, and leading with the goal of building skills and confidence in others.


This is a skillset business leaders, whether executive or middle management, could greatly benefit from having on their toolbelt. The higher up and more skilled you become in your company, the more you will need to delegate tasks and pass on knowledge to staff below you. Even if you’re the top expert in your field, teaching can still be challenging, and not everyone is a natural.


Looking to classroom educators and college or university professors for guidance is one way you could strengthen your skills and receive excellent insight.


Teachers must adapt to different learning styles.


No two employees – or students – are the same. We all learn and process information differently. If you’re ever struggling with an underperforming employee, or in training a new program or ability, it might be worth asking a teacher for tips.


What is the best way to help a hands-on learner through a written or auditory training activity? How do you customize training materials for an individual to a larger group? Teachers tackle these challenges every day, and often with fewer resources than many businesses have access to.


Teachers create engaging content.


Especially for those that teach younger children, teachers must know how to make digesting information interesting.


Educational success business School Growth says “leaders would be wise to tap into the expertise of educators in order to utilize modern approaches to curriculum design to build engagement internally (with employees, managers, etc.) and externally (with clients and communities). Understanding how people learn and how to craft instructional experiences that strengthen relationships offers a unique marketing advantage.”


Teachers have an unwavering work ethic.


The best educators are the ones who are chronically optimistic about their students’ potential. They believe in and inspire their pupils to perform at their best. Teachers demonstrate this by:



  • Setting big, but possible, goals.

  • Investing time and emotional energy in their students.

  • Planning purposefully and executing that plan to benefit every student in the classroom.

  • Taking feedback and improving their skills.

  • Working relentlessly despite obstacles.

  • Having compassion and empathy for their pupils.


These are all things you, as a business leader, can be doing for your employees.


In conclusion…


The ability to teach and learn make you and your business highly competitive. There are no better role models for this than the educators who may have inspired you or your children to believe in yourself, work hard, and reach for your goals. If you have an educator in your life, it may be worth asking them for advice on how to improve your own leadership in the workplace.