Thursday, February 28, 2013

What does it take to lead a team?

How much does a teacher have to know about the class?  A leader about the team?
A manager about the crew?  A salesperson about the customer?
What major metropolitan downtown?
This Book Review of The Way of the Shepherd by Dr Kevin Leman  (@drleman)  And  William Pentak  addresses these questions.  My take-aways from this book were simple and easy for me to follow since they focused around an acrostic: S.H.A.P.E.  This post connects those traits to the classroom.
Leadership and teaching go hand in hand.  Sales and teaching go together.  Motivation and drive are also components of education.  The corporate world and educational world have many overlaps.
In this quick read about a shepherd sharing with an apprentice, a metaphor is used to outline how the best leaders know their teams like a shepherd knows the flock.  He uses this acrostic to outline a few points.
Each of us has different strengths.  A good leaders capitalizes on this and serves success by serving to the strengths of the team members.  A good teacher fosters success by knowing the student’s strengths and abilities, both positive and negative.
What one person likes will differ from what another likes.  Our desires, affections and heart drive our free or discretionary time and efforts.  What would you like to do if you had 3 hours of free time?”  This question speaks to the heart contents.  A good teacher knows what the students like, and plans accordingly.
Often time, our attitude is the only thing we can change, just by changing our thoughts, focus and actions.  We must believe and then behave together for our attitude to shift from negative to positive.  Master teachers display a great attitude in themselves, even if it is part of the role and expect it from their students.
Besides saying “what a great personality” we view this trait as one defined by our base or simplest nature, form or style.  Often, a sense of humor, ethic or perspective helps articulate a personality.  How a person engages with others forms that foundation.  Personality styles and learning styles are the hardest to learn in others, but once mastered, student success is inevitable.
Finally, experience is the thing we bring with us, everywhere, continuously adding to the past, equipping us for our future.  Those that can learn from other people’s experiences seem wise, but those learning from their own mistakes may end up learning the lesson better.  The teacher has little control over the prior experiences a student brings to the room.  Yet the subtle teacher builds mutual learning experiences for the class to compound the effectiveness of the content. 

These traits are simple to remember, easy to apply and universal in their prevalence. We all have every one, to one extent or another.  As leaders, our task is getting to know the traits of those around us and then use this understanding to further everyone.

How well is that working? #onthemap It seems to be working very well here at WMS!
The Way of the Shepherd: 7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Productive People
By: Dr. Kevin Leman, Bill Pentak
Zondervan / 2004 /

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