Leaders lead by example. Teachers lead by definition.
These insightful words came to me through a conversation with a good friend and fellow educator who got me thinking about the how both leader and teacher also let go.
Leaders set the vision. They formulate a direction, then are the first on the front line to face every challenge. Sure, leaders must maintain some sense of control but in spite of what most may think, effective leaders do not monopolize it. When everyone believes in the mission, product or vision, leaders place trust in their crew and let go. Everyone wins! On the flip side, when the constituency doesn’t agree with the leader’s vision, loyalty wanes and people start moving in different directions. They stop performing to their potential, their attention span shortens, trust falters and it’s completely normal.
Teachers on the other hand are quite different. By default, their role is to inspire, education and mentor – to let go of some crucial insight or information to their students. They freely release wisdom in favor of enlightening another to reach their own goals. But there‘s another side to this teacher / student relationship. It’s the moment when the student lets go. He graduates. He digs in his heels and does the work instead of being the attentive student. Letting go of our mentors is a HUGE leap into the light of confidence. Often times this release is met with a flood of “truth tears,” as we meet our most vulnerable selves, but when we embrace our courage, lose our fears and release the tethers of our mentors, we become an inspiration to those following in our paths.