John F. Kennedy said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” While this is true, I have observed many leaders who have allowed themselves to stop being teachable. Being teachable is all about a person’s mindset and not about leadership ability or talent. The great leaders have avoided the things that will cause them to stop being teachable and always look for teachable moments.
Pride-Prideful leaders believe they are better than they actually are, which causes them to stop being teachable. This prevents them from seeing the need to become better. So they don’t focus on growing and learning. Prideful leaders who are not teachable will soon come crashing down.
Insecure-I believe insecure leaders generally have low self-esteem. They spend most of their time and energy doing things that raise their self-esteem while overlooking the need to be teachable. They focus on what others think rather than being teachable and learning ways to allow them to lead better.
Title minded- A leader who is focused primarily on a title is so busy maintaining that title and approval that they overlook the importance of being teachable. You don’t need a title to be a leader but you do need to be teachable.
Resistance to change- Is another reason why leaders are not teachable. The person who is resistant to change knows being teachable may get them out of their comfort zone and require them to change or bring change to the organization. Being teachable is the foundation to change and those who resist change also resist being teachable. It is wise to remember, “Everything is in a process of change, nothing endures; we do not seek permanence.” ~Masatoshi Naito
How to Avoid Teachable Stoppers:
- Recognize and acknowledge these areas so you are aware of the potential negative impact.
- Have an inner circle of people who hold you accountable and gives you advice.
- Daily make the choice to stay humble by being a servant leader.
- Spend a short amount of time on a success or failure, then move forward.
- Have a plan to grow and learn.
- Focus more on influencing than on your title or position.
- Associate with teachable people.
- Take time to evaluate your current heart condition and motives.
Question: How do you avoid teachable stoppers and remain teachable?