I don’t know about you, but I love to teach and facilitate. I know Maureen McDonald, executive director of leadership development at Dell Corp., featured on the February cover of Chief Learning Officer magazine, agrees with me:
“Everybody in our group all the way up and down the chain should be comfortable in the classroom. It’s a great skill to have, and it’s a satisfying skill. When I come away from teaching in the classroom, it’s a pretty good day.”
Throughout my own career as a learning leader, I have always subscribed to the “learn it, do it, teach it” model. In fact, that is the model I put in place while chief learning officer for a major technology company in India. Leaders first learned the skill or behavior, they then demonstrated it and to achieve true competency they taught it.
I know, I know. Some of you are thinking about the old adage, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” You don’t want leaders in the firm thinking you can’t so you teach. What about those who “can do and teach”? What do we call them? Let’s call them leaders.
Every organization has or should have a leadership curriculum. As a learning leader, how much of it have you attended? Hopefully, most of it. How much of that curriculum have you taught?
Teaching provides the opportunity for further development while at the same time providing a view into the true pulse of the organization. If you believe as I do in the “learn it, do it, teach it” model, then it also expands your credibility. By the way, I asked leaders what competencies they believe a CLO should have and they all agreed: get in the classroom and lead sessions.
With that as our foundation, what courses should you be teaching? Start with courses that help build your own competencies. Map your development plan to a teaching plan. Don’t stick to facilitating the same programs over and over. They become stale, and there is little to learn from it. Rotate through all the programs until you have taught them all. That’s truly a robust development plan.
As already stated, teaching provides you with deep development, opportunity to enhance your contact with the front lines and builds your credibility. Not only that, you also have the opportunity to measure, firsthand, the effectiveness of the course content and how learners are responding to what they are being taught.
Thanks to everyone who has been in touch with me here and on LinkedIn. It’s great to get your questions and see your thoughts and ideas. Let’s continue to make this a space where we can all learn and grow with each other.Filed under: Leadership Development