Leaders as Teachers: Six Strategic Benefits
Organizations that effectively utilize a leaders as teachers approach can realize six key strategic benefits. The first reason to implement a leaders-as-teachers approach is that it drives business and organizational results by ensuring strategic business alignment between senior business leaders and the programs and services provided by the learning function. A leaders-as-teachers program that is aligned with strategic business and organizational goals serves as a type of organizational insurance policy for leaders who teach. The second reason to implement a leaders-as-teachers approach is that it serves as a catalyst for the learning and development of the leaders and associates who participate as students in leader-led programs. This dynamic occurs in three ways: role modeling, creating a safe environment for feedback, and building networks. The third reason to implement a leaders-as-teachers approach is that it has inherent development qualities for those who teach. Many leader-teachers say that they are not sure who learns more when they teach.the participants or themselves. They move out of their comfort zone. Job challenges of different types, sizes, shapes, and intensities are the “genetic material” that enables leaders to learn, grow, change, and develop. Teaching, for many leaders, is a very significant job challenge and one that also helps them to see new viewpoints. The fourth reason to implement a leaders-as-teachers approach is that leader-teachers have the opportunity to strengthen their organization’s culture and communications. Culture transmission and communications through leader-teachers occurs in numerous ways including role modeling, social networks, communities of practice, continuous learning and communication flow across geographies, businesses and functions. The fifth reason to implement a leaders-as-teachers approach is that it enables them to serve as catalysts for business and organizational change through their direct access to a wide range of learners. The sixth and final reason to implement a leaders-as-teachers approach is that it drives numerous cost efficiencies by leveraging top talent. The leaders-as-teachers approach affords opportunities to deliver programs for “pennies on the dollar” compared with many other forms of delivery.