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The World’s Best Teacher Just Gave a Masterclass in Leadership

Peter Tabichi sets an example of leadership we all can learn from

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BY John Eades - 27 Mar 2019

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PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Everybody loves to know who the best is in their field. It could be the best sports coach, the best company to work for, or in this case, the best teacher in the world. On Saturday, the Varkey Foundation awarded the 2019 Global Teacher Prize to Peter Tabichi.

Tabichi, a teacher who happens to also be a Franciscan Brother, was chosen out of 10,000 nominees across 179 countries. His work as a science teacher to high schoolers in a small Kenyan village won him the award.

Tabichi overcame long odds to win the big award and grand prize of $1 million dollars, and his comment after winning the award is one from which every leader should learn: "Seeing my learners grow in knowledge, skill, and confidence is my greatest joy in teaching."

A leader's role is one of a teacher.

A leader must embody many roles to be successful in today's modern work environment. None are more important than teaching others.

The skills needed to stay relevant are changing rapidly in every industry, which means that it's more important than ever to help others grow and develop their skills. It helps your colleagues and the organization evolve and grow.

The latest statistics presented at the Work Rebooted Conference in San Francisco showed that 670,000 jobs are being stolen by robots each year--which is gloomy until you see that there are 40 times more jobs being created. The difference: The skills required to do those jobs of the future aren't the same as the skills required to do the jobs of today.

One of the best ways to help set people up for success in the future is to be a teacher to others. Point people in the right direction. Financially support their development. Teachers often don't have all the answers, but they believe in their students, motivate them, and support their growth.

Focus on the learner's mindset.

Getting anyone to develop to a better future state begins with a growth mindset. If you've read Carol S. Dweck's book Mindset, you'll find that term familiar. In simple terms, Dweck suggests that "we can grow our brain's capacity to learn and solve problems."

One of my favorite exercises to get someone at any age or skill level to adopt this way of thinking comes from Adam Grant's book, Power Moves. First, have the person reflect on a time when they changed significantly. Then and only then, ask them to make a persuasive case for why their next change is possible. They'll literally talk themself into having a growth mindset

Much like Brother Tabichi, it's your turn to be a leader who teaches. Find your greatest joy in seeing others grow in knowledge, skill, and confidence.

 

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