About helping people as individuals, not as ‘types’ or members of groups, applies with special emphasis to teaching, which is a vital form of help. No man’s philosophy of work comes to him full-blown. It is accumulated with experiences and, to a large extent, from other people. It evolves, grows, matures, and is revised almost daily. This process goes on in a slightly different way for every person.
This is what makes your teaching on the job as a manager so important. Not one of the men and women in your department is ‘fully taught’. They are not fully taught by their old teachers, their former bosses, the union, or anyone else. They may think so, but the fact is that every day they are changing, learning, revising values and ideas. If you’re in there teaching, doing your job as a manager, you are bound to have influence, just as associates and bosses who work constructively with you have an influence on your thinking. How can you help yourself to become to better teacher?
Do it your self
One of the most important misconceptions of the executive’s job is that he is some kind of ‘high level doer’. Now, it is still true in many companies, unfortunately, that the best salesman is moved up to sales manager, the best accountant moved upt to controller, the best purchasing agent up to purchasing director, and so forth- regardless of whether they also have abilities as supervisors. As a result, so often we find the manager giving only lip service to the teaching job. For example, the born-salesman type is likely to push that job aside and keep on planning, sales, feeling that the customer needs him- personally,. May be endorses a dtraining program for his men, adopting a ‘let George do it’ philosophy.
If you want to become a good teacher, the first rule is that you’ve got to take your own time doing it. And the time to start is now. Don’t pull it off. It is interesting that, over the years, it is observed that generally a poor teacher of trainees is a poor developer. In other words, if he doesn’t demonstrate an interest in teaching on one job, he is not likely to show it at job higher up- or be good at it.
Doing it yourself means, of course, that there may be some temporary sacrifices, as when the person you teach is not at first as good at the work as you would be if you did it form him. But it should not be hard to make your boss understand this- and besides, you probably overestimate your ability as a doer and underestimate the other man’s.