The two people you need to know

The two people you need to know

I spent yesterday with a group of remarkable professionals whom I have the great privilege of guiding through a monthly course called Leadership Fairbanks. An offering of the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, on whose board I currently serve, Leadership Fairbanks gives emerging and established professionals access to community leaders who generously share about the industries in which they work, their successes and failures, and the importance of leadership in our community.

On the first day of the course I made it clear that each student was a participant, not simply a consumer, and the contributions they would make to the class by sharing their perspectives and experiences would enrich the curriculum for everyone in the room. As a 2013 graduate of the program I was keenly aware that a tremendous amount of the value they would extract from the course would come by learning from, and sharing with, their fellow students.

Each of the ensuing monthly sessions has been a clear reminder to me that good leaders are not just learners, but also teachers.

It is important for you to find mentors and teachers to help you in your professional development, but it is equally important for you to be a mentor and a teacher to help someone else in their development. You may not feel like you know enough to teach someone else, but it is likely that you know more, and have more value to offer, than you think. If you have ever found value in reading something I’ve written, then my point is made because I’m just a guy who cares a lot about helping people be more human at work.

You need the help someone else has to offer. Find them and ask for it.
Someone needs the help you have to offer. Look for opportunities to share.