by tom on March 7th, 2011
It was either the second or third grade. The teacher asked me to leave the classroom, find my way to the cafeteria and report back on the lunch menu for the day. I remember now more than half a century later my pride in, first of all, finding the cafeteria on my own and then being complimented by the teacher when I returned from my expedition. Last October there was a story in Reader’s Digest about how two friends connected through the power of Google. The author of the article, Steve Hendrix, discovered through the friend, Christopher, how Steve’s mother as a fourth grade teacher was a profound influence on his life and career. Christopher asked Steve, “you know who I should thank for becoming an actor? Your mother.”
The exchange caused Steve to become curious about his mother’s uncommon passion and teaching techniques. He learned that she greeted the class each day in French. She arranged the classroom with tables and circles. There were no desks. She taught electronics, chess, space exploration. The class kept journals and wrote plays. They put on Dicken’s A Christmas Carol ; she told the class set building involved geometry, decoration was art and the script was a social studies case study.
Steve discovered out of this class arose students to positions like Atlanta’s top appellate lawyers, a software architect, science teacher, electrical engineer, professional glassblower, Olympic swimmer and First Amendment and media lawyer.
Mrs. Hendricks was ahead of her time. It’s almost as though she taught in a way that leaders today are challenged to lead employees in this information age. Just like Mrs. Hendricks, and my third grade teacher, think about the investment return when business leaders teach first and then watch as those inspired by the acquisition of new knowledge and skills are able to achieve greater goals. Think about your own career where this may have happened where you were given a challenging assignment along with new information and tools to accomplish the new mission. Matched by your own initiative and guile, recall how you grew and were inspired by those who trusted you. We all owe a great deal of gratitude and applause to those leaders who, in classrooms growing up or in the laboratories of business, have shown initiative and creativity in allowing us to expand our gifts and achieve more.Tags: caring leadership
Post Categories: Power of Applause