Posted on October 15, 2015
There are three talents that I that I wish I had in my personal toolbox. Now I realize that I could take classes and learn each of them. However, I just wish the skill came naturally. Those three things are sing, play the piano and paint.
Now I can imagine what you are thinking to yourself, “just sign up and take a class” or “what is stopping you from learning them?” You see, I know all of that. I know that all I have to do is to put forth the effort and take off on down the road to learning a new skill. The problem is that I do not want to take the time for the learning and practicing. I just want to wake up one morning and be good at all three.
There is one thing that I have learned over the years that would change my mind about adjusting my schedule and taking the necessary steps to learning one or all of the skills. It seems pretty simple, and it would spark my interest so that I would be happy to remove some things out of my schedule so I could add practice and learning time.
That one thing is a passionate teacher. Now I am not referring to a community art class where I am just getting together with a group of people for fellowship. I am referring to someone that cares about my progress and is interested me personally and also in my learning.
Imagine if I went to an art class, and the teacher revealed the subject that we were to paint. Something simple such as an apple. Imagine if that teacher walked around and saw the third-grade renditions of the fruit telling each of us that we were doing a great job. We would all leave the class each day with our sketch pad filled with our vision of the delicious fruit. Maybe if we are lucky, we would have a proud mother that will take our painting and hang it on the fridge for all the family and friends to gaze upon.
Now use your imagination again but this time picture, instead of a community art class, a small studio where there is a passionate artist standing in front of an easel with me standing beside him. In front of us is a bowl of fruit and he is painting along with me. He is suggesting the correct brush and strokes, the correct colors and in between the tips, we are discussing life. Imagine the time this would take for my teacher, my rabbi, my mentor, my friend.
It is this type of interest and investment that instills both passion and skill. Mentorship is something that our current generation has forgotten. The main reason is time. Mentorship requires a sacrifice of time from both the teacher and also the student.
I am telling you this because leadership is also about this type of mentorship. Just putting a vision in front of your team and telling them this is what we are aiming for, is like placing that fruit in front of the art class and telling them to paint. A great leader will mentor, train and walk beside the team, helping them to accomplish the goal while helping them to be a better person.
This week’s experiment: Go out and get an easel and some brushes, then find a student and truly teach them how to paint. Or… go out and find a teacher to teach you how to paint.