TEACHABILITY

To   Keep   Leading,   Keep   Learning


Value your listening and reading time at

roughly ten times your talking time. This will assure

you that you are on a course of continuous

learning and self-improvement.

—Gerald McGinnis, President and CEO of Kespironics, Inc.


It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.

 —John Wooden, Hall of Fame Basketball Coach



Success   Disguised   as   a   Tramp



If you see the image of a little man sporting a tiny moustache, carrying a cane, and wearing baggy pants, big, clumsy shoes, and a derby hat, you know immediately that it's Charlie Chaplin. Just about everyone recognizes him. In the 1910s and 1920s, he was the most famous and recognizable person on the planet. If we looked at today's celebrities, the only person even in the same category as Chaplin in popularity would be Michael Jordan. And to measure who is the bigger star, we would have to wait another seventy-five years to find out how well everyone remembers Michael.


When Chaplin was born, nobody would have predicted great fame for him. Born into poverty as the son of English music hall performers, he found himself on the street as a small child when his mother was institutionalized. After years in workhouses and orphanages, he began working on the stage to support himself. By age seventeen, he was a veteran performer. In 1914, while in his mid-twenties, he worked for Mack Sennett at Keystone Studios in Hollywood making $150 a week. During that first year in the movie business, he made thirty-five films working as an actor, writer, and director. Everyone recognized his talent immediately, and his popularity grew. A year later, he earned $1,250 a week. Then in 1918, he did something unheard of. He signed the entertainment industry's first $1 million contract. He was rich; he was famous; and he was the most powerful filmmaker in the world—at the ripe old age of twenty-nine.


Chaplin was successful because he had great talent and incredible drive. But those traits were fueled by teachability. He continually strived to grow, learn, and perfect his craft. Even when he was the most popular and highest paid performer in the world, he wasn't content with the status quo.


Chaplin explained his desire to improve to an interviewer:


When I am watching one of my pictures presented to an audience, I always pay close attention to what they don't laugh at. If, for example, several audiences do not laugh at a stunt I meant to be funny, I at once begin to tear that trick to pieces and try to discover what was wrong in the idea or in the execution of it. If I hear a slight ripple at something I had not expected to be funny, I ask myself why that particular thing got a laugh.


That desire to grow made him successful economically, and it brought a high level of excellence to everything he did. In those early days, Chaplin's work was hailed as marvelous entertainment. As time went by, he was recognized as a comic genius. Today many of his movies are considered masterpieces, and he is appreciated as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Screenwriter and film critic James Agee wrote, "The finest pantomime, the deepest emotion, the richest and most poignant poetry were in Chaplin's work."


If Chaplin had replaced his teachability with arrogant self-satisfaction when he became successful, his name would be right up there along with Ford Sterling or Ben Turpin, stars of silent films who are all but forgotten today. But Chaplin kept growing and learning as an actor, director, and eventually film executive. When he learned from experience that filmmakers were at the mercy of studios and distributors, he started his own organization, United Artists, along with Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and D. W. Griffith. The film company is still in business today.


Fleshing   It   Out


Leaders face the danger of contentment with the status quo. After all, if a leader already possesses influence and has achieved a level of respect, why should he keep growing? The answer is simple:


Your growth determines who you are.

Who you are determines who you attract.

Who you attract determines the success of your organization.


If you want to grow your organization, you have to remain teachable.


Allow me to give you five guidelines to help you cultivate and maintain a teachable attitude:


1. Cure Your Destination Disease

Ironically, lack of teachability is often rooted in achievement. Some people mistakenly believe that if they can accomplish a particular goal, they no longer have to grow. It can happen with almost anything: earning a degree, reaching a desired position, receiving a particular award, or achieving a financial goal.

But effective leaders cannot afford to think that way. The day they stop growing is the day they forfeit their potential—and the potential of the organization. Remember the words of Ray Kroc: "As long as you're green, you're growing. As soon as you're ripe, you start to rot."


2. Overcome Your Success

Another irony of teachability is that success often hinders it. Effective leaders know that what got them there doesn't keep them there. If you have been successful in the past, beware. And consider this: if what you did yesterday still looks big to you, you haven't done much today.


3. Swear Off Shortcuts

My friend Nancy Dornan says, "The longest distance between two points is a shortcut." That's really true. For everything of value in life, you pay a price. As you desire to grow in a particular area, figure out what it will really take, including the price, and then determine to pay it.


4. Trade In Your Pride

Teachability requires us to admit we don't know everything, and that can make us look bad. In addition, if we keep learning, we must also keep making mistakes. But as writer and expert craftsman Elbert Hubbard said, "The greatest mistake one can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one." You cannot be prideful and teachable at the same time.

Emerson wrote, "For everything you gain, you lose something." To gain growth, give up your pride.


5. Never Pay Twice for the Same Mistake 

Teddy Roosevelt asserted, "He who makes no mistakes, makes no progress." That's true. But the leader who keeps making the same mistakes also makes no progress. As a teachable leader, you will make mistakes. Forget them, but always remember what they taught you. If you don't, you will pay for them more than once.



Reflecting   on   It



When I was a kid growing up in rural Ohio, I saw this sign in a feed store: "If you don't like the crop you are reaping, check the seed you are sowing." Though the sign was an ad for seeds, it contained a wonderful principle.


What kind of crop are you reaping? Do your life and leadership seem to be getting better day after day, month after month, year after year? Or are you constantly fighting just to hold your ground? If you're not where you hoped you would be by this time in your life, your problem may be lack of teachability. When was the last time you did something for the first time? When was the last time you made yourself vulnerable by diving into something for which you weren't the expert? Observe your attitude toward growing and learning during the next several days or weeks to see where you stand.



Bringing   It   Home 

To improve your teachability, do the following:


Observe how you react to mistakes. Do you admit your mistakes? Do you apologize when appropriate? Or are you defensive? Observe yourself. And ask a trusted friend's opinion. If you react badly—or you make no mistakes at all— you need to work on your teachability.


Try something new. Go out of your way today to do something different that will stretch you mentally, emotionally, or physically. Challenges change us for the better. If you really want to start growing, make new challenges part of your daily activities.


Learn in your area of strength. Read six to twelve books a year on leadership or your field of specialization. Continuing to learn in an area where you are already an expert prevents you from becoming jaded and unreachable.


Daily   Take-Away


After winning his third world championship, bull rider Tuff Hedeman didn't have a big celebration. He moved on to Denver to start the new season—and the whole process over again. His comment: "The bull won't care what I did last week." Whether you're an untested rookie or a successful veteran, if you want to be a champion tomorrow, be teachable today.

………………..


A  SERVANT  OF  THE  LORD  MUST  ALWAYS  BE  LEARNING;  EVERYONE  CAN  CONTINUE  TO  LEARN  ALL  THROUGH  THEIR  LIFE.  LEARNING  NEVER  MAKES  LIFE  BORING,  IT  ADDS  SPICE  TO  LIFE.  GET  IN  THE  MIND-SET  OF  ALWAYS  WANTING  TO  LEARN.  BOOKS  ARE  A  GREAT  WAY  TO  LEARN.  OF  COURSE  YOUR  OVERALL  INTERESTS  WILL  DETERMINE  WHAT  YOU  WANT  TO  LEARN  MORE  ABOUT.  I  REGULARLY  GO  TO  A  LARGE  BOOK  STORE  NEAR  TO  WHERE  I  LIVE,  AND  WALK  AROUND  LOOKING  AT  THE  BOOKS  UNDER  SUBJECTS  I’M  INTERESTED  IN;  THE  NEW  ONES  JUST  PUBLISHED;  THE  BOOKS  ON  “SALE”  ETC.  LIFE  TO  ME  WOULD  BE  DULL  IF  I  EVER  STOPPED  WANTING  TO  LEARN  AND  BE  INFORMED  ABOUT  THIS  OR  THAT.


I  HAVE  ALSO  EXPERIENCED  IN  MY  75  YEARS  TO  DATE  [MARCH  2018]  THE  SAD  HAPPENING  TO  “CHURCHES”  THAT  DO  NOT  CONTINUE  TO  GROW  IN  GRACE  AND  KNOWLEDGE.  I  WAS  A  PART  OF  ONE  CHURCH  DECADES  AGO  THAT  GREW  IN  SPIRITUAL  KNOWLEDGE  EACH  YEAR.  THERE  WOULD  BE  A  MINISTER  CONFERENCE  TWICE  A  YEAR;  EVERY  MINISTER  WAS  FREE  TO  BRING  UP  STUDIES  THAT  MAY  OR  MAY  NOT  REQUIRE  A  RE-THINKING  OF  THIS  OR  THAT  TEACHING.  THEN  THAT  STOPPED;  THE  FOUNDER  OF  THIS  CHURCH  GOT  OLD  AND  VAIN  AND  WANTED  TO  RULE  AS  “A  CLOSED  MINDED  CULT  TYPE  LEADER.”  MANY  THOUSANDS  LEFT  TO  MOVE  ON  INTO  GROWTH.  THOUSANDS  STAYED  ON  WITHOUT  GROWTH.  FINALLY  THE  FOUNDER  DIED.  HIS  CHURCH  SPLIT;  THOUSANDS  WENT  BACKWARDS  INTO  FALSE  THEOLOGY;  THOUSANDS  MOVED  AWAY  FROM  THOSE  THOUSANDS,  BUT  HAVE  STUCK  TO  THE  FOUNDERS  TEACHINGS  AND  HAVE  NEVER  GROWN  IN  KNOWLEDGE.  THEY  HAVE  BECOME  THE  LAODICEAN  CHURCH  IN  ATTITUDE  OF  MIND,  MENTIONED  IN  THE  BOOK  OF  REVELATION,  CONCERNING  THE  SEVEN  CHURCHES  IN  THE  OPENING  CHAPTERS.


A  MINISTER,  A  CHURCH,  MUST  BE  TEACHABLE  ALL  THE  TIME.  EVERY  INDIVIDUAL  MUST  BE  TEACHABLE  ALL  THEIR  LIFE.  A  CHRISTIAN  CAN  NEVER  BE  COMPLACENT;  A  TEACHABLE  ATTITUDE,  A  GROWING  IN  GRACE  AND  KNOWLEDGE  MUST  REMAIN  IN  AN  INDIVIDUAL  AND  CHURCH  FOREVER;  THE  MOMENT  IT  IS  NOT  THERE,  THAT  INDIVIDUAL  AND/OR  CHURCH  STARTS  TO  DIE;  THE  SAP  OF  LIFE  STOPS  RUNNING  AND  LIKE  A  TREE,  SPIRITUAL  DEATH  EVENTUALLY  IS  THE  RESULT.


ALWAYS  LOVE  BEING  TAUGHT  -  BEING  TEACHABLE!


Keith Hunt