He who teaches…

When I was in High School (around 15 years old), I used to teach Math­e­mat­ics to my best friend, Augus­to César (a.k.a Goose). I real­ly enjoyed teach­ing him, I under­stood the top­ic and I could use that under­stand­ing to use dif­fer­ent exam­ples, to com­mu­ni­cate that knowl­edge in a way which was eas­i­er for him to assim­i­late and learn. I enjoyed teaching. 

But, my ref­er­ences of what it is like to be a teacher and what kind of peo­ple they are was more akin to Pink Floy­d’s The Wall — repres­sive, oppres­sive, self-right­eous (mind you one or two were awesome). 

“Hey, Teacher! Leave them kids alone…”

This pre­vent­ed me from ever con­sid­er­ing a career teach­ing and shar­ing knowl­edge… So I end­ed up in Mar­ket Research, an indus­try I worked at for 15 years! The last 5 years I worked in this indus­try I was run­ning a BU in 86 coun­tries, cre­at­ing prod­ucts, train­ing and sup­port­ing the teams all over the world. And you know what? I enjoyed the train­ing and teaching. 

We had an year­ly event called Mar­ket­ing School, in which we gath­ered for a week in a region­al hub and I spent the week train­ing dif­fer­ent peo­ple from the region, teach­ing them. I real­ly enjoyed it! 

As I left Uni­ver­si­ty and start­ed to work I met some incred­i­ble teach­ers and over the years I start­ed to change my view of it… To a point where the more I learned and improved, the more I want­ed to be able to share that with oth­ers, to help them reach the insights, to guide peo­ple so that they can form their opin­ions, so they can have more infor­ma­tion to make their own decisions. 

Only there was no WAY I was going to be like a teacher like that one above… And then it all changed for a met some­one who showed me that teach­ing was not what I had learned up to that point.

DeRose and Jaya

It was Pro­fes­sor DeRose (pic­tured here with his faith­ful four legged angel, Jaya).

There are many rea­sons for this inspi­ra­tion. Par­tial­ly it was because the top­ic he teach­es is fas­ci­nat­ing: an approach to liv­ing that allows you to be more pro­duc­tive at work, to work bet­ter with oth­ers, to feel more ener­gy and focus, to max­i­mize how you per­form as a human…

And beyond… his style of teach­ing, him as a per­son, his atti­tudes, his pres­ence. I’d love to emu­late some of that. 

So in 2008 I start­ed teach­ing. Wow… the more you teach the more you learn! For me teach­ing is not to spew infor­ma­tion, rather, I feel that a suc­cess­ful teacher is the one who can com­mu­ni­cate most effec­tive­ly, who can weave the infor­ma­tion to suit the stu­dents. For me, teach­ing is a passion. 

Before I met DeRose there was a phrase that I asso­ci­at­ed with teach­ing… As far I as I am aware this phrase was from GB Shawn… “He who can, does. He who can­not, teaches.” 

Yet, DeRose is a liv­ing proof that this say­ing is BS… He has built glob­al net­work of entre­pre­neur­ial teach­ers that have busi­ness­es in 13 dif­fer­ent coun­tries in Europe, US and South Amer­i­ca. He was the ulti­mate exam­ple that.. “He who guess­es, tries. But he who knows, does and teaches…” 

This was a fun­da­men­tal les­son in my life! It changed every­thing. No longer did I need to ignore that side of me who want­ed to share infor­ma­tion with oth­ers, no longer did I frown upon peo­ple who chose to live their lives as teach­ers. No longer did this car­ry a stig­ma… the result was nat­ur­al — I start­ed to invest MUCH more in being a good teacher, in the skills required to help oth­ers under­stand my mes­sage, train­ing how to com­mu­ni­cate ideas so that oth­ers could reach conclusions. 

Think about what an amaz­ing skill this is! Would lead­ers not be more effec­tive if they were also teach­ers? Would com­mu­ni­ca­tion at work and at home not improve if you could com­mu­ni­cate more effec­tive­ly? Are these not fun­da­men­tal tools every­one should know to achieve their objec­tives more quick­ly? And then I had a major life event… my wife and I had a baby boy. As I write this he is almost a year and a half and as far as I can tell, the skill set I learned and devel­oped as a teacher has been fun­da­men­tal in bring­ing up a cool like guy!

So what is your expe­ri­ence? Were the teach­ers in your life oppres­sors or influencers?