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Do You Do, or Do You Teach?

Careful, choose wisely.

There’s an old expression that asserts that those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach.
So much for management consultants….

It’s often bandied about by careerists who may feel they have little to learn from those who teach, since, “Hey, if you know what works, why aren’t you doing it yourself, instead of teaching it??”

As is often the case, there’s truth on both sides, for as much as you may have met people who teach but you know can’t do, you likely have met people who think they can, but ultimately don’t.

Instead of debating the merits of either side of the argument, let’s combine the two into a better proverb:

Those who can, both do and teach.

Too many leaders and managers focus too much on doing, and not enough on teaching, i.e., developing talent.  And companies and organizations continue to complain about not being able to readily find the talent and skills they need.

So, as you look forward to this year, how much time will you set aside to coach/mentor/train those less experienced than you? 

Can you find an hour a week?  That’s about 48 hours a year (assuming some time off), or the equivalent of six 8-hour work days.  Surely you’d have in impact with that.  And if you can’t devote an hour a week, how about 30 minutes?  That’s 24 hours a year, 3 work days.  Not too shabby.

So when it comes to developing talent, as a leader who can, you know it’s both; you need to teach and do it.

How much time will you devote to it in 2024?