Smart Leaders Honor Their Teachers: No Matter What!

Any smart and savvy leader knows that they cannot and did not achieve their success alone.  Yes, they usually have a team behind them.  That team must be phenomenal; motivated and laser like focused to achieve.  But today, I want to take this a different route. 

A leader does not become a great leader without the tutelage and guidance of the teachers they have had in their lives.  Too often previous teachers are treated as if they were old model T-Fords that have been discarded and left in the side of the driveway.  Little regard is shown while the newest model or teacher; all bright and shiny captures attention and garners accolades.

I’ve heard many people talk about their past teachers with disgust and distain blaming them for their mistakes and lack of success.  The comments range from quite personal attacks on their character, morality or physical stature.  To deep seeded resentments of feeling abandoned or left behind.

What is important to know is that each teacher; no matter if the experience was perceived as good or bad was placed in your life for you to learn a specific lesson.  Some of those lessons are technical:  systems, methods or operational techniques.  Other times they are lessons of integrity, personal power or spiritual connection and responsibility.  In other circumstances they can be lessons in what you need to resolve within yourself. Let’s face it, most of the time it’s the last one.  Which is the part many people don’t want to deal with.

The avenues and options for learning are limitless when you really think about it.  Each person has a customized curriculum for learning; of which they are usually completely not aware.  So the experience is highly individualized.

In “Awakening the Mind, Lightening the Heart” the Dalai Lama tells us that you are never to become angry with your teachers.  It represents the highest form of arrogance and disrespect.  These are very serious conditions and emotions.

I would like to offer a way to reframe something that may have occurred for you in one of these special relationships in your life. 

  1. First, not every teacher will or can fulfill all your requirements.  It is unreasonable for you to believe they can.  And it actually doesn’t matter why.
  2. Second, often times what you have been taught becomes foundational – so you may not see fruit “YET” but over time it will come in one way or another. 
  3. Third, when you cannot see what the lesson is on an emotional or spiritual level, wait for it.  Eventually it will be revealed to you.  But to do so, you must drop your resentments and anger to see what that truth is in your life.

Smart leaders honor their teachers no matter what.  They drop their need to make them “wrong” or “less than” and appreciate whatever has been taught via that relationship.

For me personally, I would like to take a moment to honor some of the teachers who have helped me to be here today. Not one of these people is perfect.  Not one of them could possibly give me ALL the ingredients I needed to unlock who I am or who I will continue to grown into.

In sharing this list; I am attempting to show you how they actually become an interlocking puzzle pieces that make up the whole.  And I will admit to you, that some of these lessons were QUITE painful until I stopped resisting.

  • Martha – who has helped me to learn to surrender and be courageous.
  • Caroline – who showed me that being brass and a bit ballsy on stage isn’t a bad thing!  It’s just the truth of who I am.
  • Donna – who showed me that you can actually be feminine and powerful in business. They are not exclusive.
  • David – who showed me what my true potential is and to trust myself no matter what
  • Marianne – who taught me that love is the baseline for ALL healing, change and shift in the world.
  • Liz – who helped me find my voice in my business
  • Stephanie – who helped me realize great stories, my stories, are my greatest teaching vehicle.
  • Ed – who told me to stop taking like a “coach” and express myself more authentically in the world (insert Texas accent here)
  • My father – who has taught me patience, acceptance and compassion for everything in my life
  • My mother – who taught me that it’s ok to be different than everyone else- and how to make a mean pot of spaghetti sauce! : D
  • And many many others!
    © 2009 NMS Communications, LLC All Rights Reserve

One Response to “Smart Leaders Honor Their Teachers: No Matter What!”

  1. Lisa Claudia Says:

    hi Maria-

    Loved this article- like you I have had many beloved teachers over many years, each of whom have shared powerful insights and gifts with me. After reading this, I made my own list of those who had guided me along the way and what lesson each had imparted. Thanks for the inspiration- I love the direction you are creating and know that many will put your name on their list of important gifted “teachers”.

    Love and every blessing to you-

    Breaking The Spell of Overeating;The Results You Crave

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