In This Episode You’ll Learn:
- Why good teachers make good leaders — and vice versa
- How to determine during the hiring process if a candidate has the traits you need
- Why trust is fundamental to innovation
Francois never set out to be a teacher. Actually, his own teacher discouraged from becoming one. Nevertheless, his love of science and his natural gift for making complicated concepts digestible landed him teaching 15 year-olds after college — and he absolutely loved it.
Today, Francois has started multiple companies that use technology to assist teachers in their journey. His goal: Make teachers’ lives better.
Create A Space For Thinking
Francois has trained over 1400 teachers and has spoken at countless events in recent years. Needless to say, he’s interacted with a ton of people. He has learned that great teachers make great leaders, and vice versa.
[17:24] “One of the biggest things . . . that I think teachers do or people with great leadership capabilities do is they create a substrate for thinking. They create spaces for people to share their ideas in such a way that ideas can proliferate.”
Strong leaders and teachers let their coworkers and students ask questions — and create environments that inspire questions.
Focus On Strengthening Strengths
Francois believes that everyone has a “superpower” or a specific skill at which they excel. He also holds that all skills can be taught, and that focusing on honing one’s strengths is more valuable than identifying weaknesses — though improving weaknesses deserves attention, as well.
[23:09] “We spend so much time [trying to discover our weaknesses] that we neglect our superpowers.”
When we focus on our strengths, that allows us to collaborate better with our team. Problems can’t be solved if everyone has the same strengths and weaknesses. As the Avengers demonstrate, collaboration requires complementarity among a team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Hire The Right Skills
While there is no surefire way of knowing whether a potential hire possesses the skills your team needs, Francois recommends that hiring entities put their candidates to the test. Limit traditional interviewing. Have candidates record their own video interview. He also recommends:
[32:33] “If you want to determine whether somebody has got a skill or not, I’d say put them in the job.”
Give the candidate a day’s pay and put them with the people they would be working with. Your team will be able to pick up on nuances that may otherwise go unnoticed in a traditional interview.
Build Relationship And Trust
Francois says his own reluctance to stick to the rules has served him well during his career as a teacher. This attribute allowed him to put the student first and to challenge them to do more than what was expected.
It also elucidated a new understanding of leadership for Francois. He says leadership should be spoken about more frequently in terms of improving people’s lives and making an impact that remains even in your absence.
He affirms that people who lead with a lasting impact do two things:
- They develop a relationship with the people who follow them
- They build trust
[43:12] “I believe that trust creates thrust.”
When your team trusts you and knows what to expect from you, they can launch into new ideas and extraordinary things can happen.