What Does Teaching a Man to Fish have to Do with Leadership – Behind the Scenes

Leadership is a never-ending process if you do it right. There is always another level of growth for those that you lead. I talked to a client the other day about the quote that starts, “teaching a man to fish.” Many believe that leadership is about serving your people. I agree. However, some don’t understand that it is not about telling them what to do, but leadership is about leading them to figure it out. The Chinese proverb about giving a man a fish vs. teaching him to fish is a powerful way to look at leadership. In this short video, you will see what I mean. Here is to you teaching a man to fish in your role as a leader.

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Teaching a Man to Fish: The Transcript

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Today, I want to start the episode with a quote, you’ve probably heard this quote before. But I want to talk about it in a way that we get to understand what it means for us as leaders. Here’s the quote, give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

That quote is something you’ve probably heard maybe had associated with the Bible. Some people have it associated with Chinese Proverbs. But here’s the key behind this, I want you to think about what that means inside your job as a leader to your team. Because many times we grow into our roles as leaders, by telling people how to do their job, what to do next, making decisions for them, and giving them you know, the guidance that we feel like they need and in some cases, they do need it. But this is where we are earlier in our stage as leadership. As we begin to evolve, we begin to mature, we begin to understand that we can actually connect with people and we get them to get more done through people, not just through our own intelligence and sheer hard work.

So this quote is really about that journey of leadership. You can give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for the day, you get that right. You tell him what to do, you helped him at that moment. But then they come back to you wanting to know what’s next. And if you solve that problem, they’ll come back to you again, going what’s next, if you solve that problem, they’ll come back to you again, and say what’s next. That is something that you want to try to evolve beyond inside your culture inside your own leadership is you don’t want to give that person a fish every time, you want to make sure you teach them how to fish, you want to teach them how to think strategically, how to have difficult conversations when necessary, they need to work out some challenges with their team, you want to teach them how to do this, one of the best ways I know to do it is to become more of a coach inside your role instead of a Dewar.

The doer is someone who is able to see a problem and fix it. I talked to a lot of leaders who say they’re It’s natural for them to fix the problem, they can see it quickly, they can come up with different options. And they can filter through all the risk in their head. And they can absolutely tell the employees what to do next. But the hardest thing to do is to pull back, slow down and actually become a leader in the situation and ask those employees, which do they think they should do next? How do you get to get them to look at the risk associated with these decisions? How do you look at the options? How do you get them to have the confidence and courage to move forward?

Well, I believe it’s by teaching them to fish or in other words, coaching them along their journey of leadership because if you solve every problem for them, you will get people who will come back to you ready to solve the next problem. But if you teach them how to solve their own problems, they begin to become self-motivated, self-inspired to absolutely see the problems and address that themselves. And in many cases, they are able to do that without involving you at all, which is really what you’re looking for as your company continues to grow. And you become the visionary leader that you know you need to be. I share this with you because this is a concept that if you really understand what it is, we’ll help you evolve as a leader.

My job is to work with founders, CEOs, and their teams to have them grow beyond they are today. And I want to help you with all these little solo messages and all the things that we do with the content of the interviews that we do at Growth Think Tank. When you think of leadership and you think of culture, make sure you think up Growth Think Tank, as always leave with courage. We’ll see you next time.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

teaching a man to fish



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