Leadership in the Studio
“You’re a leader in this Academy!” This is usually said when the student needs a push to step up their game. So, what makes a good leader?
A good leader is someone who is knowledgeable in the curriculum. People portraying strong leadership skills display confidence, show commitment, are outgoing, and care about the development of their students.
Instructors exhibit leadership qualities as they lead by example. They help those around them, whether it is a young student or a new instructor. A good leader is characterized by not being afraid of making mistakes. They know they are not perfect. These attributes are also depicted through asking clarifying questions and they are eager to learn something new every day. Leaders do drills repeatedly in order to practice and try to perfect their skills before moving on to a more complex drill. Good leaders and instructors should think in all three dimensions for teaching, which are: 1.) Learning the drill, 2.) Teaching the drill, and 3.) Better understanding the drill. This helps a leader better learn what and why they are teaching a drill a specific way.
Exemplary leaders and instructors show commitment and passion for what they teach and pursue. Leaders should act engaged with their students or peers when showing and teaching them a new or advanced drill. Leaders should be mentally and physically there for their students. Another key characteristic of a leader is a good attitude. They should smile, have fun, and be creative. This helps to capture the student’s attention and encourage them to do better.
Give praise to your students. Praises can be given verbally such as saying, “Good Job!” or physically by giving a high five or a fist bump. This, however, should only be given to the focused and hardworking students. A leader also shows care and compassion for their students. They do so by being patient. They also portray empathy, meaning they understand and share the feelings of others. In doing this, leaders are able to better relate, to motivate and influence a struggling student. As one of my instructors said, “It’s all about the students”. Leaders must have the determination to work hard, in order to properly guide others. Finally, good leaders in the school, live by the five tenets of Taekwondo.