For many years, we at The Conover Company have grouped sales orientation with leadership. The two are fundamentally the same. Leadership is the ability to clearly express to others your vision or ideas about how to do something, get them to accept and do it on their own. Sales orientation is really leadership; it is the ability to sell your ideas, thoughts and feelings to others. It is the act of getting others to accept or go along with what you are selling.

Leadership, MTSS and Social/Emotional Learning

Multi-Tiered System of Supports or MTSS is a term used to describe an evidence-based model of schooling that uses data-based problem solving to integrate academic and behavioral instruction and intervention (Florida’s MTSS Project). This definition brings together the worlds of academic instruction and behavioral intervention.

The MTSS movement is catching on because you cannot separate academic performance from social/emotional learning. The eighth step in our Success Profiler’s Personal Skills Map®, our core assessment for emotional intelligence, is Sales Orientation/Leadership.

Sales orientation/leadership is a relatively sophisticated social/emotional skill. It requires the development of all of the skills under it (Step 1–Step 7). It is the combination, as well as the application, of these more basic social/emotional skills. In order for an individual to learn leadership skills one must first possess:

  • Self-Esteem is your level of satisfaction with your current attitudes, beliefs and general behavior.
  • Interpersonal Assertion is to be able to insist on one’s rights in a positive or good way.
  • Interpersonal Awareness is the ability to show a true understanding of yourself and others and deep knowledge of your own thoughts and feelings. It is a skill that helps us get along with others.
  • Empathy is the ability to communicate and lead by understanding the thoughts, views and feelings of others.
  • Drive Strength/Motivation is the skill of learning, understanding and using your desire to reach school, job and personal goals.
  • Decision Making is using problem solving skills to discover and choose a course of action most likely to get the best results and that others may follow.
  • Time Management is being able to use your time (and others time) well and to finish things you have to do.

All seven of these skills measured by our Personal Skills Map build upon each other, much like steps, leading to sales orientation/leadership. Skip a step and things fall apart.

It is easy to see why leadership is important for a teacher. Leadership is a core element in gaining students’ confidence and respect by the teacher. Without it, the learning experience is greatly weakened. Perhaps one of the most important as well as difficult tasks a good teacher has is to help create a reason to learn for students. Subject matter experts are not teachers unless they can create this connection. This is especially true for at-risk students. This connection I am speaking of comes from leadership or the ability to clearly express your vision or idea of how to do something to others and get them to accept it and do it on their own.

Leadership is Not Just for Teachers

Just as leadership is needed by the teacher, it is also needed by the student. Did you ever hear someone say the best way to learn something is to teach it to others? No, I am not advocating that all your students will become teachers. What I am saying is that in the learning process it is important for each student to clearly express his or her vision of how to do something to others and get them to accept it and do it on their own. By the way, this last statement is our definition of leadership.

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