Great Leadership Requires a Teachable Spirit

In chapter 7 of his recently published book titled Sometimes You Win – Sometimes You Learn, John Maxwell addresses the critical importance of a teachable spirit and a consistent, lifelong personal and professional attitude of teachability.


Maxwell writes, “people often ask me what most determines if they will reach their potential. My answer: a teachable spirit.” 


Maxwell defines teachability as “possessing the intentional attitude and behavior to keep learning and growing throughout life.”


Author and speaker John Naisbitt once said “No one subject or set of subjects will serve you for a foreseeable future, let alone the rest of your life.” That includes leadership. Even if we know something very well, it will not serve us forever. We must continue learning and expanding our skills, knowledge and wisdom.


Maxwell writes,


“You must have a teachable spirit. If you don’t, you will come to the end of your potential long before you come to the end of your life. If you want to be successful tomorrow, then you must be teachable today. You need more than a great mind for learning. You need to have a great heart for learning.”


As never before, all leaders—including healthcare leaders—must humbly, openly, and consistently demonstrate and model a teachable spirit. Teachability is a critical element of a successful culture. And it starts at the top!


NielsenCopyright © 2014 by Dan Nielsen –

National Institute for Healthcare Leadership –

America’s Healthcare Leaders –


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