James Parr from Nasa, describes the most profound thing that has changed him – teaching.
“Teaching is by far the coolest, best thing I’ve ever done and it’s where I’ve got my most profound lessons as well.
The art of it is essentially giving someone the reward of discovery – getting people to a certain point, giving them the ingredients, but then letting them struggle through that, and getting that burst of dopamine that you get when you actually extend your reach, stretch for something and get there.
But it means changing the dynamic, you can’t always be liked. Actually, sometimes they might hate you because they don’t realise the lesson that you’re providing by actually getting them to push themselves, and this is essentially the same as being a leader.
You need to learn how to give people enough stuff to do their work but also for them to support them and provide that kind of nurturing environment where they can actually extend their reach and learn and then get confidence.
What doesn’t work as a boss is to say didactically, ‘Here’s the stuff. Do it, see me in two days.’ you’ve got to give some sort of shape to it, but you can’t actually do the work for them.”
This is an abridged transcript of the video lesson – watch the video for the full story!