Intelligent leaders foster cultures in their organizations that empower, motivate, and engage people. By educating and empowering employees, they cover their future leadership needs and allow employees to assume psychological ownership of their work. Student-centric, collaborative, project-focused methods can support and sustain a healthy organizational culture.

Intelligent leaders support, empower, and motivate employees. They also aim to create organizational cultures focused on leadership coaching where everyone teaches and mentors everyone else, making it easy for talented, high-potential individuals to organically emerge as the leaders of the future.

Education and various teaching methods are integral parts of such company cultures.


Education is part and parcel of a healthy organizational culture. 

Strong leaders are aware of the teaching methods modern education values and how these methods fit the cultures of organizations.

The Teacher-Centric Approach and Authoritarian Leadership

The leadership paradigm of the industrial age was a leader-centered one. Characterized by rigid, vertical hierarchies, employee education under this paradigm was teacher centric.

Assuming the role of the teacher, the leader controls the process by assigning work to employees, supervising them, and meting out praise or scolding as the situation demands.

This approach to education creates passive employees entirely dependent on their leaders for work, satisfaction, and management. Employee empowerment has little role in this setup. Therefore, the teacher-centric method does not suit the context and requirements of intelligent leadership.

The Student-Centric Approach

Handing employees control over what they learn and how they do it, the student-centric teaching approach does not rely on micromanagement. As such, it encourages people to cooperate in well-defined groups while allowing them the freedom to move between groups.

This approach to education empowers employees, motivating them to do their best and find the best possible solutions. The student-centric approach eliminates rigid vertical hierarchies, instead stretching them out horizontally.

Behavior problems may sabotage this employee-motivating system. However, leadership coaching always ties empowerment to accountability. Empowerment tends to breed a sense of responsibility among employees.

The Project-Centric Approach 

Project-centric learning is student-centric learning with the added benefit of focusing the learning process on projects. Projects put employees to the test requiring specific research, critical thinking, creative problem-solving, old-fashioned learning, and decision-making.

Nothing empowers and motivates employees more than delegating decision-making to them. When people make decisions, they automatically assume psychological ownership over them. When they’re emotionally and intellectually involved in a project, they feel motivated to see it to come to completion.

Collaborative Learning

Yet another spin on the employee-centric teaching approach, collaborative learning focuses on developing social skills and more effective problem-solving in groups. In a way, executive coaching is an exercise in collaborative learning and problem-solving as well.

leadership coaching

Leadership coaching is a cooperative relationship. 

The coach and the client partner and pool their skills and mental resources to achieve desired outcomes.

They must work together. Executive coaching is a collaborative relationship and not a patient-doctor relationship, as some laymen may regard it. From the perspective of executive coaching and business coaching, inquiry-based learning presents special interest.

Inquiry-Based Learning and Teaching

At its core, inquiry-based learning is the simple act of asking questions and drawing conclusions based on the answers. Ask around and you’ll never get lost, they say.

From the teacher’s perspective, inquiry-based teaching is a more subtle method of triggering critical thinking and problem-solving skills in students. It’s also the approach many leadership coaches use in their relationships with clients.

A leadership coach doesn’t give the client prepackaged answers and solutions to problems. Instead, the coach asks questions, and the answers guide clients to organic solutions.

The Flipped Classroom Approach 

This method hands the initiative to employees. Under this system, students learn new material at home under their own circumstances. They then discuss the material at school the following day.

The flipped classroom approach empowers and motivates employees to find solutions without supervision. Evaluation and analysis happen under supervision, but employees take care of the “bulk” of the work on their own.

Leaders may single out high-potential employees for personalized learning and teaching. Most modern approaches to motivating and educating employees fit the scope of intelligent leadership, however. Employee motivation always goes hand-in-hand with empowerment. When coupled with accountability, it is the best way to engage employees while offering them satisfaction in the work they do.


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