Guidance or Directive Leadership?

The terms “guidance” and “directive” are not interchangeable. When someone guides a student or trainee, they inspire them, show them around, and accompany them. Someone who provides guidance demonstrates that they are knowledgeable and capable of assisting others. He is there to observe and interact, not to direct, so that the learner receives the appropriate education on site at the appropriate moment. Guidance is always given in an area where both the trainer and the trainee purposefully show a specific action. John Dewey, an American pragmatist and educational philosopher, advocated for experiential education rather than theoretical principles.

This is the story of mother Eagle. When the little ones are ready to fly, Mother Eagle takes them up into the sky one by one for flight training. She teaches them to fly, but they have a strong desire to stay on the nest, so she has to shake them out of their comfort zone a little. She carries them all the way to the top before letting them soar on their own. The mother Eagle, on the other hand, travels side by side to avoid free fall and a hard landing. She is also present to guide and protect. The young Eagles gain flying skills after repeated demonstrations and eventually fly without assistance. The mother Eagle teaches them how to hunt and dive when they pass the flying training. She puts it into practise and turns them into crafty predators.
We learn from the story that guidance is when we assist someone in realising their full potential. Little Eagles, for example, have the ability to fly, but they require the mother’s help to properly develop it. In today’s schools, guidance is a rare commodity. Schools fail to recognise pupils’ potential and instead bombard them with useless knowledge that has no bearing on their lives or talent development.

Students, including myself, would be the most successful in the world in everything we do if school professors were like the mother Eagle. Although there are some teachers that provide guidance, most, if not all, teachers are directive. A directive is something we convey or instruct without showing. True, it is simple to tell about anything, but it is really difficult to put into practise. Consider this for a moment: how many times have you been told but not shown? It’s difficult to find people who are good at guiding; they prefer to set rules and punish those who break them.

Directive has no place in authentic leadership since it is practice-oriented. The leader is present in guiding; he or she practically shows up and is invested in your future achievement, whereas the leader is not always present in directive. Leaders who are directive in nature may only see you once and tell you what to do and what not to do. Because it is about them, not you, failing to listen could cost you something. Guidance, on the other hand, is always about you and your personal growth and achievement. The leader makes an appearance for your benefit.

To summarise, leadership is extraordinary, and hence leaders are unique and dedicated to making the world a better place. There is a saying that says if you leave the world in the same condition as you found it, you are not a leader or have not yet realised your full potential; your entire life is a waste or worthless. Consider it a little longer!