Following and Being Instructable

2 important qualities that can help you achieve success personally and professionally

Roland Sankara
4 min readJan 20, 2023
Photo by Jamie Templeton on Unsplash

I recently attended a powerful session where my leader was sharing about the benefits of following and being instructable. The session was such an eye-opener for me, especially because of this one quote.

“We walk by common sense, we run by discipline and we fly by instruction”.

What stood out for me in this quote is that for us to fly, be it flying in the air with an aircraft or flying to greater levels of growth both personally and professionally, we must be willing to follow instructions if we are to achieve the kind of results we seek or to bear much fruit.

Following and Being Instructable: What does this mean?

Let’s step back to first understand what “following and being instructable” means.

Following refers to the ability to take direction and guidance from others. It involves being open to learning from others and willing to take on tasks and responsibilities as assigned. This can be especially important in a workplace, where being able to follow instructions is crucial for success.

Being instructable, on the other hand, refers to the ability to learn from instruction and guidance. It involves being receptive to feedback and willing to make changes and improvements based on that feedback. This can be important in any area of life, as it allows individuals to grow and develop their skills and abilities.

Together, following and being instructable can help individuals achieve success in a variety of different settings. By being able to take direction and guidance from others, and being open to learning from instruction and feedback, individuals can improve their abilities and increase their chances of achieving their goals.

If those people you ought to follow have the results you are looking for, it makes much sense to take their direction and guidance otherwise you’ll struggle trying to figure out things yourself and eventually won’t be able to achieve the results you need or even to get to their level.

It takes humility and being humble for one to accept to be guided and instructed on what to do.

The Bible speaks of this in John 21: 18.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” — John 21:18, ESV

Unfortunately, this is hard for many of us in this day and age where almost everyone wants to be known as self-made. But if we want to see certain results we need to follow and be instructable.

The Pilot and the Air Traffic controller

We all know or at least have heard of the extreme level of training pilots undertake to become professionals. However, in all their expertise, it’s surprising to learn that pilots consistently execute under instructions from the air traffic controller in the control tower and from several aviation checklists; during take-off, inflight, and landing. If a pilot dares to defy the instructions in favor of his instincts and knowledge, this can be very detrimental.

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Be careful about who you follow

In the end, we become a reflection or product of that which we follow and it’s thus also important to note that being able to question and challenge instructions and feedback is also important. Blindly following or accepting everything can lead to detrimental consequences. It’s important to use critical thinking and judgment to make sure that the instruction or feedback aligns with your values and goals.

In light of all this, it’s important to realize that to get to where you want to be or to achieve the results you want to see, you’ll need to be humble to accept guidance and learn from the instruction and feedback of those that have made it already.

When Jesus Christ invited His disciplines to follow Him in Mark 1:17,

And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” — Mark 1:17, ESV:

we see that His disciplines — those who chose to follow Him did extraordinary things throughout their lives all because of choosing to follow Jesus and being instructable.

In conclusion, following and being instructable are important qualities that can help us achieve success in both our personal and professional lives. By being open to learning from others and being willing to make changes and improvements based on the feedback we are provided, we can improve our abilities and increase our chances of achieving our goals.

I hope this was helpful and eye-opening to you as well. Please let me know of your thoughts in the comments section below.

Thank you.



Roland Sankara

Fullstack Web Developer | Technical Writer | Passionate about tech mentorship