5 Leadership Myths De-BunkedMar 24, 2021
As a teacher, writer and coach on the subject of leadership, I encounter many conflicting opinions on the subject. There are also some beliefs that are simply outdated, as in “so last year!” It is time to put these myths to bed once and for all.
- Leaders are born, not made. True only because of the fact that we are all born. Leadership can be taught, it can be learned and it takes most of us a lifetime to become an effective, influential leader. And, it’s worth the effort because of the amount of good you can do for others in the process. True, there are some people who have innate common sense, good judgment and great instincts, but even these can be further developed. Leaders are learners, first, foremost and always. The attitudes, behaviors, competencies and perspective that makes for an effective leader evolve continuously.
- The right position, title or credentials make you a leader. Not so. There are unfortunately many people in a position of leadership that are misplaced, if not downright dangerous to the organization and to the people who are trying to serve it. And people that need to wield their title or credentials to “prove” that they are in charge are simply ineffective. It may work as long as people feel they have no choice, but there will be a mass exodus when they do have a choice. People don’t quit jobs, they quit people.
- Leadership comes with certain inalienable rights. Only in the mind of someone on an ego trip. Personal power is so much more effective than positional power. Working to develop your leadership ability and credibility from the inside out is what works as a sustainable model of leadership development. In order to be a better leader, you must learn to be a better person. And, you must continually “earn the right” to lead others.
- You should lead everyone the same way in order to be fair. This idea is simply obsolete. The most effective way to lead is one person at a time. Making the effort to know each of your team members, what make them unique, how to help them be their best version and make their best contribution is leadership at its best. In order to do this, you need to be able to meet them where they are--not where you are or want them to be—and work from there. It is worth the effort.
- Your work is done when…..The reality is your work is never done. You can always improve as a leader by committing to your own continual growth. You can always have a greater impact on more people. On the path of leadership there are always people ahead of you from whom you can learn and people behind you whom you can help. And the biggest rewards for leaders come from watching someone excel beyond your own level of performance and achievement. That is simply the best payback.
Which of these myths do you need to cast aside?
And where do you need to focus your own development?
How are you perceived as a leader? What’s your reputation?
If you need help to develop your leadership ability and credibility, let’s talk! I will help you determine the best way to focus your time, energy and attention in becoming a more effective, more influential leader.
Schedule a Discovery Session with Cheryl