16 Myths About Leadership Select the ones you can do to enhance your own leadership skills.
Leadership refers to the ability of a person to motivate and inspire other persons towards a common goal. His role as a leader is crucial in maximizing and integrating the potential of available resources. We nurture certain misconceptions about leadership. Knowing what these misconceptions are helps us understand what leadership is really about and enables us to build effective leadership skills.
Myth 1: Leaders are born and not made This is the first and most common of all myths about leadership. Though some people have innate leadership qualities, it is rare. Mostly, leaders are made by their circumstances. The extraordinary circumstances that surround them propel them to become effective leaders. When it comes to the corporate world, you can learn leadership skills by consistent efforts.
Myth 2: Leaders know everything It is not true that leaders know everything under the sun. What leaders do have is a vision and a sense of direction. They too learn from others.
Myth 3: Leaders are infallible Leaders do make mistakes like all humans do. In fact, they could even appear to commit more mistakes than all of us because they take more visible decisions at every stage than others do. However, what differentiates good leaders from others is that they are candid in admitting their mistakes and in learning lessons from them.
Myth 4: Leaders only give orders Leaders do not always give orders, though the position they are in requires them to do so. More often, they inspire others to do what is required of them in a given situation.
Myth 5: Leaders are charismatic Charisma is not the absolute quality of a leader. Leaders are often followed because they are respected for their hard work, integrity, ideas, and commitment.
Myth 6: Leaders have imposing personalities Leaders need not have impressive personalities. Though, sometimes, this does help attract people. What leaders do posses is the ability to influence people even if they don’t have a distinguished personality.
Myth 7: Leadership comes with age There is no specific age to become an effective leader. People become effective leaders with what they learn from their past experience, not just with increasing age.
Myth 8: Leaders possess absolute power Not true always. Their true effectiveness is measured by their ability to command a following without wielding absolute power. Leadership is not tyranny. Bad leaders resort to strong arm tactics when their leadership fails and so end up creating followers. But if leadership succeeds, it creates leaders.
Myth 9: Leaders never delegate important stuff Leaders do delegate the right work to the right person. They share work and responsibilities judiciously and get the job done. And this in no way undermines their credibility. In fact, as I said earlier, they pave the way for new leaders to emerge.
Myth 10 : Leaders treat everyone the same The Leaders must treat people in a team in ways that are consistent with who they are as people. This involves gaining an understanding of their different goals, their talents and skills, their intelligence profile, and what motivates them toward better performance.
Myth 11 : Leaders should not get too close with team. Forming close relationship, even friendships, is the key to effective leadership. It is only here that a leader really gets to know and understand his or her team members at deep enough levels to genuinely help them be the best they can be.
Myth 12 : Leaders select people who have past experience Select for talent. Past experience, intelligence, and determination are not as relevant as what a person loves to do and what they, by nature, do very well.
Myth 13 : Leaders should focus on what has failed Most of the leaders focus their efforts on diagnosing what’s wrong, what’s not working, or what has failed and finding ways to fix it. They must realize that failure and excellence are not two sides of a single coin. They are different realities and are NOT causally related. The leaders should focus on excellence – on what’s working, on what’s succeeding, and on what’s right.
Myth 14 : Leaders help everyone “broaden their skill sets”. A focus on broadening skill sets does not create a strong team. Strong teams happen when each member is doing what they do best. The leader's job is to help each person on the team perform the skills and play the roles for which they are best suited.
Myth 15 : Leaders should control their people Instead of finding the weaknesses in their people and help them overcome or strengthen their weak areas, leaders must know that each person is delightfully unique. Their so-called “weaknesses” are a part of what makes them unique. Forget about trying to fix these. Instead focus on helping people excel in their strong areas. Find ways to help them become more and more of who they are.
Myth 16 : Leadership can be attained through study Leadership is about attitude and not about knowledge. Even if you study thousands of books, you cannot develop leadership skills until you inculcate the right attitude.
The misconceptions listed here are not what make you an influential leader but your ability to inspire a shared vision, facilitate collective efforts to reach a common objective and identify and nurture the right talent. Take your time in reading them. Inwardly digest them. Once you have realize the realities, start leading your team in the right way.
The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang. - Mary Kay Ash Thank You Very Much SompongYusoontorn