Myths About Leadership That Need to Stop
Don’t worry if you don’t think you are a ‘great leader’ naturally. It’s perfectly fine to feel that there are others out there better suited to leadership roles and in fact few of us see ourselves as being natural born leaders until we are thrust into the role.
The good news is that most leaders are made rather than born and that means you can develop the necessary skills ‘on the job’ as it were. Part of this will mean doing your research, which you’re doing right now… well done!
Unfortunately though, what doesn’t help matters is that there is a lot of misinformation out there making things harder for us. There are a lot of prevailing myths about leadership that doing nothing other than steer us onto the wrong course. Here are a few of the worst…
Being a Leader Involves Shouting
One thing that people think is that being a leader means ‘being in charge’ and that this in turn means stamping down their authority and shouting at people to reprimand them when necessary.
But while this might have been true in the 50s, it’s a wildly outdated approach today. For starters, shouting simply makes you appear out of control and emotional – rather than calm and collected.
Moreover, shouting suggests that you are in charge of someone else; you aren’t. All you are is in a position where you get to choose the next course of action. This is due to an agreement between you and the person you are instructing and they can choose to terminate that agreement at any time, as can you. Treat people with respect, even when they’re not listening to reason.
Leaders Should be ‘One of the Guys’
Conversely though, it is not pertinent to try and be ‘mates’ with your team. While that might sound appealing, the reality is that it will lead to more problems. It makes it harder when you have to make tough decisions, it can lead to accusations that your personal feelings are getting in the way and it can sometimes cross a line into disrespect. Be friendly but try to separate business and pleasure at least in the office.
Being a Leader Means Being Bold and Brave
Being a leader does not mean you have to be bold and brave. It doesn’t mean you need to have wide shoulders and a massive chest, or infinite confidence.
All leaders are human (except Optimus Prime) and that means they have weaknesses, character flaws and self-doubt just like everyone else. Being a leader is not about who you are but is about what you do!