Leadership is one of the topics I’ve been studying nearly my entire life. Not that I’m that old, but even as a teenager I loved reading books about leadership, especially those written by John C. Maxwell …no wonder I recently joined his team of coaches and trainers (wink-wink). Over the years I’ve noticed that there are many misconceptions about leadership. Let’s have a closer look at some of the top leadership myths today.
Myth #1: Great leaders are born, not made
We all have met somebody who believes this to be true. Simply, some people are born leaders, while others have to follow them. The truth is that not too many people remain the same as they were when they were born. We are shaped by people, circumstances, experiences and our surroundings. Leadership is a skill, not a disposition. You too can become a leader if you choose to become one. It might be easier for some than others, but leadership is for everyone.
Myth #2: Leadership comes with position
Some wish this was true, but… having a position doesn’t mean that you are a leader. You could be the boss or the manager, but if your team listens more to one of your subordinates, he or she is the true leader. You don’t need a title or proof of income to lead. We can see this in all levels of governments, school systems, even families. Leadership is about influence. When people allow you to influence their lives, you step into a leadership role.You don't need a title or proof of income to lead. Click To Tweet
Myth #3: Leadership comes with age
Gone are the times when being older meant that people must pay attention to you. More than ever before we’re seeing the younger generation stepping into leadership, having incredible influence and changing the face of our reality. Don’t ever think that your age, skin color, education level, background or anything else can hold you back from becoming a great leader. You are the only one who can hold you back. Leadership is a choice and each of us can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to it.Leadership is a choice and each of us can say YES or NO to it. Click To Tweet
Myth #4: Leaders don’t make mistakes
It’s not absence of mistakes that makes a great leader. In fact, they might be perceived as making more mistakes than others because the decisions they make are more visible. It’s their ability to learn from their mistakes and move forward that helps them to keep growing. Remember, nobody is perfect and mistakes are apart of life at every position or stage of life.Nobody is perfect and mistakes are part of life at any position or stage of life. Click To Tweet
Myth #5: Leaders treat everyone the same
This is where most people get stuck. The truth is, that great leaders pay attention to people around them and treat them uniquely depending on their talent, skills, strengths, the value they bring to their team, their motivations for better performance and more. Great leaders understand that sameness is not human nature.
Myth #6: Leaders want attention
This is a tricky one. It’s partially true. Let me explain. No, leaders do NOT seek attention for themselves. This isn’t on their agenda. They are passionate about something – an idea, a project, a thing. They want attention for “that thing”. They want others to notice, to pay attention. They want to impact the world with “that thing”.Leaders aren't looking for attention, but to impact the world. Click To Tweet
Myth #7: Leaders know everything
This is a big one! The best leaders understand that they don’t know everything. They most likely have a vision, a purpose and a sense of direction. But they still learn from others, value personal growth and invest in themselves. The best leaders aren’t afraid to admit they don’t know everything.
Question: Have you faced any of the above leadership myths in your life? What other leadership myths have you come across?
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