While there is much emphasis on leadership development these days, some myths on what constitutes a good leader still abound. Here are 5 commonly held misconceptions:
Myth #1 Leaders are born with the ability to lead
Everyone of us has the potential to lead. It just depends on the environment we work in or how we have been brought up. The quality of a good leader is someone who cares about others.
Myth #2 Leaders are charismatic
It is natural that most people think that to be a good leader you have to be rather charismatic and a good orator. No doubt they are plus points but there have been many leaders in history who have been rather quiet and nondescript. It is not about how loud you are and how much technical knowledge you have, it is about how good your people’s skills are.
Myth #3 Leaders are the most senior and highly ranked person
True leaders are not based on position or rank. How often have you come across leaders who take the right action, perform well and have the ability and effectiveness to lead people far better than those who are sitting in positions of authority? Quite often, the wrong people are put in leadership roles just because of seniority and this usually results in a demoralized organisation. Some companies actually wait and see who are the leaders who emerge from the organisation. These are the people who usually have a good following because people respect and have confidence in them.
Myth #4 You need to control, coerce and manipulate to be a good leader
True leadership isn’t about the past and leveraging on past victories. It is about the future and a good leader is one who is able to help people become better than they are. They do this by creating a work environment and attracts, sustains and motivates its employees.
Myth #5 Leaders need to have a string of degrees
Having a good education doesn’t necessarily mean you will be a good leader. Experience from the ground up has proven to be the best teacher for leadership. The people who have had front line experience will know better how to manage interactions and to deal with conflicts because they have on the ground experience.
Hope these myths about leadership will help you look at your employees from a different perspective and that you will be able to spot those with the raw potential to groom for leadership excellence.