Popular Myths About Leadership and How to Overcome Them

Leadership is bestowed on whoever is willing to make decisions and take responsibility for the consequences. This article comes from Entrepreneur.

Popular Myths About Leadership and How to Overcome Them

It’s easy to misconstrue and have a misconception of what a leader is and isn’t. With that in mind, here are the most popular myths about leadership so that you can discover new opportunities and effectively take charge of your team.

1. Entrepreneurial leadership.

There’s an assumption that all entrepreneurs are natural-born leaders. The reality is that just because you had a fantastic and timely idea doesn’t mean that you’re capable of organizing, operating, and scaling a business.

Even though you’re the “founder” of your business don’t automatically believe that you’re in the best position to be its leader. Leadership isn’t tied to a job description. It’s having a vision and getting others to buy into it, growing talent, listening, and influencing others.

If you don’t feel that you possess strong leadership qualities, then it’s best to check your ego at the door and hand the reins over to who does maintain the best skills in leadership.

2. Leaders can’t show vulnerability.

Perhaps one of the most prevalent myths is that leaders, no matter the situation, must dig-in and stand their ground. If they accept fault, change direction, or listen to others, then that’s a sign of weakness. Of course, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Strong leaders own their mistakes so that they can learn from them. They’re receptive to feedback — even when it’s negative. They don’t have all the answers. And, they show-off their humanity by listening and caring for their employees.

3. A great leader is cold, fierce, and omnipotent.

I’m sure at some point you’ve worked with a leader who is a know-it-all. They act tough, talk a big game, and separate themselves from the rest of the team. Now, think about your performance while under this individual? I bet you weren’t as productive and motivated as you could have been, right?

Employees want their leaders to care for them genuinely. They want to feel respected. And, the employee wishes for their thoughts and concerns to be listened to with kindness. The best way to sharpen these leadership skills is by boosting emotional intelligence.

4. Extroverted leaders are preferred.

What’s the difference between extroverts and introverts? Most people believe an extrovert is how they act in social settings. Extroverts are thought to be more outgoing and confident. Introverts are considered shy and withdrawn. However, being extroverted or introverted has more to do with how we process information.

The reality is that not all extroverts are cut-out to be leaders. Just because you’re not the head of a department or comfortable in crowds doesn’t mean that you should sell yourself short. You may still possess the right leadership skills to inspire others.

5. There’s not enough time to develop leadership skills.

As with any skill worth having, it takes time to develop. Using the “no time” is a poor excuse. We all have the same 24-hours in a day. And, we’re all swamped. Somehow, plenty of other leaders can deepen their leadership skills without a problem.

The problem isn’t that there aren’t enough hours in the day. It’s that you aren’t managing your time correctly. For example, waking-up 30-minutes earlier, batching related work, or delegating less critical tasks to others could free-up extra time. You can then use this time to read, take a course, or work with a coach or mentor.

6. Leadership is synonymous with management.

Assuming that leadership is synonymous with good management is another common myth about leadership. Adequate direction and guidance cannot always be equated with a good commander. There are some reasonably significant distinctions between these two roles, such as:

  • Leaders create a vision; managers establish goals.
  • Managers maintain the status quo, while leaders are agents of change.
  • Leaders are self-aware and unique. Managers copy others and adapt and adopt others’ leadership style.
  • Managers control or avoid risk and problems, while leaders are willing to take risks.
  • Leaders keep focused on the big picture. Managers work on short-term goals.
  • Leaders learn something new every day; managers rely on their existing talents.
  • Managers build systems, while leaders construct relationships.
  • Leaders coach; managers assign tasks and provide guidance.
  • Managers have employees. Leaders, on the other hand, have loyal and dedicated fans.

If you have a team with multiple or complex goals, it’s important to know the difference between leadership and management.

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