Leaders have their work cut out for them. From keeping up with the current trends and data analyses to working out the optimal communication strategy, they always have something on their plate that needs attention. However, that is the responsibility they signed up for, and they are always happy to take it up.
Despite several diverse examples of leadership that prove otherwise, a few myths have emerged that continue to remain popular. The common theme between all of them is that they assume leaders to have special talents others lack that enable them to accomplish all they do.
The problem with these myths is that they make leadership appear to be more exclusive than it really is. This practice results in discouraging many people with the potential to become great leaders.
Myths about Leadership
To dismantle misconceptions, below are some of the most common leadership myths you and your team need to stop believing in.
Myth #1: People are Born Leaders
The most common misconception about leadership is that leaders are born not made. It assumes that only people born with a specific set of traits are capable of becoming successful leaders and, therefore, leadership potential is decided at birth.
This is completely false. While people may be born with predispositions that are compatible with leadership roles, all of these skills and traits can also be acquired. In short, people with the drive and ambition to assume a leadership position are also capable of becoming successful leaders.
Myth #2: There Is One Perfect Leadership Style
Another myth prevalent among business and non-business circles is that there is one perfect leadership style that will always be successful. This is again a common misconception because the only formula for successful leadership is adaptability.
Change is a constant part of the business world and the only leadership model that accommodates this reality is adaptive leadership. Adaptive leadership in itself does not believe in achieving success through a specific set of practices. Instead, it places value in adapting leadership style and method according to the situation.
Each crisis or change is unique and requires leaders to study it properly and create a solution that takes advantage of it.
Myth #3: Leaders Need to Be Extroverts
Extroverts are social, have an easier time interacting with people, and don’t mind being in the spotlight. That’s the criteria for successful leadership, right? Wrong. Both extroverts and introverts are equally capable of becoming successful leaders so long as they can inculcate the necessary skills within themselves.
Several of the most famous and successful leaders have been famous for their introverted personalities. Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, and Mahatma Gandhi were introverted, yet led impactful movements in their time.
In the modern context, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, and Barack Obama are all famous for their subdued and introverted personalities. However, their introversion does not make them any less impactful in their leadership compared to their extroverted counterparts.
Myth #4: All Managers are Leaders
People tend to use the words managers and leaders interchangeably, which is a huge mistake. While all leaders are potentially managers, not all managers make great leaders. Effective leadership is a combination of traits like critical thinking, empathy, adaptiveness, etc. that is not always present in a team manager.
While people in managerial positions have the potential to cultivate these skills, their ability to claim the leadership title depends on whether or not they do it. In fact, their subordinate has a good chance of becoming a leader if they can hone and develop their leadership skills.