There are many different types of leaders. Unfortunately, we often get caught up in thinking we must be exactly like our heroes.
Emulating others has some value. But it’s more beneficial to understand exactly who you are and what your limitations are.
This can also help you identify resources and people who can help you with challenges outside of your expertise.
It’s easy to buy into lies, so here are eight myths about being a leader you shouldn’t embrace:
1. You Need To Know It All
Being a know-it-all has certain problems. Inevitably, someone will clue in to the fact that you’re lying, or just pretending to know something you don’t.
A good leader admits when they don’t know something. But they also have access to people or resources that can provide them with answers.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is what makes you a great leader.
2. You Need To Be Born A Great Leader
Some of the most successful people in the world have gone on record to say they made it to where they are because of their genetics.
There was even an article published on Daily Mail Online that stated, “Research shows that much of our predisposition towards determination, sociability and self-control and sense of purpose is in our genes.”
This is simply untrue. A leader can be made, and in most cases, is made.
Leadership is a skill that can be learned and taught.
3. You Must Be A Certain Age To Be A Leader
You don’t have to look much further than Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg to know this isn’t the case.
People at a certain age are sometimes put into leadership roles because of their experiential merits, but leadership isn’t all about position.
You can lead from behind, and the greatest leader isn’t always the person with the fanciest title.
4. You Must Be Perfect
Leadership expert John C. Maxwell has a book titled The 360 Degree Leader. This might have you thinking you must do everything in your power to be a perfect leader to remain a leader.
Fortunately, Maxwell also has a book titled Failing Forward. This is what every leader should aspire to do: take risks, make mistakes, and learn from their errors.
It’s your ability to adjust that matters most.
5. A Position Makes You A Leader
Most people think leadership is positional. In other words, when a person is promoted or elevated to a certain position, that’s what makes them a leader.
Unfortunately, this can breed “leaders” who just boss people around instead of building influence and co operation.
Leaders need to lead by example. So being a “boss” could be detrimental to your career as a leader.
6. Leaders Treat Everyone The Same Way
Leaders should take time to get to know the people on their team.
They should know their strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations. They should know the value each member brings to the table.
Though favoritism can be a problem, it’s important for leaders to adjust their approach depending on the individual they’re dealing with, as not everyone is motivated by the same thing.
7. You Must Come Up With All Ideas and Solutions
Leaders tend to take on unnecessary burdens because they assume they were made a leader because of their problem-solving ability.
True, a leader should be a good problem solver. But they should also know how to make the best use of their resources.
Leaders should not fear turning to their team members or mentors for creative ideas and resolutions.
8. Leaders Must Please Everyone
This is a dangerous assumption. Some leaders do have people pleasing tendencies. But for better or for worse, you will be faced with difficult decisions.
You must realize there’s no way to keep everyone happy.
You must make decisions that are right for the company, not just decisions that are aligned with certain individuals.
Don’t Get Caught Up In The Myths
There are a lot of harmful assumptions around leadership.
Ultimately, being a good leader is a challenge, and it requires a commitment to ongoing self-development.
If you’re on a growth trajectory, and you’re teachable, you will keep improving as a leader. Growth takes time, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep learning.
Which Myths Should Leaders Avoid?
If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
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