One thing I learned in obtaining a master’s in leadership is that defining leadership is difficult. John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence.” I love that simple definition. Still, I have observed that there are many myths when it comes to even what that means.
Here are some 7 of my favorite myths about leadership:
A position makes one a leader – Some believe that simply having a big or fancy title makes one a leader. Not true. I’ve known many people with a position whom no one was truly following. They may give out orders and command a certain obedience, but no one is willingly following their lead.
If I’m not hearing anyone complain, everyone must be happy – The fact is that sometimes the leader is the last to know about a problem. Some people are intimidated by leadership. Other times, they don’t know how to approach the leader, so they complain to others, but not the leader.
I can lead everyone the same way – Actually, people are different and require different leadership styles.
Leadership and management are the same thing – Great organizations need both, but they are not equal and they require different skills.
Being the leader makes you popular – The truth is, many times the opposite is true. Leaders can be very lonely people.
Leaders must be extroverted charismatics – Not true. Some of the best leaders I know are very introverted and subdued. Leadership is about influence. If someone is trustworthy, dependable and going somewhere, others will follow.
Leaders accomplish by controlling others – Absolutely not. That’s not leadership, that’s dictatorship. Effective leaders encourage others to lead, be creative, and take ownership and responsibility for accomplishing the vision.
What other myths about leadership have you observed?