Everyone wants to be an inspirational leader for their peers. However, to be a true figurehead who leads an entire team towards success, you must always know how to separate facts about leadership from fiction, the myths from reality. And to help you be the best version of a leader, we bring you an entire list of the most commonly believed leadership myths that you need to debunk today.
Leadership: What It Truly Means?
Leading a team of enthusiastic and energetic employees is never an easy task. But that is the very essence of being a leader and leadership – you need to be able and prepared to inspire and manage others to act towards a common goal.
Leadership means having what it takes to inspire his fellow teammates, employees, or even office staff to act responsibly while simultaneously directing the way that they act with full authority. It demands leaders like you be respectable and likable enough that others willingly follow their orders, and possess strong critical thinking skills to know the best way to use the resources at your organization’s disposal.
Why Are There So Many Leadership Myths People Believe?
However, in many cases, leaders are often seen as the ‘sole owners’ of a company or organization regardless of whether or not they actually are the founders of it – but to be a leader does not necessarily mean so. Even a team lead of a department can possess all the right leadership qualities.
Similarly, leaders are almost always viewed as responsible and in charge of making sure that everything is running smoothly and according to plan in the organization. In fact, they are often given a level of responsibility that exceeds what is expected of everyone else and a leader as well.
With this HUGE amount of responsibility and visibility, it is no wonder why there are so many leadership myths that people mistake to be true. And so, in order to be a successful leader and ensure that your leadership efforts are focused on the proper areas of business, you need to learn the truth about the myths that surround it.
Top 7+ Popular Leadership Myths To Debunk Immediately
There is a lot of advice out there on how to be an effective leader and overcome unrealistic myths and ideas. Foster a strong leadership at your company by avoiding these 7+ popular debunked leadership myths below:
🚫 Leadership Myth 1: Management Is Synonymous With Leadership
Starting off our list, we have to mention the most common one – people around the world seem to think leadership and management are the very same. But in truth, while many managers do make great leaders, and many leaders do have certain management tasks in their job description, these two qualities are not necessarily synonymous.
Management entails controlling a group or a set of employees or teams to achieve a certain company goal. A manager’s job is to keep the processes and systems in place that ensure your company’s operation runs smoothly such as checking boxes, making sure deadlines are fulfilled, handling recruiting, and more. So we can say that management is mostly task-oriented; but leadership, as previously stated, is more inspirational.
A leader is more of a visionary, concerned with the big picture and the company’s overall success. Leaders make their employees feel valued and supported, and they endeavor to get a team excited about achieving goals.
🚫 Leadership Myth 2: Great Leaders Are ‘Born’, Not Made With Time
Now, here’s a myth everyone is familiar with – great leaders are born. And it happens to be quite dangerous because it asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities from birth or they do not. But this is certainly not true because anyone can excel at goals if they truly believe and put effort into it.
While sometimes it is true that a child of a great leader may be the next best leader; even then, it is not a quality that comes in-built into mankind. They most probably learned to lead by following the steps of their father closely and through experience over time. But this in no way means that one needs to be genetically built for leadership – because leaders certainly can be made with time, practice, patience, and definitely through personal motivation.
🚫 Leadership Myth 3: The Popular Quote ‘Leaders Work Smarter, Not Harder’
Next, we have another widely popular and well-known leadership myth – that leaders work smarter, but not harder. But nothing great has ever been accomplished without putting in enough effort.
True leaders lead by example; they are the first in and the last out, and they are fully committed to the goal of their organizations. By demonstrating their dedication, they inspire those around them to reflect the same level of commitment and actions. While there are certainly methods to be smarter about all of these, there is no certainly substitute for working hard to attain your goals.
And if we are to quote Colin Powell, a successful American politician and leader, we have to say, ‘There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.’
🚫 Leadership Myth 4: Leaders Are Supposed Have All The Answers In Every Situation
Many also believe that if you are a leader, you must have the answers for it all – what steps to take, what can be a significant plan B, who to reach out to, and so on. However, on the contrary, the best leaders we know have a clear understanding of their own limitations and understand when to delegate tasks as necessary.
They know that success is a team sport and that their team must always be motivated to truly innovate. Which is the very reason you will find several organizations around the world seeking to diversify their team, enhance their benefits programs, or reward the employees who truly deserve it.
🚫 Leadership Myth 5: It Is A Requirement For Leaders To Be In The Spotlight & ‘On’
It is true that if you are a leader of the company there is an expectation that you will also be the company’s spokesperson. You will not only be expected to communicate well with team members and external stakeholders, but also be an extrovert who likes to be in the limelight.
In reality, some great leaders are introverts who shied away from the spotlight but were ambitious enough to communicate with all the people necessary in the right manner. They are allowed to take breaks, hand off tasks to their managers and other employees, and everything that pushes the company towards growth.
🚫 Leadership Myth 6: Controlling & Omnipotent Leaders Get Work Done
Oftentimes forceful leaders introduce performance barriers and anger their team members who are supposed to be working in a positive environment. However, being aggressive isn’t a sign of strength. Meanwhile, friendly and easy-going leaders who work well with others are the ones accomplishing the mission and getting things done.
Leaders that are humble have a stronger character and are better able to connect with others and develop high-performing, productive teams. A modest leader is also well-equipped to deal with poor performance and unacceptable behavior in a direct manner that affects the company by no means.
🚫 Leadership Myth 7: Owners Have The Sole Right To Lead A Company
Next on our list, we have a controversial leadership myth. And we call it so because thousands of company owners around the world would like to disagree. But true leaders and businessmen know this to be true that just because someone holds the title of CEO or Business Owner or Founder, it does not make them a true example of possessing all the right leadership qualities. Not all entrepreneurs are natural-born leaders because they are not necessarily capable of organizing, operating, and accelerating the growth of their businesses even if they come up with the initial ideas. Sometimes, they’re still capable of making a series of poor decisions that affect a company’s bottom line.
As we have mentioned a while ago, sometimes people without the right leadership qualities become business owners, too, through inheritance. But, on the other hand, qualities that are meant for leading do not always come to anyone’s possessions the same way.
When the firm is in need, a real leader dives into the battlefield with the rest of the team, not just providing advice but also doing their bit to push the organization ahead. A leader isn’t standing back and watching their team from afar; instead, they’re working alongside them and observing to identify where they can be most useful within their best capabilities.
🚫 Leadership Myth 8: Only Highly Educated & Credentialed People Make Good Leaders
Here’s a very simple one and this is perhaps one of the biggest, most widely believed myths of leadership. Not only have numerous individuals with well-known college degrees and intellect failed miserably as leaders, but many out there without college degrees have become tremendous leaders.
And this myth can be easily debunked with the names of infamous personnel like Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, and Henry Ford – all great leaders from different career paths who have made significant changes to the world and businesses without any formal education.
🚫 Leadership Myth 9: If No One Is Complaining, Your Leading Qualities Must Be Good
Now, while you’re preparing to lead your organization to success you need to keep this particular myth in mind. Just because you are not hearing complaints from those who work alongside you and for you, you cannot assume everyone is happy in their workplace. And even if they are, there’s always room for you to learn and grow better as a leader.
A proper leader regularly asks questions that encourage feedback from team members, which in turn contributes to useful insights. Instead of thinking that silence equals agreement, consider how you might go deeper and get an honest, candid response from your team the next time. Make yourself approachable, non – judgmental, and open to your coworkers and employees, and you’ll quickly establish yourself as a powerful leader that many look up to.
🚫 Leadership Myth 10: One Leadership Style Fits All Types Of Work
Leaders frequently learn a few effective management practices early in their careers. However, l Leadership, on the other hand, is rarely a one-size-fits-all approach. Motivation strategies and management styles, like technical skills, must be updated on a regular basis to remain relevant in the fast-changing world. As your responsibilities develop, you’ll need to figure out what motivates different types of individuals and adapt accordingly, but we’ll get into leadership styles later, in just a bit.
Top 5 Best Ways To Develop Your Leadership Skills
There are numerous key leadership skills that are essential traits to have in order to help you become a more effective leader. You must continually challenge yourself to improve your leadership capabilities, whether it’s taking the initiative, developing critical thinking skills, or learning how to motivate and empower others around you. Identifying and developing the important skills and characteristics required to become a great leader is also a part of leadership development:
🏆 Practice Constant Discipline
To be an effective leader and to motivate people to be disciplined, you must develop discipline in your professional (and personal) life. People will rate your leadership ability based on how disciplined you are at work.
🏆 Take Initiatives To Inspire
Most bosses will only assign employees tasks. But being a leader means you are part of a team, and as a leader, you should volunteer to take on more responsibilities while also being able to motivate and inspire those you work with to collaborate as best they can. You need to actively take initiatives to work alongside everyone in order to get others equally invested in the success of your company as you are.
🏆 Improve Critical Thinking Skills
The ability to utilize critical thinking and logical reasoning is a highly valued skill in the workplace, especially for the leader who needs to take important decisions from time to time. You need to actively try to develop and improve your critical thinking skills to provide sensible advice, well-thought-out solutions, and fair evaluations at every step of the work. Critical thinkers are believed to be active team players who take the time to process situations and work accordingly, in a way that benefits the entire office.
🏆 Listen Effectively To All
As mentioned many times previously, as a leader, your work will revolve greatly around communicating with teammates and colleagues. Therefore, enhancing communication skills is essential to being a strong leader, whether it’s presenting in front of the team, creating and writing a business strategy, or taking feedback to improve. One of the most important communication skills for a leader is listening – again, you must always be approachable enough that everyone feels comfortable communing with you.
🏆 Always Continue To Learn
A leadership myth that we have just debunked earlier teaches that leadership skills need to be constantly developed with the growing pace of the economies. And s0 John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other“. When things are changing rapidly around the world, it’s essential to keep learning and challenging yourself. Examine and try to acquire the qualities, mannerisms, and communication styles of other leaders for the best outcomes.
🏆 Learn How To Delegate Work
You also need to understand which skills your employees specialize in and then know how to strategically delegate work to them and make them feel empowered. If you do this, they will feel more involved, work more efficiently, and have more opportunities to develop new skills that might benefit your company even further.
🏆 Prepare To Resolve Conflicts
But delegating tasks might also mean you have to know how to handle difficult people and resolve conflicts in the workplace. Leaders have to be honest and straightforward in order to point out a problem and ensure there’s no toxic environment. And so, you always need to be prepared to get 100% involved and have the courage to handle tough situations when the time comes.
🏆 Be Ready To Follow Others
And finally, as a leader, you need to learn to recognize the value of team members. Just because one is in the lead position does not always mean they excel at all skills and tasks – so be ready to learn from others, while also encouraging other team members to learn with you.
Bonus: Leadership Styles Used In Business Around The World
And with that, we can conclude our complete blog on all the most popular leadership myths from around the world. But as we have mentioned in leadership myth 9, not one leading style works for all types of business. And there are 7 common leadership styles that are often recognized around the world:
If you want to find out which of these leadership styles is yours, check out our guide on the most common leadership styles here. Also, let us know by commenting below if you found this blog helpful. Do not forget to subscribe to our blogs for more such as informational blogs, news, and all the latest updates, and join our friendly Facebook Community.