Table of contents:

10 popular myths about leaders
10 popular myths about leaders

Don't let these notions stop you from reaching your potential.

10 popular myths about leaders
10 popular myths about leaders

1. All entrepreneurs are natural leaders

In fact, just the fact that you had a cool idea in time doesn't mean anything by itself. Even if you start your own business, it is not a fact that you are the ideal candidate for a managerial position.

Being a leader means having your vision and making others believe in it, unleashing the talents of your employees, listening and influencing. If a person realizes that he himself does not have such skills, it is quite possible that it is worth transferring the reins of government to another. This is what LinkedIn did, for example.

2. The leader should not show weakness

Many still feel that they will show weakness by admitting guilt, changing courses of action, or listening to others. That a "real" leader in any situation is obliged to stand his ground. However, this is far from the truth.

Strong leaders admit their mistakes in order to learn from them. They accept feedback, even if it's negative. Admit they don't have all the answers. And demonstrate humanity by listening to others and caring for employees.

3. The leader must be tough and cold

Surely you have at least once had to work with a person who tried to seem inflexible, boasted of his omnipotence and put himself above the rest. And it is unlikely that under his leadership, you and other employees had good results and high motivation.

Employees want the manager to be genuinely interested in their well-being and to treat them with respect and kindly listen to their thoughts and concerns. To strengthen these skills, work on emotional intelligence. This will help you better understand yourself, become more empathetic towards others, and build rapport with the team.

4. Extroverts lead better

There is a stereotype that extroverts are more outgoing and confident, while introverts are more reserved and shy. But extraversion and introversion have more to do with how a person processes information. Extroverts solve problems by discussing them with other people, while introverts keep information within themselves.

And it seems not surprising that extroverts are attracted to leadership positions, because they need to communicate a lot with people. But this trait alone does not guarantee that a person will become a good leader. And there are many introverts among successful leaders - take at least Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Barack Obama. So if you are an introvert, don't think that leadership is not for you.

5. Leaders don't need to develop leadership skills

They take time to acquire and strengthen, just like any other skill. If you are tempted to say that you simply do not have time for this, try to distribute it differently. For example, get up half an hour early, group similar tasks and do them together, delegate less important to others. This frees up time that can be spent reading, taking courses, or working with a mentor.

6. Leadership and management are one and the same

In fact, there are quite a few differences between them:

  • Managers set goals - the leader creates a vision.
  • Managers maintain an established order - the leader makes a difference.
  • Managers control risks or avoid them - the leader is willing to take risks.
  • Managers work on short-term goals - the leader is focused on the overall situation.
  • Managers build systems, and leaders build relationships.
  • Managers set tasks and give directions - the leader instructs.
  • The managers have subordinates - the leader has loyal associates.

It is very important to understand this difference. Then you can strengthen either leadership or managerial skills - whichever you are missing. Or look for someone who will complement you.

7. All leaders must be innovators

This in itself is not bad. Innovators are ambitious and assertive, willing to take risks and focused on goals. But at the same time, they are usually very independent and find it difficult to work with other people.

It's great if you know how to captivate clients and investors with extraordinary ideas, but remember to keep in touch with employees, recognize other people's talent and work together.

8. Employees will never trust the manager and tell him the whole truth

If you take off or punish bad news, employees are unlikely to be willing to be frank. Learn to control your emotions. After receiving bad news, focus on finding solutions, not blaming. Facilitate the feedback process. For example, conduct anonymous surveys. When there is no need to fear the consequences, people are more likely to share their real opinions.

9. A good leader is ready to roll up his sleeves and take on the dirty work

Yes, there are times when you need to work side by side with employees and help cope with some kind of crisis. But first and foremost, the leader should focus on decision making, prioritization and responsibility.

The rest of the tasks should be automated, delegated or outsourced so that you do not waste your mental and physical strength in vain. Remember that you are moving things forward through your own work, not through the work of others.

10. The manager should always be in touch

Any person, regardless of position, needs to rest. If you check your mail and do work tasks on weekends and on vacation, you are on the road to burnout. Do not forget to spend time with loved ones, play sports, try new hobbies. This will help clear your head and relieve tension. As a result, you will not only feel calmer, but also be more energetic and creative at work.