Perceptions of leadership vary enormously from person to person, organization to organization. Leadership can have an air of mystique about it and myths about being a leader abound.
I have interacting with many successful leaders for more than ten years. Based on my interaction with them, and their experience of being leader, I have listed down few points – which according to them are myths about leadership.
As all of them came from different people, at different point of time, not necessarily they match or correlate with each other. Readers are requested not to read them collectively, but one at a time.
Myths about leadership:
- Leadership and management are the same dynamic.
- Some people are born leaders – most are born to be followers!
- Leadership is a gift bestowed upon a few select people!
- Leaders exist only at the top of an organization.
- Having a big title (CEO, CFO, VP) makes you a leader.
- Leaders can motivate others.
- Leadership is easier than management.
- Leadership is a function of academic success.
- Leadership is about being liked.
- Leadership means you have a lot of friends.
- Leadership is about the “soft stuff.”
- Leadership is about the tangibles—i.e., metrics and making money.
- Everyone can be a leader.
- Great leaders are more intelligent than mediocre leaders.
- Great leaders work harder than poor leaders.
- Great leaders have charisma because they look the part.
- Great leaders have a college education.
- Great leaders are expert at playing politics.
- Great leaders have large egos.
- Leadership is rare skill.
- Leaders are born, not made.
- Leaders never commit mistakes.
- Leadership is “one man show.”
- Leaders are enjoying absolute happiness.
- Being a leader means being in charge.
- Every team member should be treated the same.
- Leadership is the act of a lone genius.
- Leaders must be charismatic extroverts.
- All great leaders have a common set of personality traits.
- You have to be a senior citizen with gray hair to be an effective leader.
- To lead you have to have followers.
- You need to be a great orator to be a leader.
- It’s up to other people to decide if I am a leader.
- Leadership is what leaders do.
- Leadership is best learned by studying past leaders.
- Leadership can’t be taught.
- Leadership comes from inside.
- Leaders have all the answers.
- When I get to the top, then I’ll learn to lead.
- If I can’t get to the top, then I won’t try to lead.
Dr. Shital Badshah is Leadership Coach and Consultant. He can be reached at Shital@GrowthCatalystIndia.com or +91 942 8419 021.