In a corporate setting, such leadership is crucial to business success. The ability to unleash people’s potential, to energize them to use their talent and to work towards a common goal is the master skill of a true leader.
True leadership is one that draws from the strengths of others. It is about awakening what is half asleep inside people. This requires that we inspire people to discover their innate abilities.
In a corporate setting, such leadership is crucial to business success. The ability to unleash people’s potential, to energize them to use their talent and to work towards a common goal is the master skill of a true leader. However, there are ten prevalent myths about leadership that need to be dispelled.
Myth 1. Leaders should encourage competition amongst their team members. Some leaders make people compete so they perform better by trying to outdo their teammate. This makes as much sense as telling the defender in a football team to compete with the striker rather than to work together to score goals.
Myth 2. Leaders should have full control and command over their followers. By having complete control over the team and issuing commands, some leaders can have a better grip on the situation and do things “their way”. The reality is – and extensive research shows – that dictatorial leadership stifles innovation.
Myth 3. Leaders should take an “ivory tower” approach. Leaders who stay at head office and keep an elitist approach may think that they are gaining more respect from their employees. The reality is that in order to inspire people, you need to connect with them, which can happen more easily with face-to-face time.
Myth 4. Leaders should be charismatic. It is true that some leaders can be charismatic. However, many leaders earn respect through their attitude, diligence, and capabilities. Successful leaders are authentic.
Myth 5. True leaders are born leaders. Yes, some leaders are gifted with leadership qualities; however, most of them acquire leadership by experience, learning from mentors and having a burning desire to lead.
Myth 6. Leaders are people who have been designated to a position of leadership. Leaders do not need a designated position to lead. They only need the right attitude and desire to lead. An organization needs leaders at all levels.
Myth 7. Leaders need to know it all.
The best leaders hire people who are smarter and skilled in other ways than themselves so that they can learn from them and work together to achieve the common goal.
Myth 8. Leaders should be older and more mature than the team they are leading. In some cases, age brings the experience that is required to lead. However, it is not a prerequisite. There are many examples of young, capable, and energetic leaders that have provided fresh, new thinking to an organization.
Myth 9. Leaders are egotistical and self-centered.
Leaders require a sense of humility in order to understand that everything happens with the help of others. They need to realize that they are not the only drivers of success and that they require the rest of their team to reach their goals.
Myth 10. Leaders do not delegate high-level work.
Great leaders create leaders, not followers. They create leaders by being good role models and allowing their team to prove its ability by assigning important work.
Many prevalent leaders in society today have been influenced by these myths, whether it is because of the public media, what they have been taught in school, or a leader that they have worked with in the past. These myths can explain the lack of purpose that members of many organizations feel.
There is so much richness within each person to be discovered. Until it is discovered, it will forever be absent from the workplace. It is the role of effective leaders to nurture this richness.