There are a number of big leadership myths in the business world that need to be revealed. For aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs, believing these myths could be holding you back and it’s important to remember that a one-size-fits-all philosophy isn’t always going to work.
If you want to be a leader of the future or are already in a leadership position, you’ll want to forget about these misconceptions.
1. Leaders need to work smart, not hard
“Work smarter, not harder” is a well-known mantra that does have its merits. The message that you should prioritise your workload, delegate better and plan for maximum efficiency is valuable for any leader. However, it’s important to remember that these things cannot be a substitute for having a good work ethic.
Good leaders work hard and know what it takes to successfully get the job done. They know how to work smart, motivate their team and manage their time and they lead by example. If you want your team to be invested and to do their best, you need to lead the way by showing them that hard work pays off.
2. Leaders know it all
In order to progress to a leadership role, you’re likely to be an expert in your field but nobody can know it all. The best leaders know that they aren’t always right, and they have more to learn and they trust and make the most of the expertise their team has.
Being a humble leader is key to success as it will help you to build a successful and varied team who can work together towards key goals. You’ll need to listen to your team and make more informed decisions than if you were going it alone because you “know everything”.
3. Leaders are at the forefront of the business
When we think of great leaders, we tend to expect them to be in the limelight as the business spokesperson. Leaders, however, come in lots of different forms and they aren’t just the person at the very top of the company.
Genuine leaders are humble, wilful, but fearless and they aren’t focused on their rank in the organisation hierarchy. The best leaders are more concerned with focusing on accomplishing their goals and their results. The bigger picture of establishing a successful enterprise is more important than their ego.
4. Leaders are always connected
Leaders are just like the rest of us in the sense that they need to take breaks and can’t always be available. May well-known entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Bill Gates are known to take extended vacations in order to recharge and reconnect with their vision. In fact, it’s usually during this switch off time that leaders come up with new ideas and goals to drive their company’s forward.
While many leaders have very busy schedules, the best leaders know that it’s important to take a step back and have a break from their routine occasionally.
5. People are born to be leaders
Being a good leader takes years of commitment and consistency, it’s certainly not a skill you can simply be born with. Leaders make themselves great and it isn’t a case of having charismatic traits that make them a “natural leader”.
6. Leaders are extroverts
When we think of extroverted people the traits that spring to mind are usually confident, chatty and outgoing. Introverts, on the other hand, we think of as being quieter and more reserved. While this is correct to some extent, it’s not the full story.
Being an introvert or an extrovert doesn’t really matter when it comes to leadership. What’s more important is how you use your connections and the knowledge you have. While extroverted leaders may be more vocal and will get the job done by talking about the situation, introverted leaders work better behind the scenes. They will be more discreet when processing their ideas and resolving conflicts.