No matter what field of leadership you work in, you’ve probably heard the word leadership tossed around quite a bit, but have you ever stopped to think about what leadership really means? Leadership skills are some of the most sought-after qualities in business professionals today, but the fact that leadership skills are in such high demand doesn’t mean they’re easy to come by.
Leading a team can be challenging, especially if you’re not naturally inclined to take on the role and aren’t sure how to succeed in it. That being said, there are also some common myths about leadership that might prevent you from finding success in your endeavors as a leader, which is why it’s important to recognize and dispel these misconceptions before you start trying to lead your organization in the wrong direction.
Here are a few myths about leadership that can make your transition to management more difficult than it has to be.
Leaders are Born, Not Made
There’s no doubt that some people seem to have natural leadership skills—they’re charismatic, assertive, and highly motivated to take charge. But contrary to popular belief, leadership is not a personality trait. Instead, it’s a skill set that can be taught and learned. If you want to become a leader in your field or just lead better in general at work or in your own organization, you’ll need to master specific skills of leadership, including communication (both verbal and nonverbal), giving effective feedback, and influencing others effectively and more. Resorting to professional leadership coaching is a great way to sharpen your leadership skills.
Good Leader Know it All
Too many leaders believe that they have to know everything before they take a leadership role. It’s fine to seek out expertise, but you don’t need to be an expert at everything, and you definitely don’t need to pretend like you are. This allows others in your team more opportunities to grow and gain confidence in their roles. As soon as you understand that it’s not about having all of the answers but rather guiding your team towards finding them, you can garner their confidence and trust while being an effective leader.
Leaders Cannot Express Their Vulnerabilities
One common misconception about leadership is that leaders must have a ‘tough skin’ or pretend to be very strong in front of others. This notion is false because being vulnerable helps your team trust you more. Hiding your weaknesses and mistakes makes it appear like you’re unable to grow or improve. If people believe they can be honest with you, they’ll feel more comfortable bringing problems or potential issues to your attention. If your employees can be open with you, then any conflict between departments won’t spiral out of control when you’re unaware of what’s going on behind closed doors.
Leaders Should Always Lead the Way
Many people believe that leadership means you should lead, or guide others, to accomplish a goal. While your employees may want you to direct them on how to complete a task, realize that when leading any team, it’s important to give people enough autonomy so they can take ownership of their roles. This way, your employees will be motivated and feel like they have contributed in some way toward achieving a common goal.
In a world where everybody is trying to make their mark, leadership is often associated with bold, daring moves and aggression. However, being able to see through opportunities and risks instead of making hasty decisions can actually be a better sign of leadership. If you’re committed to inspiring your team and treading new paths in your professional life, get in touch with us today!