Leadership refers to the ability of a person to motivate and inspire other persons towards a common goal. It is a critical management skill in the corporate world where the manager should lead his team towards achieving a common objective.His role as a leader is crucial in maximizing and integrating the potential of available resources. For that, he needs multiple skills, which many of us may think cannot be developed by an ordinary person. More often than not, we nurture certain misconceptions about leadership. Knowing what these misconceptions are helps us understand what leadership is really about and enables us to build effective leadership skills.
Here are 10 of the most common myths about leadership.
1. Leaders are born and not made: This is the first and most common of all myths about leadership. Though some people have innate leadership qualities, it is rare. Mostly, leaders are made by their circumstances. The extraordinary circumstances that surround them propel them to become effective leaders. When it comes to the corporate world, you can learn leadership skills by consistent efforts.
2. Leaders know everything: It is not true that leaders know everything under the sun. What leaders do have is a vision and a sense of direction. They too learn from others.
3. Leaders are infallible: Leaders do make mistakes like all humans do. In fact, they could even appear to commit more mistakes than all of us because they take more visible decisions at every stage than others do. However, what differentiates good leaders from others is that they are candid in admitting their mistakes and in learning lessons from them.
4. Leaders only give orders: Leaders do not always give orders, though the position they are in requires them to do so. More often, they inspire others to do what is required of them in a given situation.
5. Leaders are charismatic: Charisma is not the absolute quality of a leader. Leaders are often followed because they are respected for their hard work, integrity, ideas, and commitment.
6. Leaders have imposing personalities: Leaders need not have impressive personalities. Though, sometimes, this does help attract people. What leaders do posses is the ability to influence people even if they don’t have a distinguished personality.
7. Leadership comes with age: There is no specific age to become an effective leader. People become effective leaders with what they learn from their past experience, not just with increasing age.
8. Leaders possess absolute power: Not true always. Their true effectiveness is measured by their ability to command a following without wielding absolute power. Leadership is not tyranny. Bad leaders resort to strong arm tactics when their leadership fails and so end up creating followers. But if leadership succeeds, it creates leaders.
9. Leaders never delegate important stuff: Leaders do delegate the right work to the right person. They share work and responsibilities judiciously and get the job done. And this in no way undermines their credibility. In fact, as I said earlier, they pave the way for new leaders to emerge.
10. Leadership can be attained through study: Leadership is about attitude and not about knowledge. Even if you study thousands of books, you cannot develop leadership skills until you inculcate the right attitude.
The misconceptions listed here are not what make you an influential leader but your ability to inspire a shared vision, facilitate collective efforts to reach a common objective and identify and nurture the right talent.
Do share your thoughts on the same.