In Depth

Debunking common leadership myths

Bhupendra Sharma
18th Nov 2016
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Leadership is the ability to inspire a group of people to achieve one or more common goals. It's probably one of the most discussed and least understood workplace topics in today's time. Often, people have certain misconceptions about leadership, which, if cleared, can help them become better leaders and develop great leadership skills. Here are some of those myths:

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Leaders are born, not made

Most people think that leaders are born and not made. While it is true that some people are born with inherent leadership skills, this is not the case for everyone. Often, ordinary people turn into extraordinary leaders due to the circumstances they find themselves in. If you're an employee, you can learn leadership skills and transform yourself into a great leader over time.

They know everything

Those who've never led a group think that leaders have the answers to all the questions and solutions to all the problems. However, this is not true at all. At times, leaders are as clueless and confused as anyone else. What sets them apart is that they don't let their confusion become bigger than their vision; instead, they keep working towards making things happen.

Leaders are meant to give orders

Leadership is a critical position and often requires one person to take charge and give others orders, but this is not always the case. At times, when needed, good leaders listen to their team members and take inputs from them to formulate the overall strategy. There is a difference between leadership and imposition, and you need to keep it in mind.

Those who always believe in giving orders are dictators, not leaders.

Leaders need to have charismatic personalities

Leaders are followed not because of their charismatic personalities but because of their vision, devotion, and determination. Many people make it to positions of power and maintain their authority because of sheer determination and foresight.

Leaders have to be liked

Many believe that leaders have to be liked by everyone. Believe it or not, but great leadership and likeability may not always go hand in hand. At times, leaders have to take decisions that may not sound appropriate to most people, but are in the great interest of the organisation.

Leaders are those with power and authority

Often, people think that only those who have the highest position, power, and authority in an organisation are leaders. It's not true. Leaders can be found at all levels in organisations but don't necessarily have the control that CXOs enjoy. However, all they need is proper training, support, and mentorship to work on their skills.

Leadership comes with age

Even if this were true at some point in the past, it is no longer so — the world has seen enough youngsters starting businesses out of their bedrooms and turning them into billion-dollar empires. This trend has cleared up one thing — it's not the age, but one's determination and willingness to go the extra mile that transforms him/her into a great leader.

What are some other popular myths about leadership that you think people believe? Share your feedback with us.

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