5 Leadership Myths

We all probably have our own views about leadership.  While it is true that we might all have slightly different views, I wonder if you are falling into the trap of believing 5 of the most common leadership myths.

Leadership Myth 1: Leaders are born

Now I don’t know about you but I have yet to hear about a newborn that was blessed with the leadership gene.  Sure certain qualities help when it comes to leadership but these are developed rather than being acquired at birth.

Leadership Myth 2: You need to be mean

You might have a perception that being a success in a leadership relies on you being the tough guy or gal.  Yes you need to be resilient and be able to stand your ground from time to time.  You might even need to quite tough at times.  However, being mean is a sure-fire way to leadership failure rather than success.

Leadership Myth 3: Success is all about having the opportunity

While having a great academic record might give you a head start, don’t fall into the trap that if you didn’t have the opportunity to go to college or university you cannot get into leadership.  For example, I left school at 16 with minimal qualifications.  I started going to college while working and was able to climb the career ladder from Accounts Clerk to Finance Director.

Leadership Myth 4: You can take your foot off the gas

Moving into leadership for the first time is the biggest career step you will take.  If you think that when you reach this level you have made it and can take your foot off the gas, you are in for a shock.  Truth is when you move into leadership you need to invest even more in your continuing development as you are having to deal with many new and different challenges.

Leadership Myth 5: You need to keep collecting qualifications

Research suggests that your level of intelligence (IQ) will take you so far in your career but it is your interpersonal and social skills (EQ) that really determines your success.  If you are considering taking additional qualifications, ask yourself what difference they will make.  It may be that investing in developing you skills and qualities through coaching or short courses will provide better results.

Bottom Line – Moving into leadership is a major step.  So what myths are you buying into that are getting in the way of achieving leadership success?

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

Leave a Comment:

Jessica Deal says 23 September 2009

It’s easy to just excuse yourself from leadership because you feel you don’t have the skills. While some are more equipped than others, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn and grow. Thanks for these encouraging words!

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