What do you picture when you hear the word ‘leader’? If you get a clear picture in your head of a specific set of characteristics, chances are you’re buying into some of the many myths surrounding what makes a good leader. The truth is that strong leaders come in all shapes and sizes; what unites them is a set of characteristics or skills which sets them apart from bad bosses. Here are some of the most popular leadership myths that we often hear, debunked.
1. People are born leaders
Just because you often took charge in elementary school, doesn’t mean you’ll be a great business leader. Taking charge isn’t always the best way to lead; there are many business and soft skills you need to be a strong leader. Whether you’re in your element front-and-center, a strategy-whizz, or an empathetic ear; honing all of these skills will make you into a great all-rounder, and ultimately a great leader. You need to put in the effort to work on the areas that you may not excel in.
2. Leaders have the greatest ideas, that’s why they’re in charge
The best leaders understand that truly great ideas come from collaboration and teamwork. Different team members have different strengths and ideas; it’s the leader’s responsibility to nurture their team’s confidence and empower people to play to them and encourage amazing output.
3. You can measure everything that matters
Setting SMART objectives is important for tracking your team’s performance, but not everything can be measured! Engagement, attitude, and enthusiasm are just as important as output in forming long-standing, productive teams. Great leaders make sure to acknowledge and reward these alongside performance.
4. Leaders should know everything their teams know (better than their teams know it)
Good leaders cultivate the right team hiring people who have skills different from their own and empowering them to do their jobs with as little interference as possible. Rather than trying to be the smartest person in the room, a leader dedicates their energy to nurturing their teams’ talents.
5. Leaders must be extroverts
Leaders can be extroverts, with charisma a great way to engage teams. But introverts possess other important leadership skills, like listening and reflection – which aid solid decision making. Understanding your strengths and knowing what your weaknesses are is a great way to become a successful leader. Take a look at our other blog to see the wider benefits of eLearning to employees.
Good leadership comes from understanding the needs of your team and how to inspire them to success. If you want to create great leaders in your organisation, start your FREE trial of our leadership courses today.