When people think of leaders, they often think of somewhat stereotypical images of strong, commanding, authoritative, or imposing figures. Effective leaders are just as likely to be quiet and unassuming as they are strong and commanding. Misconceptions about leadership abound, many of which are deeply rooted in our collective psyche. Here are five of the most common misconceptions about leadership.
Leaders Always Know The Right Thing To Do
More often than not, leaders have to make sometimes critical decisions with only the most minuscule fragments of information to go on. They often simply have to make the best decision they can with the paltry amount of information they have to go on and hope for the best. It is rare for a leader to feel confident in most decisions.
Leaders Are Those That Tell Others What To Do
This may be one of the biggest misconceptions about leadership. Leadership simply means “you go first.” Leaders are not those that sit behind a desk and tell everyone what to do (those are – quite literally – dictators). Leaders are simply people who go out and do something first, creating a path for others to follow. Many leaders don’t intend to be leaders at all. Sometimes, they just see something that needs to be done. They do it, and others end up following in their footsteps.
Being Given A Position Of Authority Automatically Makes You A Leader
A business, company, or organization can give you a position or a title, but they can’t make you a leader. A title may gain you a certain level of authority, but it doesn’t make you a leader. A leader is a person who others follow. The only people that can make you a leader are the people who choose to follow you.
The Best Leaders Are Generally Well-Liked By Everyone
Steve Jobs built one of the largest and most successful companies in the world. His genius is regularly admired, yet he is also held to be one of the harshest, most demanding, critical figures in the modern business world. Leadership is, without question, one of the loneliest journeys anyone will ever embark on. A leader’s job is not to make everyone feel good; it is to help them be the best they can be. Sometimes, that means pushing them past their own perceived limitations into the unknown. While most people enjoy the results of that endeavor, they rarely like the process – or the person pushing them there.