It is unfortunate that many managers today fail to understand the role that leadership plays in the execution of their roles and responsibilities. Over the years I have read over 300 definitions of leadership. There are hundreds of books available on leadership and numerous seminars are held each year professing to teach people how to lead. And yet, many managers fail to grasp the importance of this critical attitude. (I have chosen to call leadership an attitude rather than a skill. )
This week I would like to talk about what leadership isn’t or what I call the eight biggest leadership myths. If you are operating with any of these as your philosophy or fundamental approach to leadership you might want to take another look at how you are leading or think you are leading. If you are cont guilty of embracing any of the eight, congratulations, you are obviously well ahead of your management peers. Here are the eight.
1. Position or title does not equate to leadership. Just because you may be the CEO, President or a department head does not mean you have leadership attitudes or ability. There are a lot of people running organizations today whom I would not classify as good or even acceptable leaders.
2. Tenure or longevity does not equate to effective leadership capabilities. Just because you may have been with your organization for over thirty years does not mean you are an effective leader. Any success you might have had could have been timing, luck, pure effort, will or any combination of these.
3. You have to be willing to do any task that any of your employees are asked to do. Sure if the floor is dirty and the Janitor is sick and not at work someone needs to sweep the floor, but is that really your responsibility – to show your employees that you are not above this task. Your employees want a leader they can respect and trust not a back-up for the janitorial staff.
4. Leadership is an endowment or an education process. Leadership trust, respect and confidence are earned and not a set of mastered skill sets.
5. You can study your way to effective leadership. You can read all of the books on leadership and unless you are willing to let go of some of your beliefs, attitudes, prejudices, opinions or paradigms you can have all of the leadership knowledge in the world and still fail as a leader. Just look around you! This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t study leadership but it does mean that study is not enough, it takes wisdom, understanding and execution.
6. You have to be a senior citizen with gray hair to be an effective leader. I know many executives who are still in their twenties and are model leaders.
7. That to be a leader you have to be in charge of something or someone. Leadership is not position. You can be the receptionist and have a leadership attitude about your roles and responsibilities. You can be in sales and have a leadership mindset about your tasks.
8. To lead you have to have followers. Leadership does not imply that you have to be in front of a group. If you are the only person working in a department you can still demonstrate leadership attitudes.
Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, relationship, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 3500 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 60 books including; He can be reached at email@example.com , 704-895-1230 or visit his website at http://www.timconnor.com .