What is leadership?
Leadership is the process of motivating and influencing others to optimize their efforts for achieving a specific goal or collective objective.
Leadership qualities are important not only in a professional setting but also for your personal development. Leaders are responsible for improving efficiency and getting objectives fulfilled.
Leadership is defined by every other person in a leadership position, whether or not they are even good leaders. These definitions vary from leader to leader because it is abstract and subjective. There are no size fits. Each leader has a unique personality and style of leadership.
We have preconceived notions about what it takes to be a successful leader from these people. It’s normal to have an incorrect understanding of leadership and build stereotypes around it. There are many misconceptions when it comes to leadership which should be addressed.
In his latest ‘Conversations with Rakesh, SoME Founder, and CEO, Rakesh Godhwani demystifies leadership traits and busts various myths associated with them.
You tend to put leaders on a pedestal and believe that they can never make mistakes. But leaders are humans with emotions, they make mistakes, break down, hit their lows, learn from them and keep going. You need to know about these leadership myths to understand, value, and empathize with your leaders
5 Myths about Leadership
Five myths that you should not have in leaders that you work with and the whole idea is that, if you demystify this your relationship with your own organization and the leaders that you are working with will get better. Because from the College students and the entry level managers who are the future managers and leaders of the world are, they are totally disillusioned with their leaders and rightly so we need to have great leaders, they need to be at a higher standard but the reality is that they are as human as any of us.
1. Leaders are selfless
Leaders are expected to be selfless and virtuous. To put the organization’s needs before their personal needs.
The movie ‘Nayak’ is a classic example of good vs bad leadership. The Chief Minister in the movie is shown as power-hungry and corrupt. While the protagonist keeps the Nation’s growth before his and his family’s safety.
Even in the famous book ‘Prince’ by Machiavelli, the premise is that the first job of a leader is to protect others.
But leaders are humans too. They cannot be selfless. It’s important for them to prioritize their personal needs when the circumstance arises. If they don’t take care of themselves, they won’t be able to look after the organization to its full potential.
Leaders shouldn’t adopt the persona of the greedy CM, but they also shouldn’t sacrifice their whole being because it’s expected of them.
2. Leaders are fearless
Leaders are associated with lions, the king of the jungle. It portrays leaders as strong and fearless. Leaders are expected to not show their vulnerabilities. But they have their weaknesses and fears, as any of us.
It’s normal for them to feel these human emotions. Leaders who are honest about their vulnerabilities and share their experiences are more relatable and inspiring than those who put up a false front.
3. Leaders don’t make mistakes
We put leaders on a pedestal and believe that they can never be wrong or make mistakes.
What we forget is, making mistakes is an important part of growth. If they didn’t make mistakes, they might not even be in the leadership position.
Instead of seeing mistakes as failures, you need to see them as a sign of growth and courage to take risks.
4. Leaders know everything
We expect leaders to be experts. They must know everything about everything. But that’s impossible and impractical.
Leaders don’t know everything. But they know how to get work done from people with a specific set of knowledge and expertise.
5. Leaders are extroverts
Leaders are always shown as super charismatic, extroverted and excellent orators. It is believed that only extroverts can be successful leaders, or introverts need to become extroverts to be good leaders.
But introverts make exceptional leaders as well. Introverts are naturally great listeners, and they tend to reflect deeply on matters. These qualities make them sound decision-makers.
As is the case with every other profession, leaders can be introverts, extroverts or ambiverts. This, in no way, is a measure of their success as a leader.
Leadership is portrayed in a perfect light, which may not be the case in reality. You must understand that leaders are humans first with their personal needs, emotions, and shortcomings. You need to get rid of the impractical myths which portray leaders as robots and develop healthy beliefs about leadership and what it entails.