It is commonly thought that leaders are born with the qualities that make them naturally great at overseeing a team, and if you are not born a leader, you likely will not become one. This is a common misconception because even the best naturally-bred leaders have faults. No one possesses every ideal trait to be a perfect leader. It is a role that should always be adapted to fit the needs of their team and is encouraged to be developed. In fact, there are many common fallacies about leadership that discourage potential great leaders from pursuing this path. Here are a few preconceived notions about leadership, debunked.
Leaders and managers are the same
While the two terms may show as synonymous in the dictionary, they could not be more disparate in nature and application. Leaders are those who guide their employees, showing them the path to success by walking on it with them. They face any failures along the way together and overcome obstacles as a team. They may have slightly more experience than their employees, which makes them the right person to lead. Managers, on the other hand, typically tell their employees what to be done and how to do it, but with no demonstrative action. Managers rarely develop their knowledge past what has worked previously.
Introverted people cannot be leaders
At some point in the industry, the word introvert became a bad thing, almost as if it is a weakness. When you think of a leader, you think of someone who encourages others with their words, is witty, outgoing and eloquent, and someone who actively engages with others. Yes, these qualities are classic of many great leaders, it does mean that introverted individuals cannot lead just because they do not possess the same characteristics as their extroverted counterparts. The qualities of being introverted vs extroverted in leadership more coincide with how information is processed and portrayed among the team. While introverts tend to be more subtle with their actions, they can still possess the quintessential traits needed to lead with success.
Leaders are always busy
Leaders should certainly be preoccupied and working diligently on their tasks, but this does not mean that they do not have time for other things. Developing themselves professionally should be a priority for leaders to make time to practice. Great leaders can manage their time properly to make way for things that are equally as important to their business’s success as physical tasks. Time management is an imperative trait of a successful leader. This can mean delegating tasks to others, prioritizing tasks and the time to be spent on each one, and being open to widening their skill set outside of the office. A great leader always has time to become an even greater leader.
One of the more important realizations of a great leader is that the common leadership stigmas that circle around do not define who they are as a leader. Misconceptions are not meant to be used as comparisons to how successful they are or are not. The satisfaction and productivity of their team and their employees are the best indicators of their leadership victory.