The old models of leadership are becoming obsolete. People seek opportunities to make differences, feeling as though they matter, rather than merely going to work every day. At the same time, workforces are spreading out more, creating a need for delegation of decision-making and collaboration that those traditional leadership models cannot handle. This is creating leaders in organizations at every level. It is also showing that old leadership concepts are failing, as demonstrated by these myths that need to be debunked.
Leadership Exists Only at the Top
Not long ago, there was a widely held belief that leadership belonged only to a couple of people, or even just one, at the peak of a power pyramid. The truth is that, in reality, the role of leadership is multidimensional. Everyone, on any particular day, moves through a spectrum of various expressions of leadership. Simply put, everyone is a leader in some way or another. When employees have a view of wider leadership, they can work together to utilize everyone’s unique talents.
Leaders are Designated From Birth
Perfectly natural-born leaders simply do not exist. Everyone has the potential of growing into a capable leader by way of seizing responsibility for actions with those who are led. A title alone does not make a leader out of someone. Fancy titles do not instantly grant the ability to connect, empower, develop, or inspire others. A true leader comes of hard work and is able to work with others and encourage them to achieve goals.
Leaders Work Alone
There was a theory of leadership that leaders should be lone wolves, held isolated from the pack, but this has proven ineffective. Good leaders are aware that everyone has weaknesses, including themselves, and surround themselves in a group of people who can make up for their shortcomings. Effective leaders today work among their people and evoke leadership in those they lead, creating more and effective leaders.
Leaders Can’t Afford Failure
With the belief that failure cannot be an option, growth and change stagnate. Failure is a vital piece of discovery, exploration, and the encouragement of innovation. Without taking the chance to fail, the old proven approaches must be maintained. Leaders need to embrace, admit, and even celebrate failure as a part of the path toward discovery and development.