When you talk about being ‘a leader’ and showcasing ‘leadership’ what are the first words that come to mind?
Many people associate leadership with power, authority, position and expertise, but the reality is that leadership is much more nuanced than that. A new perspective is needed.
Here are 3 common misconceptions about being a leader:
Misconception #1: You are a leader only by appointment.
When talking about leadership we often hear ‘Oh, I don’t manage anyone so I can’t be a leader‘. Leadership is not a position or a title that is appointed to you. Anyone can show leadership, regardless of their age, experience, or role. In fact, you can very much be a manager without being a leader. Rather than a title that someone gives you, leadership is a state of mind; a mindset. Opportunities to lead are everywhere. A new graduate joining a multinational company without any prior work experience – can you be a leader? Of course!
Misconception #2: Leadership is only relevant in big or well-known situations
Leadership is not limited to big things or well-known situations and people (take the recent example of Elon Musk and SpaceX). In fact, it is in the everyday small moments as much as it is in the big stories. Every decision you make, every action you take, and every interaction you have with others can be an opportunity to demonstrate leadership. Ultimately, it is about making change happen.
Misconception #3: To show leadership you need to have all the answers, all the time, otherwise people won’t believe in you
Leadership is not about having all the answers. Authentic leadership means owning up to the fact that you don’t have all the answers and getting comfortable with that. Oftentimes you will be doing things that haven’t been done before, so not always having clarity is to be expected. We recently wrote a post on why you need to shed your need to always have the answer in order to be a transformational leader and our top tips for doing so. SPOILER ALERT curiosity, experimentation and openness are key!
So, having read this blog, do you think you are more of a leader than you realised?
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