1. Leaders are managers.
2. Leaders have the most knowledge about the business area in which they serve.
3. To be a leader, you must be a pioneering, trail-blazing type of person.
The fact is, these are leadership myths.
1. Management Myth
Some people think management and leadership are synonymous. They are not. Management is about a position; leadership is about influencing. We’ve all known managers who were not leaders. They tend to be ineffective and not well respected. On the other hand, we have also known leaders who were not managers. These folks may be in support positions, but they are naturally respected because they know how to get things done, and they inspire others to follow. They don’t have to have a title to have influence.
2. Knowledge Myth
People think that leaders have more knowledge. Oftentimes they don’t have more knowledge, but they are great at applying (taking action on) what they have learned. Though a leader needs to know the situation or the realm of work, they are not necessarily the most knowledgeable on the subject. The leader’s strength lies in finding those folks who are the most knowledgeable and creating a great team. A good leader surrounds himself with those who are smarter than he is.
3. Pioneer Myth
People think only someone who is blazing a new trail is a leader; however, many successful people and businesses are not the first in the market. Instead, they make themselves the best in the market. You don’t have to come up with a brand new invention. You just have to make one better or find innovate ways to use it. The fact is, there are not a lot of new ideas out there if you think about it. In the frontier days, transportation came in the form of covered wagons. Today, our covered wagons are cars, trucks, RV’s, trains, and airplanes. They go faster, carry more, and thankfully have a lot more amenities; but the fact is, they are still, in essence, covered wagons.
So to those who think they could never be a leader because they are not smart enough, “management material” or the trail-blazing volunteer, take heart. You have exactly what it takes if you just learn the skills of leadership.