Fact Check: 7 Common Misconceptions About Leadership

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / April 4, 2022
Boost your personal leadership skills by being aware of — and avoiding at all costs — these seven all-too-common misconceptions.

Is a leader born or made? Being a leader is no easy feat and requires many skills to just be a good one. Here are a few common misconceptions about leadership.

1. Leaders enjoy being in the spotlight.

Many people consider a leader to always be in the spotlight and a leader from the front. And in the age of technology and social media running rampant 24/7, a leader could even be a one-man PR machine.

But a truly good leader is one who you don’t hear about. The ones who work behind the scenes and are not interested in the limelight.

Some successful leaders are even introverts, and they can be effective in the right circumstance.

2. Leaders enjoy firing and chastising people.

It is true that some leaders don’t mind having to do the dirty deed of firing someone. Extending that idea to every leader is one of the more common misconceptions.

However, a good leader should be able to recognize that each employee under their care is a person with their own life. A great leader needs to be able to recognize that their comments can affect productivity and that firing someone can deeply affect that person and their families.

3. Leaders don’t work, they only delegate.

Again, there can be leaders who use this leadership style, but it is not an effective one.

A truly great leader needs to be someone who can find the best person to accomplish their task and give them the resources to do so.

This leads to leaders researching, finding, and analyzing data. They also need to set up meetings, plan for future projects, and organize events and activities. This takes time and effort, which is work.

4. Leadership is not a birthright.

Great leadership is usually defined by someone who is accountable, passionate, and committed to their career.

Some people are lucky and are born with some of these skills, but fortunately, anyone can learn these skills to become a leader.

Leaders are mainly shaped through experience; they are never born ready. Leaders need to be able to value opinion, create a culture of trust, and act with humility.

As Arianna Huffington said, “Great leadership and creativity don’t come from a place of exhaustion and burnout.”

5. Leaders don’t have to answer to anyone.

Whether a leader is a low-level manager, a middleman, or the CEO, they all must do one thing in common: answer to others.

They may very well feel that they are above the law, and not have to listen to others. This is one of those common misconceptions that can cause companies to run amok.

However, they need the approval of investors, clients, employees, and the public. Without those, their business is gone.

6. Leaders don’t know everything.

It can be easy to imagine your boss being the oracle of all knowledge, but there are in fact limits to any leader.

Besides, no one can be an expert in everything. Great leaders surround themselves with skilled employees who can help fill in the gaps of knowledge.

Leadership shouldn’t be about leaders and followers but leading with a sense of purpose and creating high-performance teams.

The very best leaders are those who are forever students on a continual journey seeking knowledge. A lesson learned is a lesson earned.

7. Leaders are those with a title.

A title does not make a leader. Some people are fantastic leaders and do not hold any sort of titles, prestige, or anything similar.

Being a leader is about taking charge and getting others to act on that. Skills do not require titles.

Being a leader is not about the title, it is about understanding others, having passion, and taking action.

About The Author

Tristan Anderson

Hello! My name is Tristan Anderson and I live in Manhattan, Kansas. I enjoy being in nature and animals. I am also a huge geek who loves Star Wars and has a growing collection.