Misconceptions about Leadership

Misconceptions of Leadership 

People new to leadership often feel under pressure to lead in a particularly dominant way. Sometimes this pressure on a new leader to impose their authority on the team comes from above. Dominant leadership is rarely appropriate, especially for mature teams. Misreading this situation, and attempting to be overly dominant can then cause problems for a new leader. One may experience resistance from the team causing and a cycle of negative behaviours and a reduction in performance.

Individuals and teams tend not to resist when they have a strong involvement or sense of ownership.

People tend to respond well to thanks, encouragement, recognition, inclusiveness, etc. Tough, overly dominant leadership prevents a sense of self-control among the people being led and it also inhibits the positive rewards and incentives vital for teams and individuals to cope with change and to enjoy themselves.

Leaders of course need to be able to make tough decisions when required, but most importantly leaders should see it their responsibility to enable the team to thrive, which is actually a ‘serving’ role, not the dominant ‘leading’ role commonly associated with leadership.

Negative Characteristics 

Equally important as following the common positive characteristics of good leaders, is avoiding commonly sighted negative characteristics.

Not Listening: Listening is important to building a loyal and faithful team. Everyone needs to be part of the process and bigger picture.

Dismissing ideas other than your own: Don’t make employees feel like they are pitching to you, encourage them to brainstorm alongside you. Understand their potential and give credit where it is due.

Accepting Experience over potential: Note that some of your best talents will come from passionate individuals. Take advantage of their enthusiasm and their fresh outlook on the industry.

Ego: Release your ego and focus on become an inspirational figure. Look out for your team because if you are without their full support, you will get nowhere.

Over working: Set an example for your team and learn how to take a break. Make sure your mind isn’t always focused upon one thing; work. It could cause a negative atmosphere and your team my also think they have to follow suit and work all hours.

Lack of empathy: Leaders must do their best to remove obstacles so a team can prosper.

Under-prioritising Leadership development: Create a growth plan for your team and encourage them to become leaders within their departments. Give them a personal goal and build their enthusiasm.

Being too conservative: Have faith in yourself and your team. Missing opportunities could be a detriment to your organisation. Create excitement by using your gut and have an open mind, you never know what opportunities may come your way.

Assigning blame: Take responsibility for team failures, because they are your responsibility. It is your responsibility to find a solution.

Inconsistency: Don’t confuse your team with misdirection. Use your ethics and vision to define the ultimate goal and stick to it.