The 4 Myths of Authentic Leadership
If asked what is the best investment I made towards my personal and professional growth in 2016, I would say….Joining the John Maxwell team. I spent the year learning the concept and essence of true leadership. I had the misconception that leaders had to be born with that innate ability to swoop in and save the day until I came in contact with John Maxwell Team and John taught me that leadership can also be learned.
I became a member of the John Maxwell team to learn and understand good leadership and the impact it could have on the success of any business or organization. This is to enable me effectively run my foundation, a coaching and training outfit focused on empowering women and youths maximize and deploy their potentials. Because I understood that good leadership is pertinent to the growth and success of any business. As John rightly puts it “everything rises and falls on leadership”.
What role does leadership play in your organization/business? Leadership is the glue that holds every organization together. Without good leadership, the potentials of your business will not be fully maximized or utilized. Leaders are instrumental to building, training and empowering employees to effectively perform their tasks.
There is a popular saying that without leadership, the potentials and resources of the business stay dormant. This is true in every way, when there is a strong leadership in place an organization can maximize productivity and achieve business goals. In other words, good leadership is the heart and soul of any organization.
John Maxwell in his book “21 Irrefutable Laws of leadership” talks about the myths of leadership and I will share some of them in this blog, this exercise can help you determine if you possess the leadership acumen that can take your business to the next level.
- Management myth: Leadership is influence, if you are leading and no one is following, you are just taking a walk. Leadership and Management are two different concepts. The major difference is that leadership influences people to follow, while management is all about maintaining systems, processes and procedures. In reality the leader is the one with the creative and directive ideas whilst the manager is the one implement and maintains the directives of the leader. So a Manger can only maintain and implement policies but cannot change them or formulate them. The perfect mix in any business is managers who understand leadership and leaders who understand management..
- Entrepreneur Myth: As an entrepreneur, your knack is to recognize an opportunity and follow it. You take the financial risk and start the business. That does not automatically make an entrepreneur a leader. Remember a leader is a person that influences people to follow, so you cannot lead people you cannot influence and you cannot influence people if you are not good with people. What happens when an Entrepreneur lacks leadership skills? The answer is simple-partner with a leader as that would go a long way to position the business for success.
- Knowledge myth: We are all very familiar with the phrase “Knowledge is power”. Power most times is mistaken for leadership. Having knowledge and high intelligence does not equate leadership, which is why you can find the most intelligent minds, who have the abilities to analyze theories and think critically but lack the ability to lead.
- Position Myth: Leadership is not based on position. The position does not make the leader that is why a leader can step out of a position and still continues to be influential. Take Barack Obama for instance, Barack Obama made history when he entered the white house. He did not come into power from being the designated survivor; neither was he a governor or a general. He was voted and sworn in on his own merits because his message, his persona and what he symbolized were the same. The message and the messenger were inextricable. In an excerpt from TIMES “Barack Obama, Eight years”, it was noted that Barack was the first Democrat in more than three decades to win more than half the popular vote. He was described as the Exhibit “A” for his message of hope and change. What can be seen at play here is the law of buy in. The people bought into him as a person and as a leader and subsequently bought into his message and vision of hope and change. “The position does not make the leader, the leader makes the position”- Stanley Huffty.
In conclusion, true leadership comes from influence. Titles and positions do not equate leadership; they only afford you the time and opportunity to increase your level of influence. Without influence it would be difficult for you to lead and remember the success of your business is highly dependent on your leadership.
Certified john Maxwell Team Member