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Five Myths About Leadership: Ignorance Isn’t Bliss

Dysfunction in the workplace is more common than many leaders might want to admit to. After all, we’re dealing with a group of individuals who bring a lifetime of unique experiences, backgrounds, and attitudes to the workplace. Combine this diverse group of people and our organization’s mission and goals – it’s no wonder that many companies experience some degree of dysfunction when this is left unattended.

Yet, one of the primary reasons its left unattended is because it all points back to leadership.

In all leader’s defense, many seem to be truly blind to this. However, many of these common myths are simply the result of choosing to believe that their role as the leader has propelled them to heights protected by their title.

But the opposite is far, far more accurate.

The good news is that common myths are easy to rectify. Plus, it makes life a lot easier as a leader and it certainly drives a more successful workplace. Consider some of these myths while 1) easing the pressure as the leader and 2) enjoy the benefits of loosening the reigns.

Myth #1
I call all the shots: the reason we have armed our company with the best direct reports, a remarkable management team, and very impressive front-line staff is because we don’t need to call all the shots. Nor should we.
Myth #2
I can’t really trust anyone, so I need to make sure I’ve got it all under control: no leader – no human being for that matter is the know all, end all. There is a stark difference between power and control. Displaying this attitude is likely portraying an unnecessary degree of power. One that no one will respond positively to. Consider the importance of empowering that remarkable team you’ve hired. You chose them for a reason. Capitalize on that.
Myth #3
I need to be objective all of the time: rational and objective thinking is vital for sustaining a strategic stance in the marketplace. It is certainly a critical aspect of leadership. But to ignore or dismiss the reality that our employees are human beings with intrinsic motivators and innate drivers can be a grave mistake. Consider the fact that perceptions, values, and inherent behaviors are derived from our subconscious – objectivity is only part of the picture. Take advantage a holistic view of your people and you may soon realize your key personnel are not only more loyal, but also far more productive (and efficient, effective, etc.).
Myth #4
I need to make sure my people like me if I want them to be loyal: human beings respond best to healthy boundaries, respect, and guidance. One of the fastest ways to lose the respect of our people is trying to please everyone all the time. It’s simply not possible. Plus, it’s an awful lot of work. I promise – loyalty ensues when leaders motivate, empower, and takes advantage of the beautiful strengths people possess.
Myth #5
Since I’m the leader, I should naturally be a really good coach, too: the reason executive coaching is no longer a luxury (but now a necessity) is because it works. Everyone should have a dedicated trusted advisor (or coach, mentor). We all have room to grow and as leaders, we should want to. If coaching doesn’t come naturally to you, find a good coach, mentor, or trusted advisor who will guide you through setting up an internal coaching program. Not only will your people realize it’s a pathway to their own fulfillment at work, but empowerment is an amazingly powerful force. The best part is that it makes leading that much easier.

Food for thought: Who are some of those renowned leaders who you follow, read about, or who capture your attention?

One common thread they share is that they care enough to lead.

Truly lead.    

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Dr. Jennifer Beaman
Dr. Jennifer Beamanhttp://forleadership.org/
FOR over 25 years, Jennifer has served as an executive consultant helping organizational leaders streamline processes and strategies by enhancing skills and practices. Serving as a strategic consultant to industry-wide businesses throughout California, she soon recognized the unparalleled value of human capital. In turn, she introduced leadership and executive development services, thereby providing a more holistic opportunity for clients. Cornerstone to helping leaders recognize the power of their actions and behavior, she weaves the art of emotional intelligence into all interactions, thereby promoting thorough value to the entirety of organizational systems. Joining ranks as a business owner in 2004, she partnered in a California-based sign manufacturing business. This business served a variety of clients, primarily larger corporations, franchises and Fortune 100-500s. In 2008, she participated in partnership in southern California specializing in project management and leadership development services. This corporation served clients ranging from Fortune 50-100s. The Association for Leadership Practitioners is a subsidiary of a parent company opened in 2010 and serves clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500s. Dr Beaman also serves as a partner at Chasing Limitless, Inc., providing strategic consulting and executive leadership development services to catapult organizational revenue and growth and primarily serves Fortune 500 companies. She holds a Doctorate in Management with a focus in Organizational Leadership; Master's degree in Organizational Management; and Bachelor's degree in Organizational Development. She is an active member is several professional affiliations and volunteers on a consistent basis helping entrepreneurs and doctoral students working toward publishing their dissertations.

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