5 Myths of Leadership Worth Knowing

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”

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I like to start my posts with some interesting quotes which can make you think:

“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.”

By Max DePree

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”

By Warren Bennis

“Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.”

By General George Patton

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

By Jack Welch

 “A leader is a dealer in hope.”
By Napoleon Bonaparte


Warren Bennis, in the book Learning to Lead, speaks about the five great myths of leadership:

  • Leadership is a weird attribute.
  • Leaders are born, they are not made.
  • Leaders are charismatic.
  • Leadership only occurs at the top of the organization.
  • A leader controls, directs and manipulates the rest.

 1) Leadership is a weird attribute:

While great leaders are as strange as the great athletes, the great actors or other professions, everyone has leadership potential. There are plenty of leadership roles in the world. People can be leaders in an organization and have follower’s roles in others.

2) Leaders are born, they are not made:

Sometimes leaders seem that they have reached the world with an extraordinary genetic code, as if their leading role was predetermined. The truth is that the main qualities and competencies of the law can be learned if there is a basic desire to do so. This does not mean it’s easy to learn to be a leader. There is no science nor a recipe that inexorably gives you the leadership of success. Instead, it is a deeply human process, full of evidence and error, of victories and defeats, of occurrences, intuition and reflection and the most important a well-trained emotional intelligence.

3) Leaders are charismatic:

Leaders are human beings. There are high and low, articulated and inarticulate, dresses for success and failure, and there is nothing in their appearance or style that sets them apart from the followers. Charisma is more the result of effective leadership, and that who develops it with mastery receives respect and admiration for the followers, which increases the attraction that arises.

4) Leadership only occurs at the top of the organization:

We can fall into this myth by analyzing the senior executives of large organizations, but it will be deceptive. The bigger the company is, the more leadership roles it has to offer.

5) The leader controls and manipulates the rest:

Leadership is not so much the power exercise as empowerment of others. Leaders lead non-engaging, but attracting, creating achievable and challenging expectations, and recognizing the progress towards these expectations, rather than manipulating, encouraging people to take their own initiative.

The great competitive advantage that companies have is people. The directors, are people who must know how to lead people; They must have communication skills, decision making and cultural sensitivity, in order to know how to resolve conflicts, overcome ambiguity and have technical knowledge, which makes their human team the best.

Although some authors have given the impression that leadership is synonymous with leadership, that is not correct, because leaders are not only in the hierarchy of management, but also in informal working groups. The difference between leadership and management has been established as follows:

Leadership is a part of management, but not everything. It is the ability to persuade others to look for a group and motivate them towards the goals. Management activities, such as planning, organization and decision making, are not effective until the leader does not stimulate the power of motivation in people and directs them toward the goals.



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