26 Jul Leadership Myths
Myth 1 – People will follow you because of your job title.
Yes people will definitely be managed by you if you own the business or are their manager, they might do what they are told in order to do receive their pay-check at the end of the month.
However this does not mean that they follow you.
People only follow people that they trust, in a recent study only 18% of people say they trust a business owner and less than 50% of people would trust a politician to give them £10 back if they lent it to them.
This displays your title has nothing to do with trust, to get people to trust you and in turn follow you then you need to know what you stand for and then stand for it and stick to your word. People hate lies and false promises, it is demoralising and just kills any trust.
You need to be constantly speaking to your team naturally and with intimacy, have a genuine interest in their needs and wants.
Myth 2 – Business’ need a hierarchy:
Although in places such as church and royalty there was already a hierarchy structure in place, this only really came about in about 1841 during the industrial revolution.
However things have changed since then and so have people, we now do what we want for self actualisation, most people want to do something of worth, that they can see, tell people about, remember for a long time.
You need your employees to have their heart in the project rather than just turning up to receive a paycheque at the end of the month, you pay for the full person so you need to get the full person to work.
You don’t know it all, there needs to be communication across the business levels, the employee should be able to talk to their managers, manager, the HR staff should be able to talk to the accounting staff and ideas should be coming from all areas.
Most employees are more likely to tell their manager about a one night stand at the weekend than ways to improve the business, this is not healthy for any business that wants to progress.
As a Leader, you need to listen to your staff, really listen and take on board what they say, there should be constant open communication between you.
Myth 3 – Competition:
Many people are desperately aiming to get to number 1 in their industry by doing the same as the guy whose number 1 but trying to do it slightly better. They become so fixated on beating number 1 that they don’t even notice the guy coming up alongside them.
The only difference is this other company doesn’t want to beat number 1, their aim is to completely disrupt the competition, and change the competition.
Competition can actually inhabit creativity, whereas collaboration encourages creativity.
Where can you look to collaborate, perhaps outside your industry, or perhaps with the ‘competitors’. Theres talks of Apple collaborating with BMW in the near future are one example of this, two industry leaders knowing that they need to constantly evolve and adapt to stay ahead of the market so they are creatively working together to create something special.
Myth 4 – There is always a right answer and you always have the answer because you’re the boss.
Nobody always has the answers to everything and nobody expects you too, they do however expect and respect honesty and when you act like you know everything then you lose the trust of your employees or peers.
To start a business, or even a new marketing strategy or app, you don’t need to spend 18 months planning everything, thinking that you know it all, then releasing it and then realising it isn’t quite what people are after, or equally as bad you wait until you have all the information and then when you release your idea it is too late, either the market has moved on or somebody else has beat you to it.
You have to have a ‘bug fix’ mentality, in which you get the idea out, early! You then get feedback early, fail fast, learn, change it, version 1, version 2, version 3. Do something today. There is no room for an ego here, you might have to share any credit with the people you collaborate with and you may come under criticism for your early versions but you have to be ready for that and ready to learn from this.
“To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence.
The next best, the people honor and praise.
The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate …
When the best leader’s work is done the people say,
We did it ourselves!”
― Lao Tzu