I am sure many of us have had the same vision of what a leader should look like. They are brash, outspoken and stoic. Well, I am here to tell you that we have been had. Leaders come in all shapes and personalities.
Below are seven leadership myths that you need to stop believing.
1. All bosses are leaders. Believe me, just because someone is your boss does not mean that he is categorically a good leader. I am sure we have all had some terrible bosses who were not good leaders. Some of the best leaders I have seen were team leaders.
2. Leaders are extroverts. Ever heard of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Abraham Lincoln? Many famous great leaders are introverts! I know plenty of extroverts who hate being leaders and many introverts who thrive in leadership positions. Leadership is built, not born.
3. Great leaders are beloved all the time. At some point, leaders will make unpopular decisions because they are necessary. A great leader should always garner respect, but that does not mean she always has to be admired.
4. Leaders know all the answers. Nobody has all the answers. That's why a great leader needs a high-performance team to help him find the answers.
5. Great leaders are stoic. Leaders are people, and they have feelings. As leaders, they do need to have a good handle on their emotional reaction. However, if something monumental happened good or bad, it would be odd if the leader did not react to the elephant in the room.
6. Great leaders get things done through manipulation. Slow down there, Stalin! Great leaders get things done because people respect them and want to help their leaders realize their vision or BHAG.
7. A leader's gender matters. Hello, it's 2016 calling, welcome to the new century where men and women can both do things. Check out Cathy McCullough's blog on leadership gender and why we should be focusing on leadership traits, not gender.
So, when you are looking for leaders in your organization, I urge you to think outside the box.
Here are five traits to look for in a great leader:
1. They go the extra mile. They go out of their way to get the job done and go the extra mile for their employees and customers.
2. They can hold the attention of a room. When they speak, people pay attention. Some of the most influential leaders I have known are reserved, but when they start talking, people listen.
3. They work with their team. Great leaders are not islands; they work with their team to get their things done.
4. They are confident but not arrogant. They believe in their vision and what they are doing. However, they aren't brash and overzealous in their confidence.
5. Patience is their virtue. Great leaders understand that it takes time to realize their vision.
Looking for more information about Leadership? Check out our additional resources:
Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images