Recently, I was asked for my opinion about the greatest myth regarding leadership for an article sponsored by Monster.com. The resulting Business Insider article, "5 Outdated Pieces of Advice that Could Bring Your Career to a Screeching Halt," features five general career myths (with insights from five experts). Drawing on my experience developing leaders for more than 25 years, I focused on leadership.
Before I share my greatest leadership myth, what is YOURS? There are tons to choose from:
- Leadership is easy.
- Leaders are born.
- I read a book/went to a seminar/listened to a podcast on leadership; I'm good to go.
- I've got too much on my plate to focus on leadership.
Here's mine from the article:
Leadership skills develop naturally with time.
You may be a genius at your job, but if you lack leadership and managerial skills, those won't magically appear the second you get promoted or get a new job. You need to work on honing those separately, says Terry Traut, founder and CEO of Entelechy, a leadership-development company in Silver Lake, New Hampshire.
Leadership is a skill that requires continuous nurturing, and getting help from your supervisor can help you set new expectations, sharpen your people skills, and build your confidence. You should be reading, taking professional-development courses, and asking for continuous feedback and input from your employees, your boss, your peers, and anyone who will help you improve. "Reflect on what's working and what you could do differently to be more effective," Traut says.