If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, you are a leader.
–John Q. Adams.
Are you confused by the photo of a bird nest? It’s a wonderful illustration of myth #2 below!
When I think of leaders, these are the people whose names come to mind: Mother Teresa, Donald Trump, Seth Godin, Christine Kane, Mary Crowley, Mary Kay Ash, Lance Armstrong, among many others. Leaders are people who, in the process of following their own visions, transform the world.
There are a lot of things people assume about leaders that aren’t necessarily true, or at least not completely true all the time. Take the saying, It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. It is definitely true that leaders don’t work alone or by themselves; it’s also true that not knowing the right people does not have to hold you back, or keep you from being the awesome leader of you.
Here are 5 Myths About the Best in Leadership Communication:
Myth #1: Leadership communication must please the relevant power structure.
This myth is assumed to be true largely because what we perceive to be going on in party politics, or even office and corporate politics. The best leaders, however, usually upset the power structure, rather than subordinate themselves to it, because they are directed by an inner vision and their own personal values. To be beholden to the power structure, is to decide not be a genuine leader. It’s a variation of the trade-off of authenticity for acceptance, which goes on at all levels.
Myth #2: The best leaders communicate that mistakes are not acceptable.
While you don’t want your brain surgeon to experiment too much while operating on your head, the fact is mistakes are indipensable for innovation and progress. A lot of leaders call this "taking imperfect action." When moving forward in your life, your mistakes are the path to experiencing fundamental improvements in your life. It is easier to correct a mistake than to correct standing in place, constantly seeking more information.
Guess what? I don’t see how to delete images. I face the decision: post this article NOW and imperfectly, or wait to hear from Bob? Knowing that Mixonian readers want intelligent content and encouragement, and that I haven’t posted since Saturday, I’m putting this up now with the lovely but mostly irrelevant photo of a bird nest. What would you do?
Myth #3: The best leaders communicate that they’re in control of all aspects of the project.
Doing it all by yourself is huge way to limit your impact and prosperity. Leaders set up check points and systems of control; they do not micro-manage their projects. The best leaders focus on growing their people, and that means cutting them slack and allowing them to mess up, to not do every thing the wonderful way that you would.
Myth #4: Leaders communicate that they always know every step to take.
The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. Actually if the project is important enough, the leader cannot know exactly how things are going to pan out. When I committed to creating my own business to support my family, I had no idea I would teach communication and wealth-creation skills on the internet; that was nowhere on my radar screen. When Mother Teresa began helping the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, she had no idea how her project would develop. She held to her vision, and took one step after another.
Myth #5: Leaders communicate the importance of being realistic.
This is probably the most-cherished myth about leaders. How many times have people suggested to you, either explicitly or implicitly, that you should be realistic about your dream? To further complicate this myth, people often associate thinking positively, looking for the best in a bad situation, as "unrealistic" while looking for problems is considered "realistic." You hear, "I’m just being realistic, as someone trashes your plan." What is realistic is largely unknowable, and it’s better to aim too high and miss by a bit, than to aim too low and achieve your "realistic" goal. (That’s paraphrasing none other than Michelangelo.)
Have you ever fallen for a leadership communication myth? Have you experienced another one that’s not on this list? What’s your take on leadership communication?