Physician Leader, Don’t Fall for These Myths About Leadership
Category: Physicians Leading Transformation
According to researchers and consultants Goffee and Jones in their landmark article, Why Should Anyone be Led by You, many executives profoundly misunderstand what makes an inspirational leader. These are the four most common myths:
Everyone can be a leader. NOT TRUE. Many executives don’t have the self-knowledge or the authenticity necessary for leadership.
Leaders deliver business results. NOT ALWAYS. If results were always a matter of good leadership, picking leaders would be easy. Things are not that simple. Businesses in quasi-monopolistic industries can often do very well with competent management rather than great leadership. Equally, some well-led businesses do not necessarily produce results, particularly in the short term.
People who get to the top are leaders. NOT NECESSARILY. One of the most persistent misperceptions is that people in leadership positions are leaders. But people who make it to the top may have done so because of political acumen, not necessarily because of true leadership quality. What’s more, real leaders are found all over the organization, from the executive suite to the shop floor. By definition, leaders are simply people who have followers, and rank doesn’t have much to do with that.
Leaders are great coaches. RARELY. It is often taught that leaders ought to be good coaches. That thinking assumes that a single person can both inspire the troops and impart technical skills. It’s possible that great leaders may also be great coaches. More typical are leaders like Steve Jobs whose distinctive strengths lie in their ability to excite others through their vision rather than through their coaching talents.