Leadership Misunderstood

authentic leadership authority confusion earning leadership ethical influence influence leadership leadership in management leadership myths management positional leadership supervision Nov 15, 2023
Leadership Myths

Before jumping into the meat and potatoes of some of the most common misunderstanding Cindy and I run into when working to build better leaders in the teams we serve - leadership myths if you will - I want to share a special invitation with you to join us at 3pm on Friday, December 8 where we’ll be covering a few simple steps involved in helping us spread the word about the release of my upcoming book, WHAT’S KILLING YOUR PROFITABILITY? (It ALL Boils Down to Leadership!). This will be on Zoom and there’s no commitment at this point (and relatively low commitment even then) AND we’ve got some really special things planned for the folks who are willing to help us out as part of the official book launch team. If you have any interest at all in lending a hand in the process, fill out the form on this page and we’ll make sure you get the login information for the Zoom call (and access to the recording just in case you can’t make it when we’re live). Now, let’s get down to business!

Without a doubt, the most common source of confusion that Cindy and I run into when working with larger groups ties to the team members who have no direct reports and feel like they aren’t leaders. While that’s something we address head-on as we kickoff almost every lesson we deliver, it’s a leadership myth that all but demands our attention!

I heard John Maxwell share one of his most common phrases more than twenty years ago, “Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.” As I think about it, I actually didn’t hear it. I read his words in chapter two of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, The Law of Influence. John gave context for that statement by sharing a story about his first role as a pastor and presiding over the first board meeting. While that meeting may have been his responsibility to open and close, a fellow named Claude led the meeting - because Claude had earned influence with the rest of the board and John had not at that point.

In far too many cases, we hear people make comments questioning their own leadership responsibility (and often even their potential to lead others) because they’re not in charge of anyone in their organizational structure. And unfortunately, we often see examples of folks in supervisory, management, and even executive roles who have earned very little influence with their teams but throw their positional authority around like the Lord Farquad character from Shrek

As we move forward here, I’m going to work to wreck those myths and make a case for how each of us have a responsibility for leading effectively from right where we are on any given day. Since all too few people do, there are people counting on me and you who may never benefit from authentic leadership otherwise. Stay tuned!