There are many leadership fallacies that for whatever reason I have fallen foul of. Here are some of my learning:
- My role as a leader is to remove obstacles:
For my whole career, I have been saying my role is to remove the obstacles that make my team successful. However that can be misunderstood as “monkey off my back” one minute manager. https://www.amazon.com/Self-Leadership-One-Minute-Manager-ebook/dp/B0743DMK1N/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3GWKU5SR7DMH7&keywords=one+minute+manager&qid=1570841440&refinements=p_lbr_one_browse-bin%3AKen+Blanchard&rnid=2272759011&s=digital-text&sprefix=One+minute+mana%2Cdigital-text%2C319&sr=1-1
Key learning: A better saying would be, my role is to enable you to overcome any obstacle so you can be successful. The emphasis is on you not me!
2. My role as a leader is to shield the team from excessive workload
I have found it hard to load up the team beyond their day jobs because of concern of overworking the team. I have had that happen early on in my career and I was told to get over it, something I never want to do to my team.
Recently on leadership training where we played out a business scenario, it became apparent that the leaders were phonetic whereas the employees were chit chatting as they did not have enough to do. The answer is that you keep loading until they say no.
Key learning: Not giving your team stretch projects limits their development.
3. Leading from the front
This does not mean you need to set the path and drive on your own. You need the input from your boss, peers, team and stakeholders. You also need others to step up and if you are always leading, you are stealing their oxygen and their development opportunity.
I thought this meant I showed the way and set an example of what my team needed to do. With a capable team you need to be at the back, and coaching them to lead. With Adaptive leadership it talks about on the balcony and on the dance floor, a acronym for taking a more strategic view. The other consideration is succession, those leaders that are always at the front, what happens when they go, does their successor step into the leading from the front, when they had a leader who did that.
An overused phrase that is being overtaken by leadership thinking that includes anyone in an organisation. As I say to my staff, anyone can be a leader, even if they have no direct reports.
These are three leadership fallacies that no longer ring true for me. Would be interested in your views?