3 Major Myths In Leadership Unpacked

What leaders are nOT responsible for

We at CCG work with leaders and teams for more than 30 years. In this time we witnessed many developments and hypes in leadership firsthand – many of them led to misunderstandings about what leaders should do, how leaders should run their organization, and shall behave in front of their people. We call this these “Myths in Leadership”. Those misunderstandings were no longer serving the original idea, the purpose of the organization and the people working in the organization. 

In this blogpost summarizing the contents of the related podcast we introduce the 3 main myths of Leadership, that we meet over and over again:

Myth 1: Leaders are responsible for the motivation of their employees

Almost all Leaders we meet have bought into the belief that they are responsible for the employees’ motivation. We strongly believe it is NOT the responsibility of Leaders to motivating others. 

Motivation is a territory that only exists in our own life. 

Leaders have no access to the internal motivation of other people. Only they themselves can be responsible for their own motivation. Playing along to feel responsible for someone else’s motivation can turn into a toxic game as we will never be able to play according to the expectation of others. 

Leaders can help to build motivation by breaking down the illusion of ownership for other one’s motivation and by engaging in a conversation about motivation with our team. Giving back the responsibility for one’s own motivation gives people back the ownership of their own lives which creates a healthy environment for the whole organization.

Listen To the conversation on the conscious consulting Podcast

Myth Nr 2: Empowerment is about letting people take more decision

The common narrative of what empowerment in organizations means is about giving people more things: more power, larger budgets, more responsibilities, more decision-making. 

But empowerment is not about transactions, it is about creating a space where people feel that their lives matter.

In our conversation with disempowered leaders and employees, we help to shift their focus on all the things they have an impact on in their daily life. From the idea of empowering others to creating an empowering context for people. In order to do so, we look at the 3 key desires of human beings and act upon those:

  • I belong (to the team, the organization.. )
  • I can develop and unfold my potential 
  • My life matters.  My contribution to the organization makes a difference. 

You as a leader can help to create a space where everyone around you feels how impactful his or her actions are, that their contribution matters, and their lives matter. 

Invite your employees to that space and in that space, you are unfolding his or her potential. Be courageous by creating enough clarity so people know what they can, should, and have to do. Be honest, explicit, and transparent, and then let them go. Give support, feedback and challenge.

Myth Nr 3: Trust is about trusting

So what if trust is not a thing that grows between two people but a choice you actively take? Trusting is a choice you can take, independently from anyone else. It is a space you cultivate and can invite people over into that quality. 

The space of trusting starts with personal integrity. 

Again, we have no influence on other people’s capacity and preparedness to trust us, but our contribution is personal integrity by “Being your word”:  Stick to your words, show integrity and this means walking the talk as well as might sometimes to change the direction of the course.

Being a Leader is a choice, not a role. Everyone is a Leader, coming in different shapes and forms. Everyone, from where ever you come and wherever you are is asked to take Leadership, create a work environment for others and act from a place of personal integrity.

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