The 3 Delusions of Leadership

We all have the capacity to influence, inspire and empower others. Unfortunately Leaders often get in their own way. In this post we’ll discuss how to let go of the three dis-empowering delusions and discover that Leadership is easy. 
 
Delusion 1:  Leadership is difficult and only exists in the gifted few
It is often suggested that Leadership is difficult and that it is the preserve of the naturally gifted.   This can be said about many things that require a high level of skill.  For example, the naturally gifted athlete finds acquiring the skills to improve their performance easier than their counterparts. 
However, there are of course different levels of attainment within each field. For example in sport there may be club, county, national, international or even world class performance.  An individual may start with a different level of talent, but each and every individual can improve their performance at their level through training and practice. This is Leadership at Every Level and is a pre-requisite for successful organisations in today’s unparalleled business environment.
 
Delusion 2:  The delusion of ‘Self’
When a leader believes that they are important and take themselves too seriously, they get in their own way.  Leaders need to awaken to the fact that it is only through others that extraordinary performance can be achieved.  Extraordinary performance cannot be commanded, it can only be given. The leader must therefore act as a conduit for the potential of others, removing any obstacles that prevent the team from realising their shared vision of success.  
 
Delusion 3: What I did yesterday is good enough for tomorrow 
In many of the organisations in which we work, Leaders and Managers have somehow found themselves as the custodians of ‘the way things are done around here’.
The truth is that to thrive and survive, leaders cannot stand still. They must continue to develop themselves and their abilities, consistently establishing a new ‘personal best’ for every aspect of their performance. 
The problem compounded
It is very hard to be successful in something if we’re continually telling ourselves the reasons why it is impossible.  Blended together, these 3 delusions allow us to keep the same… telling us that we can’t change, yet we exist in a world where change is constant.
 
The solution: Culture not Cult
In this turbulent white water business environment we need to move away from  a cult of leadership to a culture of leadership; a culture in which everyone takes responsibility for their performance and their part, (no matter how small) of the organisation.  To do this we will have to accept that there are different levels of leadership and that leadership skill and behaviour will need to be developed and honed in everyone.
Leaders need to translate leadership philosophy into behaviour and get past the delusion of difficulty.  This is the first magical step when the leader transfers leading from mind to muscle, from idea to action – not just understanding leadership, but being a leader.  By doing this they liberate themselves and their people to achieve not just high performance, but authentic, natural and healthy high performance.  
 
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