Not all business advice is created equal.
But craving and seeking wisdom, education, and words of wisdom from generations before us comes with the business-leadership territory. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not so obvious which advice should be taken with a grain of salt or tossed aside completely.
With enough experience and learning things the hard way, business leaders are usually able to discern the value of others’ advice.
In this article, we’ll explore three of the most common buzzwords and “pro tips” that have been floating around the community for a long time that aren’t serving you. Here are three business leadership myths that will keep you from success and how to overcome them.
Never Show Vulnerability
One of the most prevalent myths in leadership is that you must stand your ground, never change direction, listen to others, or show any signs of perceived weakness and vulnerability.
The reality is that there are few things as influential and inspiring as owning your mistakes, changes of heart, and the process of rediscovering overlooked opportunities. Leaders are human, not superheroes. It’s the human aspect that builds credibility and deepens the relationship with members of an organization, peers, and colleagues.
Business leaders demonstrate and inspire growth and growth requires vulnerability.
They say you haven’t made it until you officially have haters. And to avoid the uncomfortable feelings of others going against you and your ideas, “they” also encourage business leaders to just ignore what these naysayers say.
If you were to take this advice you would be surrounded by yes-men and yes-women. No one can challenge you without holding back.
This would be a comfortable environment but wouldn’t induce the kind of productive feedback loop than if you were to lend an ear to someone with a list of everything they disagree with you about.
Too much criticism is never healthy and too much praise isn’t productive. But every now and then a critic will point out a weakness in your plan and if you’re in a receptive frame of mind (and not a defensive one), their fault-finding could spark monumental improvements in how you do something. That’s right, haters are helpful.
Even if the delivery isn’t elegant, sometimes guidance can be given in the most unexpected places from the most unexpected people as long as you are open to it.
Fake It Until You Make It
Faking it until you make it will always cost you, it’s only a matter of when. The Fyre Festival is a perfect example of what can happen when a business over promises and devastatingly under-delivers.
Faking it until you make it goes hand in hand with imposter syndrome. This mentality is the result of believing you don’t have enough qualifications to achieve what’s expected of you. Both ideas are based on insecurities and not necessarily facts.
Leaders are successful because they believe in their ability to lead. Not because they’re smarter than or can do everything better than their juniors. But because they maintain The Lion Mentality. As explained by Percy Bland Jr., CEO of Wilbridge Financial Group, the lion mentality is self-awareness and confidence.
Bland said, “The lion may not be the smartest, strongest, or the fastest but he’s still considered the king..and is respected by all the other animals”. He goes on to say “If you believe that you want to make an impact, nothing can stop you”.
Never hesitate to question the quality of leadership advice that you are given. Trust only that which resonates with your values and beliefs. These and other business leadership myths tend to dehumanize leaders. But it’s the imperfect, honest, and real human characteristics in you that will forever be your most valuable traits.