With our very own Summit21 approaching fast, let's continue the talk about leadership — because we want to encourage you all to be the best leaders you can be in your respective fields, organizations and just everyday life. 

While there are proactive ways you can enhance your leadership style to continue growing a trusted voice, there are some myths that may be holding you back from reaching the next level. Leadership and Performance consultant, Malachi Thompson, revealed four of these myths to Entrepreneur and here are the takeaways: 

myth #1 – Leaders Have To Come From Elite Backgrounds 

PHOTO: TakeTheLeadWomen 

That is simply not true! Every leader is not born into their position or traveled on a straight road to success. Some leaders tap into their skills after experiencing hardship, sacrifice and taking risks. More times than not, their determination to make it through does not stem from formal training but from a deep passion and drive. 

myth #2 – As a Leader, There Is Only One Set Of Behavioral Patterns That Will Help You Excel

PHOTO: Black Enterprise

While rising to the position, Thompson advises not falling into the “fake it til you make it” train of thought. 

“Following advice to merely emulate the behavior of those you admire and respect can pose grave risks, especially when you become a leader by default as opposed to by your own audition. Smart teams can smell falsehood and copycats a mile away […]  If you think you can behave in misalignment with your values and belief systems, effectively leading and inspiring people will be a struggle let alone the fight you’ll have with your own conscience.” Thompson shared with Entreprenuer

To combat the missteps that may come with these actions, Thompson suggests developing a “behavioral checklist” which is a reflection of the values and principles you hold dear and believe will make you a standout leader. 

myth #3 – No Feedback Means Things Are Going Well

PHOTO: Black Enterprise

If you are not receiving feedback from your team, you should not just assume everything is okay. Depending on the work-relationship you develop with your team, you can determine what they do and do not share with you.

Do not expect them to share everything with you (remember, you are at work). But you also would never want someone to withhold their battle with mental illness or being dissatisfied with the workings of the office — they may be afraid it will not be received well, or worse, they lose their job.

“Genuine efforts to create trusting bonds with your team will help you to foresee threats that could send the business crumbling at glacial magnitude,” Thompson told Entreprenuer

If you feel like there is a lull in feedback from your team, initiate an anonymous survey which will allow your team members to express their thoughts without feeling pressured or having their name attached. Or, have a tried-and-true “suggestion box” where people can drop in their thoughts if/when they arise.  

myth #4 – Admitting Your Fears and Vulnerabilities Shows Weakness

PHOTO: Elite Daily

We beg to differ! Being open about your fears, failures, vulnerabilities and experiences make you more relatable and in most cases results in respect from your peers. 

“To be human is to feel the full spectrum of emotions, good and bad, light and dark. If you believe being a great leader is not admitting you also experience what your team experience, you need to rethink. Ironclad bonds in any relationship birth from shared adverse experiences and being artfully empathetic, not distancing yourself and protecting your ego at all costs,” Thompson revealed to Entreprenuer

We do not suggest putting all your business in the streets, but find moments to be more open and let those around you see a side of you that lies behind your guard.

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