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Top 10 Misconceptions About Leadership

The Garthwait Leadership Center at Gettysburg College believes that leadership is ethical and values-based, the potential lies within everyone, it is collaborative and group-oriented, developmental and lifelong, and leadership development is consistent with our mission as a liberal arts college Let's bust the top 10 myths about leadership together!

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9. All leaders are charismatic, outgoing, and outspoken.

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Charisma and confidence can certainly help in situations, however, silent leadership can many times be more powerful. For example, great leadership can come in the form of one-on-one mentoring relationship.

8. Leadership is about telling people what to do and having control.

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Leadership can come simply from leading by example, not just delegating. Effective leaders ‘let go’ by empowering others to act.

7. Leadership comes with age.

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Experiences do provide a wealth of knowledge on leadership, but there are countless examples of young people who have made a difference. Youth often provides new ideas and creativity.

6. Leaders are those with the highest position or title.

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You don’t have to be the president of a company to be a leader. Effective leaders have influence by leading from their authentic selves and working with others to affect positive change.

4. There is one right way to be a leader.

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Leadership is an individual process that takes on many forms depending on the context. Effective leaders adapt to the situation or challenge at hand.

2. Leadership means doing what is popular.

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Although leaders must listen to the needs and wants of others, sometimes leadership means having the courage to stand up for what is right, not what is trendy or cool.

1. Great leaders are born, not made.

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Strangely, some people still believe this myth! Although many of us are born with helpful traits, leadership skills can be learned and developed. Potential for leadership lies within everyone!

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