Leadership Myths

UT Dallas Executive Leadership Program

Seven Myths About Leadership

Myth: Leadership is something you have to be born with

Fact: Research has shown that effective leadership is a set of learned skills. For some people, their personality or talents may make it easier to learn these skills, but anyone can learn how to be highly effective in a leadership role.

Myth: Effective Leadership is not something that can be measured

Fact: A leader’s effectiveness can be measured by discovering how the leader’s behaviors impact the actions of others. Improvement over time can be measured in the same way. This is the exact method that the L.E.A.P. Program uses to assess participants and then to measure their improvement at the end of the program.

Myth: Being a leader means motivating others with “the carrot and the stick;” rewarding desired behavior and punishing undesired behavior.

Fact: The carrot and the stick approach is best reserved for motivating donkeys, not people! Effective leaders build mutual respect and trust with those they lead, and create an environment where people are empowered to do their best work.

Myth: Leadership takes too much time and effort, it is not efficient.

Fact: Yes, it takes time to get to know people, build a relationship, and truly understand them. But the payoffs of improved team attitude, loyalty and performance are far greater than the effort invested. And isn’t it a leader’s objective to be effective, rather than just efficient?

Myth: I am already a leader in my organization so I must not need any “leadership development”.

Fact: Having a senior manager or executive position comes with responsibilities and some inherent power, but that does not mean you are proficient at inspiring a shared vision or building an enthusiastic team. To be a truly effective leader requires training, tools, guidance and experience, all provided to you in the L.E.A.P. Program.

Myth: The things that would motivate my people are not in my control, so I cannot be responsible for their attitude and performance.

Fact: Studies have shown that about 70% of factors that determine employees’ efforts are within their manager’s control. Also, the most common reason good people leave their job for another is due to a “poor relationship with the boss.”

Myth: I don’t have the time to invest in a leadership development process over ten months.

Fact: It’s a competitive marketplace and organizations value proven leadership ability. You owe it to yourself to fully leverage your natural leadership abilities. The L.E.A.P. Program requires five half-day training sessions, plus about an hour per week for additional study and application. In ten months you will acquire new insights, habits, skills, and tools that will serve you for the rest of your life.

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The L.E.A.P. Program™ and Leadership Effectiveness Accelerated Process™ are registered trademarks of Leadership Associates Consulting Group, presented in partnership with UT Dallas, Executive Education, Naveen Jindal School of Management.