The most damaging leadership trope

The most damaging leadership trope

What is one of the most limiting and damaging management/leadership meme or trope that people suffer under or conform to? for me it this weird homogeneous, imaginary idea of what a leader is. I think a lot of people suffer under idealised view of what a leader needs to be thats formed from a combination of common types of leader that are feted (e.g. steve jobs or elon musks, both of which definitely displayed more than enough evidence of not being great leaders). I think there is also a weird pop culture militaristic idealisation of a leader ‘leading from the front’, or giving a braveheart like speech to inspire the troops. but the thing is its bullshit. its mostly white, often male, Its often not a diverse, accurate or useful representation of what being an effective leader is in the real world.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times i’ve seen leaders try and conform to this idealised view of how they should be behaving as a leader. this leads to several bad outcomes:

  • they end up trying to do things that aren’t their strengths e.g. the leader who thinks they need to try and give an inspiring talk to ‘the troops’ when their communication strength is the written word
  • They push themselves too far into a stress zone which drives unhelpful behaviours
  • They become inauthentic, acting in the role of leader rather than being their own specific type of leader, when authenticity is the bedrock of effective leadership
  • they try and cover up their weaknesses rather than being open, transparent and authentic about them
  • the inauthenticity leads to alienation, of their team from their leader and of the leader from themselves

Does this resonate with you? What do you think is the most damaging leadership trope?

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