This article is part of the 5 Myths series.
Harmful Statements about Leadership
Let’s give attention to some statements about leadership that are endorsed by our culture but may not be true. In fact, these statements may even be harmful to individuals and organizations and the missions they pursue.
Myth #1: Everyone is a leader.
This statement is ubiquitous in leadership literature. A quick internet search will guide you to a host of articles with this phrase in the title. It is usually accompanied by a definition of leadership that plausibly supports this claim. For example, one might define leadership as influence, and since everyone has influence, everyone is therefore a leader. Clearly, part of leadership is influence, and it is presumably true that everyone has some influence on others. But this is like saying everyone is a doctor because we all deal with illness or everyone is a chef because we all prepare food….