Have you the courage to burst your own myth?

Feb 1, 2010

We all perpetuate myths – about events in our past, about people we know, about ourselves. It’s a natural human trait.Leaders aren’t exempt this trait. Think of leaders in the news over the last six months – Steve Jobs, Tiger Woods, President Obama, Toyota – to name but a few…and think of the myths perpetuated about them (and sometimes by them). Brilliance. Discipline. Focus. Execution. Quality.

Then think of what has happened to their status as leaders as a result of allowing – often, encouraging – those myths.

I’m not being judgmental here, and I’m not suggesting that myth-making is necessarily bad, or wrong. I am saying that mindless myth-making, or heedless myth-making, always has consequences, and those consequences are almost always bad.

What myths do you allow about yourself as a leader? Which do you encourage, or at least condone?

What would happen if you stopped? What would happen if you actively, gracefully dismantled that myth?