Some people think a leader should have a complete set of skills, characteristics, and abilities to handle any problem, challenge, or opportunity. However, great leaders aren’t know-it-alls who continuously try to outshine everyone. This myth of the “complete leader” can cause stress and frustration for leaders and their teams while damaging the organization’s reputation over time. It’s time to end this myth, and according to Deborah Ancona et al., the sooner leaders stop trying to be all things to all people, the better off their organizations will be.
No one person could stay on top of everything. But the myth of the complete leader (and the attendant fear of appearing incompetent) makes many executives try to do just that, exhausting themselves and damaging their organizations in the process. They believe leaders should have all the answers, someone with superhero powers who should try to be everything to everyone, but these “so-called Leaders” often get burned out and lash out aggressively when things don’t go as expected.
Great leaders aren’t know-it-alls who continuously try to outshine everyone. It’s not about being the smartest person in the room. It’s about building a team with the most intelligent people. You become an inspirational leader when you have the humility to build a team with people more intelligent than you.