Most people that want to learn more about leadership go online or read a book. There are practically millions of online resources that are now available and you can read thousands of books on this topic. Every single book claims to have the answer you are looking for. German Trujillo Manrique says that all these books teach you to become a situational individual, a primal leader, a servant leader and an emotionally intelligent leader.
The problem is that you read and you read and you fail at becoming the leader that the written content promises. You are stuck and you end up thinking that you are not going to ever become a leader. In reality, the problem is that books focus on some characteristics that create bosses, not leaders.
When you read a book you only get the theory associated with the topic that is discussed. For instance, let’s say that you read a book about how to ride a bicycle. You can read the bestselling one and when you get on the bicycle there is a pretty good possibility you will lose your balance and you will fall. In a similar way, when you read about leadership there is a really good possibility you do not actually understand leadership.
There is also another problem that appears. People get their own ideas about being a leader and what that means. Most of the ideas come from movies and how powerful CEOs are portrayed as being go-getters, ruthless and very tough. Such images remain in your head and when you are put in a position in which you have to lead people, you think this is exactly what you have to do. This is not actually the case.
Think about some of the leaders that you see portrayed in the media. For instance, think about Zuckerberg. Do you see him as ruthless or does he seem like a normal person? There is no way to deny the fact that his leadership is what drove Facebook to the heights it enjoys to day and his image is different than what you see in movies. This is because leadership is highly subjective. Your leadership style might be different than someone else’s. That does not make it wrong.
Remember that most books that teach leadership at the moment are just teaching you different ways in which you can intimidate people. Intimidation is often utilized in order to show control and authority. Some leaders still use tools like intimidation, manipulation and force. These techniques work in the sense that short-term results appear. However, in the long-term we see employees that become resentful and unhappy. Resentful employees always look for opportunities to get some revenge.
To sum up, the theories that you find in books are good but until you are in a leadership position, all you read is just theory. It is really important that you adapt and that you focus on the bigger picture. Think about what works in your case and only use strategies that empower team members.