5 Critical Leadership Rules You Should Break Right Now

Leadership Rules

If you’re working in a managerial or lead position then you’re most definitely a flag bearer of leadership.

But despite being hierarchically bestowed, people often don’t exhibit true leadership qualities.

Leaders who influence their followers to achieve greatness share a few similar characteristics. One of those characteristics is no fear of bending or breaking the rules for achieving greatness.

Within ethical and legal boundaries, of course.

A good leader doesn’t hesitate to challenge the status quo. In fact, that is what has propelled them to sustain leadership status for a longer period of time.

Sticking to the tried and tested approach might deliver expected results or in a fast-paced environment, it might not yield anything. And as a leader, you don’t want that.

You want to achieve something that others have not. For that, you will have to ditch the traditional mindset. In this article, you will learn about five important leadership rules that you should break to lead effectively.

5 Leadership Rules You Should Break

Thinking You Know Everything

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”—Stephen Hawking

Yes, you are the leader and this might make you believe that you know everything. You are the one who’s calling the shots. You think of yourself as the smartest person in the room and conventional wisdom backs you up too. That does not mean that you can be right all the time.

The problem with this approach is that you don’t include other stakeholders in the decision-making process because you don’t have faith in their capabilities. You can also take the wrong decisions and if you don’t have someone to tell you that you are wrong, how can you correct yourself. That is why it is important to surround yourself with smart people and you will slowly become smarter too.

Doing Everything Yourself

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Helen Keller

Most leaders think of themselves as a lone wolf. They think of themselves as a genius who knows everything and can do anything without help from external sources. That is the reason why they take solo flight and take on challenges alone. Their ego prevents them from asking for help from their peers and subordinates. Good leaders are humble and know the importance of teamwork for success.

Deep down inside they know that they cannot achieve everything on their own and without the help of others. Success only comes when all their team members work cohesively towards the achievement of a common goal. Use an online task management software to streamline your workflows.

Andrew Carnegie summed it up brilliantly when he said, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.

Thinking Everyone is the Same

If you judge everyone by the same yardstick and think that is fair then you need to change your mindset.

Every person is different and has different strengths and weaknesses. They might be dealing with different challenges. How can you treat everyone equally?

You cannot. As a leader, you need to treat each person differently because they have different motivations, work style and mindset. Instead of comparing them with others, you should encourage them to become a better version of themselves.

I just love the way how Gary Vaynerchuk has addressed this point on his LinkedIn account.


Whether you are a leader or not, you might fancy some people and might not like other people that much. This should not make you give extra favors to those you like and put people you don’t like under pressure.

Yes, you might have employees that are performing wonderfully in different departments such as sales and marketing and you might be inclined to promote them to a higher rank.

As a business leader, you need to understand that if a person is doing well in one role that does not guarantee that he or she will perform well in a different role as well.

Don’t fast-track your blue-eyed boy to higher ranks until you see a genuine desire and drive in them. Instead, compensate your people well and make their job rewarding in any way but refrain from promoting people until you are fully sure about their capabilities.

If It Is Not Broke, Don’t Fix It

Good leaders take a stand against the status quo.

Instead of sitting back, they will act proactively. You will never find a good leader following a well-trodden path.

If you believe in the mantra, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, you will never be able to achieve something big. If you follow this approach, you are closing the doors to creativity and innovation. This will prevent you from finding new solutions.

One of the best examples of this is Steve Jobs. He took a risk by creating products that we did not know we needed until they landed in our hands and the gamble paid off. He could have said that technology is not broken so why to fix it. If he did, he might not be known as the greatest business leader the world has ever seen in recent times.

Which leadership rules you have broken? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.