We all aspire to be leaders. Whether it's being the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the quarterback of a major football team, we've always glorified leadership skills -- which is why there is no shortage of self-help articles explaining how to achieve such high status.
Unfortunately, there are many myths about leadership.
In the riveting account Leaders: Myths and Reality, authors General Stanley McChrystal, Jeff Eggers and Jason Mangone examine 13 leaders, from Albert Einstein to Margaret Thatcher, to explain the "formulaic myth," in which leadership is distilled into a checklist of characteristics (i.e., charisma and emotional intelligence). The authors argue that this concept gives too much attribution to leaders--at the cost of recognizing the support behind their success.
"Leadership is a complex system of the relationship between leaders and their followers, and it should be understood in a way that provides meaning to their members," the authors conclude.