Published: 19 February 2016
During election season, we are being inundated with comments about what makes a great leader, but many of those desirable traits can also be applied to business leaders. A great leader is just that—a great leader—regardless of what career path he has chosen.
Look around you and analyze the business leaders you admire and the ones you see as failures. Many business people
have followed an academic course before beginning their business careers, while others have simply learned by doing. Some have done exceptionally well in business, while others have failed. Assuming that all business people have the same basic business knowledge, what makes some more successful than others?
Experts have tried to analyze the business leadership personality, and have come up with some common traits. Here are six qualities that most successful business leaders possess:
1. Vision. A leader knows where he is going. He focuses on the goal, on the outcome. The passion of the leader for his vision is what makes things happen. This is the quality that makes the difference between success and mediocrity. Consider this: a father starts a printing company. He loves the entire process of creating, lives on the smell of the ink, and can’t wait to get to work each day. The business prospers and continues to steady grow under him. This father wants his son to take over the business. His son is a musician and only wants to teach music. Do you think he will be as successful in the printing business as his dad? Of course not. The father has the vision for his printing company; the son does not. We have seen far too many stories of the second generation in a business failing just because of this reason. Follow your vision, but don’t force others to share it.
2. Communication. A leader must be able to express where he wants the company to go and how he and his employees will achieve this goal. Employees as well as customers must clearly understand the mission of the company and what they can expect. Employees also need to understand what is required of them so that they can perform to those standards. If you, as the head of the company, muddle the message, how shall you and your employees ever reach the goals? Setting clear goals is the key.
3. Commitment. A leader has to believe in what he is doing, and be willing to be an active participant in the company. He shows that he is committed to the goals and will do everything possible to achieve them. The “boss” sets the standards and should be at the forefront of the business, just as a general should be at the front of his troops. If you are actively involved in the day-to-day running of your business, show a fair and respectful support of your employees, plus stay the course of following your goals, you and your company will benefit from your dedication.
4. Delegation. A business leader hires competent employees who are quite capable of doing their job and growing within the company framework. If you trust the people you have hired, you don’t have to micromanage them. You give them tasks, knowing those tasks will be done properly. Delegating tasks frees you up from the minutia of the daily work day and allows your employee to confidently perform to your expectations. This is the beginnings of team building.
5. Enthusiasm. An old saw, “Enthusiasm is catching,” is also true in business. If you, as business leader, are enthused about what your company is doing, your employees will share that attitude. The mood will be upbeat and positive, with everyone feeling that they can meet goals and expectations. Think about the “Debbie Downer” boss: “Oh, woe is us. We have too many competitors. We can’t get a good price for our materials. We just have too many things against us.” Now think about the “Debbie Do” boss: “We just met that tight deadline—good job, guys! George, you have an idea which will start a new product line. Let’s get going on exploring that!” Who would you rather work for?
6. Respect. Remember Aretha Franklin and her song, R-E-S-P-E-C-T? It still holds true today. A business leader respects the people around him and treats them courteously. Respect is another facet of team building which is mandatory. Treating your employees, vendors, and customers the way you wish to be treated will always reward you and your company.
There are probably 50 traits of success business leaders, but in every list, these six traits are always at the top of the lists. Work to develop these qualities within yourself, then look to see how your life and your company have improved. It takes time and work, but you will benefit from thinking about how you are leading.
Need an outside eye to help you evaluate what is going on within your company? The Savickas Group is composed of experts in all business fields, and they can offer you an impartial assessment about what is right and what can be fixed in your company. Just call for a private, no-obligation chat: 1.888.210.8269.
If you are thinking about preparing your company for sale, contact us for our free ebook, Maximize Your Exit, 9 Tips to Capitalize on the Sale of Your Business: 1.888.210.8269 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Dennis Jarvis for his creative commons photo.