Being a great leader isn’t a piece of cake. Experience plays a key role. According to successful entrepreneurs, “Experience makes a leader perfect.” While a leader’s activities might be scrutinized when things aren’t going well, it is his or her leadership traits that keep an organization strong and which shine through the worst of times. Such attributes are what employees look up to and respect.
Admittedly, there are many qualities that people recognize as important to becoming a successful business leader. However, here are the nine essentials that seem necessary for leaders to stand out from the crowd, regardless of the industry they are in. The good thing is that anyone can learn these traits through practice and repetition.
Intensive Industry Knowledge
In order to become a great leader, you must know your industry or business inside out. People expect leaders to be experts in the overall dynamics of the current market, as well as in industry trends and happenings.
Leaders must also be aware of the competitive landscape by visiting events and by being frequently involved in associations. These practices are crucial in any industry where new products and services are constantly evolving.
Having industry knowledge is good, but information is not enough in itself for you to become a successful business leader. An ideal leader must know how to run a business.
Now this doesn’t mean that leaders need to be accountants or lawyers. But they certainly do need to have some a basic understanding of finance and legal issues. In other words, leaders should be able to read a spreadsheet and know the difference between a profit and loss statement and a balance sheet.
Good leaders are exceptional at strategic planning. They have the ability to look at what lies ahead and to predict where the industry is going. Based on what happened today, they anticipate where the industry is heading in the next few years.
Operating a business is not a child’s game. It takes a lot of courage and boldness and, at times, fearless decision-making. A great leader cannot be unnerved about asking for a loan from a bank, dealing with a hard client, getting rid of a bad employee, or any of the usual ups and downs of running a company.
One of the crucial attributes of strong leaders is their ability to communicate effectively with anyone. This capacity includes being able to share their passion and business approach with potential clients and investors, as well as being able to get their employees to implement their strategies.
Great leaders not only take credit for the good they do but are also accountable for the bad. They admit their mistakes without any shame. Whether leaders have made a poor decision, bad hire, or anything that they have to answer for, strong leaders fix the problem and move on. They first act in humility and later set a plan for correcting those mistakes in the future.
Many people say that a great business leader needs to be paranoid. I don’t agree with that. I believe good leaders need to be well-informed, engaged, and able to designate responsibilities and trust employees. Leaders should be informed on nearly everything that is going on in their companies. And to be informed, they have to trust that their employees were well-trained and can accomplish their tasks.
A bad attitude can ruin not only leaders but also their organizations. If your employees see you frustrated or unmotivated, then they will be that way too. Effective leaders should know how to stay positive no matter what, as well as how to encourage their employees to keep good attitudes.
Finally, it all comes down to trust. A good character and integrity are two important qualities for any leader to have in order for other people to follow. Leaders should always say what they mean and do what they say.
Employees, from peons to managers, will work hard for those whom they trust. If you do the right thing by your employees, partners, investors, and customers, then they will want to work with you.
To be a leader who remains an inspiration, you will have to pursue great leadership attributes that will shape you into an example for others. Nowadays, every business professional wants to follow and learn from other people. You, as a successful leader, can really be an inspiration to those who work for you.
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- 9 Essentials to Becoming a Successful Business Leader - January 15, 2017