Qualities of a Business Leader
A company’s success or failure often depends on the effectiveness of its leadership. A team is only as good as its leader. There are varied opinions on what business leader qualities are required to be successful. However, there are general qualities of a business leader that determines the success or failure of a company.
Treating others with fairness is the cornerstone of an ethical leader. It creates a workplace where employees feel comfortable. A study of 195 leaders in 15 countries over 30 global organizations sought to answer the question “What makes an effective leader?” In the analysis, “high moral standards” was one of the most highly rated business leader qualities. Being an ethical leader means holding one’s self and others to a set of values to build a trustworthy environment. In this environment, one’s team will feel safe, and consequently, they will push themselves and each other to reach their full potential. They will be able to drive each other to achieve higher, reach goals quicker, and eventually create a more successful business.
This quality applies to many areas, but it is especially important when it comes to taking action. A great leader is not defined by who they are, but by what they do. Ronald Heifetz, the author of “Leadership Without Easy Answers,” suggests that rather than defining leadership either as a position of authority or a personal set of characteristics, we should define leadership as an activity.
The ability to make quick and efficient decisions is vital to any leadership position. Effectively taking action requires that leaders are disciplined in their understanding of company motivation, as well as individual motivation. Discipline also equips leaders with the tools to motivate their team to act, so together they can reach their goal.
In the increasingly complicated and fast-paced business world, humility has become an invaluable quality for leaders. The current business climate has made it clear that no one person can accomplish everything on their own. The world demands business leaders that recognize they don’t have all the answers. It needs leaders who are mindful of their limitations and strive to improve themselves so they can lead others successfully.
While ego prompts us to believe our way is always the right way, humility makes us realize that we are often wrong. When we approach our work humbly, it shows an authenticity to others that in turn fosters trustworthiness and human connection. A humble business leader is willing and able to learn, which also helps to build a foundation of trust among their team. Once established, trust
allows leaders to encourage creativity and smart thinking in others. Of all of the qualities of a business leader this is considered to be one of the most important.
Orly Maravankin, Founder of Edge Consulting, suggests ways that leaders can embrace humility, including the following: connect with your aspirations, adopt a mindset shift, expand your self-awareness, and ask for help. Each of these suggestions can be achieved by just taking a step back and obtaining a realistic view of one’s successes and failures.
It’s imperative in any business that leaders and their team are open to learning so that they can grow and adapt to survive in an increasingly competitive market. In order to promote learning in their company, a leader must remain open-minded. When one shows a willingness to be open, it eases worry about being wrong, and consequently, failing.
While failure is inevitable in any business, leaders can incite excellent ideas by openly acknowledges this inevitability and encouraging risk-taking. In Sunnie Giles’ article “The Most Important Leadership Competencies, According to Leaders Around the World”, he suggests that leaders “try to approach problem-solving discussions without a particular agenda or outcome, withhold judgment until everyone has spoken, and let people know that all ideas will be considered.” When one takes this approach, diverse ideas take shape.
Ultimately, business leader qualities depend on the individual.
Leaders must find an individualized approach to leadership, one that fits their position and their business. However, it is beneficial to everyone when leaders make an effort to better themselves and adopt new strategies and qualities that promote progress.
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