Outstanding leadership is something that all successful businesses have in common. Unfortunately, finding people with this type of leadership ability is much easier said than done. Individuals with these types of skills are in very high demand. Taking on an online mba degree may help in honing such skills, but not as much as natural talent and real life business experience. Therefore, they are quickly hired by companies on the rare occasions that they are available.
There has been quite a lot written when it comes to the subject of business leadership. Many theories have been put forward about the qualities that some of the most famous CEOs have in common. Here are some of the common characteristics of a good business leader, according to experts:
1. An eye for talent
Azmi Mikati, the current CEO of M1 Group, states, “A great business leader always makes sure that he or she is surrounded by an excellent staff. It is impossible for a CEO to run their company alone.” Indeed, the leader of a company needs to have intelligent and competent people that he or she trusts to delegate responsibility to. These are the people who are going to carry out the orders of the CEO.
The entire business will fall apart if the CEO’s staff is incompetent. This is why all of the great business leaders share a talent for being able to hire the right people for the job they are best suited for. They have a knack for being able to size up a person during the interview process and know if they have what it takes to succeed. Having an eye for talent is not something that can be taught. The best business leaders are simply born with it.
2. Being a visionary
Roy Bennett, an Author and startup Co-founder, says, “Good leaders have vision and inspire others to help them turn vision into reality. Great leaders have vision, share vision, and inspire others to create their own.”
Business leaders need to do much more than lead their companies in the present. They also need to guide their companies towards the future. They need to be able to anticipate various changes on the horizon in their particular industry. They need to figure out how to react to these changes so that they can stay current and not get left behind by their competition. They need to embrace certain forms of new technology before they become mainstream. Basically, business leaders need to have a good feel for where their industry and the tastes of their customers are headed.
3. The ability to take suggestions
Being able to recognize a good idea or suggestion is critical in the business world. Even the greatest CEOs the world has ever seen will not be able to think up all of the best ideas by themselves. They require help from the staff that surrounds them. Elon Musk, the prolific figure behind Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Solar City and OpenAI, explains, “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”
Great business leaders are not so arrogant that they feel they know everything. They need to be able to listen to ideas from people who work for them. Some of these ideas might be revolutionary. Therefore, no idea should be dismissed. It is also a necessary skill to be able to tell the good ideas from the bad ones that have no value.
4. Make the tough decisions
Peter Drucker (1909-2005) once said, “Wherever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” It’s true that not all decisions a business leader needs to make will be pleasant ones. It might be necessary to lay off workers in order to reduce the budget of the company. These decisions are required for the company to survive. Taking such decision needs courage.
There are many other characteristics that signify a good business leader. However, all lead to one conclusion: A good leader takes action. He/she doesn’t stay inside his/her comfort zone; he/she leverages his/her staff’s talents – and make tough decision based on their feedback.
So, are you ready to lead?