Leadership and entrepreneurship go together
It’s no coincidence that the greatest of entrepreneurs are also inspirational leaders. Leadership and innovation go hand in hand.
Building a successful business is about setting the right trends and inspiring and motivating people.
You can create a business idea through your creativity and technical knowledge. You can further develop that idea and make a formidable product. But to turn that idea into a brand people aspire to, you got to have leadership skills.
Why is Elon Musk considered the greatest of all entrepreneurs? Sure, he has developed iconic brands like Tesla and SpaceX.
But the secret of his success lies in his ability to find solutions to the pressing problems humanity faces at large. He is trying to move the planet towards a sustainable future by revolutionizing how we travel and consume energy. And by doing so, he is displaying leadership skills.
How and why leadership is important for a successful business
Leadership is crucial to running a successful business. It works both ways. The CEO of the company should possess leadership skills, and they should also create a team with strong leadership potential.
For a business to be successful, the employees must be more than just workers following orders. An organization needs to look at leadership in a holistic way rather than a top-down approach.
Let’s look at how leadership can help a business grow, survive and thrive.
1. A leader is a visionary
Leaders are a lot more than efficient managers. They are visionaries. While working on your business, it’s important to keep the larger picture in mind.
Every company has a vision that is a blueprint of its values and philosophy. It’s easy to lose sight of the long-term vision when your business is struggling with day-to-day issues. That’s why you need leadership skills to make sure you stay on track.
A leader would ensure that the company goals and policies fall in line with its vision.
Short-term gains can be so enticing sometimes that one might get tempted to compromise on their business values and principles.
A leader keeps their team away from such temptations. They use their intuition, intelligence, and intellect to foresee the future growth trajectory of the business and make plans accordingly.
2. A leader motivates and inspires their employees
Running a successful business is all about teamwork.
Happy and motivated employees can do wonders for a company. A leader ensures that all employees are motivated and inspired.
They offer incentives and rewards to motivate employees and inspire them through regular talks, discussions, and
A good leader knows that fear of losing their jobs won’t make employees give their 100 percent. It would make them mediocre and unhappy workers going about their jobs mechanically. But the same employees could become passionate about their work goals and commitments if they get the right stimuli.
A leader comes up with creative strategies to make the employees view their jobs as a happy pursuit and a positive challenge instead of a burden.
3. A leader is flexible and open to change.
Flexibility is crucial for the success of a business. There are many variables at work; you cannot afford to have a rigid mindset.
A leader is not intimidated by unpredictability and change. Rather, they take these situations as an opportunity and guide the whole team through tumultuous times.
Leadership is essential for keeping the business afloat in a fast-changing environment. With technology developing at such a rapid pace, you never know what will become obsolete and when.
A leader knows how to introduce change and innovation at every step of their business, be it at the level of organizational set-up or in ideas and products.
4. A leader creates a positive work environment
Leadership is a balanced mix of control and letting go. An autocratic leadership style doesn’t work in a modern-day scenario; it creates resentment and hampers productivity.
A leader creates a positive work environment for their business to thrive and prosper.
They give their employees a certain degree of freedom. For creativity and perfection to thrive, you must give your team members some autonomy and control over their work.
The success of a business depends majorly on positive work culture. Efficient leadership helps employees make optimal utilization of their core skill-set.
They no longer feel intimidated or scared while voicing their opinions. A leader would surely know where to draw the line. But they know how to create a favorable work environment.
5. A leader mentors employees
Managing a business isn’t just about delegating tasks and responsibilities. Employees often need additional guidance; a good leader would mentor their employees instead of merely telling them what to do.
A successful business needs to incorporate leadership mentoring in its work structure. Leadership mentoring prepares future leaders for the organization by creating an internal system of training and mentorship.
To put it simply, senior employees would mentor those relatively inexperienced, and it would become like a chain. This system is great for generating positive business outcomes, thus paving the way for your company’s future growth.
6. A leader embodies the essence of their brand
Great leaders do not have to sell their brands aggressively. Rather, they embody the essence of their brands in a way that people automatically start responding to the brand emotionally.
When people desire electric cars made by Tesla, they also visualize Elon Musk, the brain behind Tesla, and his passion for what he is doing.
When people crave an Apple I-phone, the background story of Steve Jobs is constantly running in their minds. Great brands are all about formidable leaders who embody their essence.
Leaders with dynamic personalities and great communication skills become the messenger of their brand wherever they go. They do not need to hard-sell their brand. Their passion and dedication to their niche become the message itself. They become one with the brand.
7. A leader takes initiative
For a business to grow, someone has to take initiative.
By promoting leadership skills at every level of your organization, you set the stage for greater growth and innovation.
Initiatives cannot be taken by people who are always sitting and waiting for orders. Rather, an entrepreneur needs to promote a work culture where they inspire employees to take initiatives as and when they can.
You must lead by example. A successful leader doesn’t wait for problems to arise. They think quickly and take decisive action whenever needed.
By taking initiatives at the right time, you can tap into the advantages and convert challenges into opportunities.
Developing leadership skills amongst your employees gives you an edge over the competitors. Proactive employees who are not hesitant to initiate an appropriate course of action when needed can contribute immensely to the growth of a business.
8. A leader fosters innovation
Leaders encourage innovation in many ways. They hire talent and offer rewards and incentives to employees or teams who come up with out-of-the-box solutions.
Innovation is a balanced mix of creativity, intelligence, common sense, and discipline. A leader encourages new ideas within their organizations but also sets clear goals. Leadership skills are a must for formulating the right strategy to develop unique products or services.
A leader plays the most important role in developing the innovation portfolio of their business. A company might hire the best of talent and might have all the resources in place but in absence of effective leadership, its innovation portfolio won’t take off.
9. A leader creates accountability
Accountability is important for generating results. The absence of employee accountability halts the progress of a business. A leader sets an example by holding himself accountable to others.
Successful leaders set clear goals and targets, define a precise line of action to be followed, and are willing to rectify their mistakes when wrong.
They give regular feedback to employees and do not shy away from pointing out their mistakes. Leaders make sure to engage with employees in productive and constructive ways.
Employee accountability isn’t something that can be created by fear of authority. A good leader knows how to make employees accountable without being pushy or aggressive.
10. A leader can take tough decisions
Running a successful business isn’t all about positivity and enthusiasm.
Sometimes you got to take tough decisions. Leadership skills enable entrepreneurs to decide what is best for their business without getting bogged down by sentimentality.
At times, you have to let go of even the best of employees. Sometimes, you might have to cancel your dream project simply because it’s making your business suffer financially. Successful leaders know how to do the balancing act between emotion and reason.
The ability to keep a cool head in stressful times is crucial for running a successful business. Great leaders know that tough decisions demand fairness.
They never decide in a hurry. Only after evaluating all the pros and cons do they reach a final decision. At the same time, a leader knows the importance of not procrastinating important decisions.
Top 5 attributes of a business leader
1.Creativity & passion
A good business leader is constantly buzzing with creative ideas for their enterprise. They are also passionate about their niche. Creativity and passion is an infectious combo that can put life and soul back into a lackluster business.
Many a time, innovation is the only way to differentiate your brand from competitors. A business leader with a creative approach and a zest for experimentation is an asset to any organization.
A business leader must be up-to-date on all the latest developments in their niche. All facts, figures, and trends should be at their fingertips.
You will obviously have multiple teams working on different parameters of your business. But to evaluate their efforts and give them pointers, you need to have all the relevant industry knowledge.
Business leadership is not just about running a business successfully at present but predicting future trends. It’s also about handling tricky situations and changing course when needed. Accomplishing this requires extensive domain expertise.
This is an often overlooked attribute of business leadership. While people emphasize dynamism, enthusiasm, and all, patience doesn’t quite get the attention it deserves.
A good business leader ought to exert self-control in all circumstances.
When your business is going through bad times, it’s easy to lose calm. But that’s precisely the time when a leader will be their usual optimistic self and motivate others.
You must be patient while dealing with employees, associates, and various other stakeholders. You put a new policy into practice and it’s not showing results yet.
Again, you got to be patient.
For a business to grow, the leader must keep calm at all times.
4.Effective communication skills
A business leader is the spokesperson of their brand at all times. They need to have impeccable communication skills.
Leaders must have the ability to adapt their communication style according to the audience they are addressing. Having clarity in communication is also important.
A leader cannot afford to be ambiguous and vague. The meaning of their message has to be clear to the intended audience.
Great business leaders communicate something about their brand every time they talk. Often, their dynamic personality becomes an extension of the company’s brand value. A great leader needs to possess extraordinary communication skills, and an astute understanding of people and their dispositions.
Empathy is a soft skill that can influence business results significantly.
An empathetic CEO is liked and respected by their employees. Not just that, people feel more motivated to give their best while working under an empathetic leader.
Empathy fosters innovation, growth, and employee retention in a business. It’s all about making people feel comfortable and valued.
Great business leaders are naturally empathetic. All their business decisions are made keeping in mind the consideration of others. This not just makes for a better human being but leads to a successful business.