The importance of leadership in the business world cannot be overstated. No business can thrive and move forward without a great leader in place that can guide, inspire, support and motivate each individual team member and as a unit. There are many attributes of a great leader and, while some people will naturally possess these, you will also find that these attributes can be acquired and developed over time, which is useful for anyone in a leadership role whether they are just getting started or looking to improve. Read on to discover the key attributes of a great business leader and how they can be developed.
Committed To Self-Improvement
First, a great leader is one that is committed to self-improvement and understands that they can always improve. Taking a masters in leadership is a smart step to take for those looking to improve as a masters in leadership will teach you how to lead in any business environment and develop a wide range of key leadership skills. A masters in leadership can also help you develop self-confidence (more on this to come) as well as how to handle issues that inevitably arise in business, plus a masters in leadership can also be taken completely online. This means that you can earn a masters in leadership in a flexible manner to balance it with work, which also allows you to start applying what you are learning straight away.
Able To See The Big Picture
It is also important that you can handle the typical day-to-day tasks while still being able to see the big picture. Ultimately, a good leader is one which is always looking ahead and steering the ship in the right direction while still being able to manage the team in the daily operation. This can be challenging, which is why it is important to be able to delegate, form strategies and set goals to keep everyone moving in the right direction. These are all things which you will be able to learn or improve on during a masters in leadership.
Good leaders will also always have their ears open and encourage their team to come forward with new ideas, feedback and questions. This is so that they can collate as much information as possible and then apply what they have learnt on a masters in leadership to come to the right action or decision. When you are a good listener and engage with your team, it will help them to feel valued and supported which will improve their performance and encourage employee loyalty.
You need to place trust in your team so that you can leave them to work while you focus on the big picture. Showing trust is also important for creating stronger relationships, encouraging employee engagement and creating a team-based mentality in the workplace. If you are constantly monitoring and interfering while they are working then it will put more pressure on them, create poor relationships and negatively impact morale.
Accountability is an often overlooked attribute when it comes to leadership. A great quote to keep in mind relating to accountability and leadership is “a good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit” meaning that you need to be accountable for negative outcomes and celebrate success as a team. Additionally, you need to be able to make people accountable in private by helping them to understand their mistakes and finding the best ways to give them support moving forward. This will help to create responsibility and should help to improve personal performances. Again a masters in leadership will help you to learn and practice this behavior.
You will notice that the most successful leaders throughout history have been incredibly charismatic and have excellent interpersonal skills. This allows them to build trust, inspire their team and form strong relationships with everyone that they meet. While some people seem to naturally possess this desirable attribute, there is a lot that you can learn and putting this into practice should help you to improve your interpersonal skills. Aspects such as body language, looking people in the eye, making people feel valued and projecting self-confidence are key.
Speaking of self-confidence, no leader can command respect and inspire without it. People look to their leader at work and if this person is unsure of themselves and lacks confidence, then this will spread throughout the team. Fortunately, self-confidence can be improved by working on weaknesses, stepping out of your comfort zone and recognizing your strengths and talents. While self-confidence is vital, it is a very fine line between it and arrogance, which you want to avoid at all costs.
You can avoid arrogance by being humble, which is just as important as being self-confident when it comes to leadership. Leaders need to be graceful, celebrate success as a team, give positive feedback when it is due and always be looking for ways to improve (as mentioned above). People are naturally drawn to those that are humble and it can help to create much stronger bonds as well as help to create the right mentality in the workplace, which should be one of always striving to be better and moving forward.
Leading on from this point, good leaders are not only able to make the big calls and lead from the front but also excellent team players. They will understand, recognize and celebrate that their team have different skillsets to themselves and give their team the opportunity to shine. Matching task to skill, being aware of your limitations and encouraging collaboration in the workplace can all help to position you as a team player and one which knows that the work is a team effort with every role having value that is required to move the business forward and achieve the goals of the company. A masters in leadership will help teach you how to delegate tasks well and to make a team pull together towards a goal.
Professionalism is always important in the workplace, but especially when you are the leader of a team and need to command respect. People need to see you as a boss first and, while you certainly can be friendly and develop positive relationships, you also need to make sure that you are respected. This means that you need to prevent your personal life from spilling into your professional life, you should always look presentable and maintain a professional image in any form of communication. You certainly can engage in conversations at work and attend any informal events after work, but be sure to maintain a professional image and understand that the relationship that you have with your team will never be the same as what they have with one another.
Willing To Take Risks
You cannot expect the business to move forward and achieve goals without taking a few risks. Risks have to come from the leader, so you need to be willing to take these risks and live with the consequences. Mistakes occur and will be inevitable, but when you take these in your stride and learn from them then this should not stop you. Additionally, you can mitigate risk by asking for advice from your team, using strategies taught during your masters in leadership and by using data to guide strategic decisions.
Following on this, a good leader is also one which is highly strategic and able to formulate effective strategies that will help to take the business forward. This is a skill that can be developed on a masters in leadership, but you also need to be able to think critically as well as anticipate potential problems that can arise and then create strategies to deal with these different scenarios.
You also need to be innovative and to have creativity when it comes to your role. You certainly need to master and apply the skills taught on a masters in leadership, but you also need to be able to think outside of the box and come up with new solutions that can drive better results for your particular business. You can be more innovative as a leader by immersing yourself in leadership, speaking with your team, communicating with other leaders and looking into tech developments which could aid your business.
Having a strategic mindset is certainly important, but a good leader is also one which knows how to motivate people and get the most out of them. Being able to motivate individuals as well as entire teams is vital for increasing productivity, helping individuals and the team to hit targets and to create a positive atmosphere in the workplace. In order to motivate your team, you need to have a positive energy, provide regular feedback, be available for support and to know how to set goals that will be challenging yet achieved.
A good leader must not only be able to motivate their team but also themselves. Leaders need to perform to a high standard each day in order to lead by example and inspire others, so you need to make sure that you have a strong work ethic and know the best way to motivate yourself. This will depend on the individual, but goal setting is always effective. In order to be self-motivated and to work to a high standard, it is also important that you are able to retain your enthusiasm and passion by looking after yourself and disconnecting after work. This means that you need to make sure that you are leading a healthy lifestyle, leading an active social life and enjoying your time off from work.
It is also vital that you are compassionate and see your team as a collection of people, each with their own personal lives, strengths, weaknesses and worries. You need to treat people equally and be consistent, but it is also important that you show compassion. Mental health has become a major issue in the workplace in recent times, which has now been significantly increased due to the pandemic, so this is something that you need to be aware of and find ways to support your team. This might involve offering flexibility with your schedule, remote working opportunities or providing any resources that you can to support staff. Your door should also always be open and you should encourage people to come forward with any issues that they are facing.
It can be easy to be a good leader when everything is going well, employees are content and you are hitting your targets. It is not as easy when problems start to arise, which are inevitable in the business world. It is in these times that your abilities as a leader are really put to the test, so you need to be resilient and able to stay calm in difficult situations.
Technology plays a major role in business and there have been some great strides made in recent years. You are limiting yourself and your team if you are not tech-savvy and finding ways to implement the best and latest tech. This could be used to streamline, reduce costs, make work easier for your team and increase productivity amongst many other uses. It can be hard to keep up with tech which is complex and constantly changing, but reading blogs, listening to podcasts, using social media and speaking to tech-savvy individuals should help you to stay current and find the best ways to implement tech into your business.
These are all key attributes for any good business leader. These are also all attributes that can be developed and improved, so if you are looking to become a better leader then consider these attributes and work on any areas which need improving. When you can become a better business leader, it allows you to get more out of your job, get more from your team and take the business forward. Whether this is earning a masters in leadership or simply finding new ways to use tech in the business, becoming a better leader can be immensely rewarding and can enrich your entire life in many different ways.