View free policies procedures examples from all manuals. No obligation, no credit card!
Real leaders — not those people who run for office every other year, promising “real” leadership for a change — possess a combination of qualities and leadership characteristics that make us want to follow them. Whether we naturally gravitate to these quality individuals or we subconsciously recognize their leadership, we follow them. So, what does it take to be an effective business leader?
Effective Business Leader Traits:
Leaders are able to create a vision of a positive future, which begins the process of getting buy-in from the team. A leader without a vision is not a leader all, they are called a manager.
An effective business leader understands how to capitalize on the assets of the organization in order to create a successful vision.
Leaders know their business. They know the market and they know their customers. This enables them to set a vision and strategy based on knowing, not guessing.
An effective business leader notices the details, which can be strung together to make the strategy. Leaders pay attention to the details and ensure that those details don’t fall through the cracks during implementation.
Leadership requires communicating the strategy in order to accomplish the vision. A leader must be a good communicator, must give speeches, and must motivate the group towards the vision. Leaders get buy-in to ensure results.
In order to lead others, one must truly believe in and care about the strategy and vision. Nobody wants to follow a half-hearted leader.
A leader must overcome many obstacles and objections when trying to lead. Maintaining ones position requires sticking to your beliefs.
Leading means making a commitment to the cause. An effective business leader leads by example and are the first to act on the strategy they are espousing.
Continuous improvement applies to leaders as well as processes. A good leader knows when to accommodate others to achieve a greater good.
Making decisions is what a leader does. Decisions may not always be liked but leaders make them anyway to keep the organization moving forward.
Where do these qualities come from?
Is there such a thing as innovative leadership quality? It seems anyone can be trained to be a manager, but leaders are cut from a different cloth. Why? It’s not that they’re born that way. They can be made, but there’s no easily reproducible process, no easy-to-follow recipe or we’d be doing it all the time.
The service academies seem to have the greatest success in this regard — they purposely educate and groom individuals to be leaders by instilling discipline, self-sacrifice, and an unshakable work ethic and by constantly emphasizing the need to plan for the best but prepare for the worst. Still, even they don’t have anything close to a perfect track record when it comes to turning out leaders. Similarly, there are outstanding leaders throughout history who never served in the military.
How are leaders best made, in your opinion? Or are they born? Do you go looking for leaders or do you wait for them to come to you? Does your organization have a process for identifying and training potential leaders?