- The importance of leadership and the qualities of successful business leaders remain two of the most important topics in the business world.
- Successful business leaders should have certain effective leadership skills that will allow the team to be more productive and achieve their business goals.
- If you want your business to succeed, here are the top 5 examples successful business leaders follow.
The success of any business is directly related to the strength of its management team. This was clearly demonstrated in a recent survey of businesses, where a gap of 61% existed between the top 10 highest and bottom 10 lowest performing organisations. This difference in business success was attributed directly to differences in the management and leadership skills and behaviors exhibited by the managers.
So what did the successful business leaders do that was different to those in the less successful businesses?
1. Successful business leaders have a clear vision
Most organisations have a company vision statement. But the managers in the successful businesses also had a personal vision, mission, values and passion that they communicated frequently and openly with their team. When a team knows where the leader wants the business to go and there is a clear plan to achieve this vision, then the team is more likely to trust the leader. This trust translates into greater commitment by team members to support the successful business leaders in achieving the objectives that will move the business towards the vision and the aforementioned success.
2. Successful business leaders gave people their time
Time is a rare resource for business leaders. But the successful managers understood that they needed to make time to recognise and appreciate those team members who achieved the results they wanted. Recognition from senior managers is known to be great for team members’ self-esteem and creates a positive work environment.
Therefore, despite busy schedules, the successful business managers ensured that they regularly made themselves available to the people in their team. By giving team members individual attention and timely appreciation and praise, and not treating them as “units of production,” the team members were more engaged and supportive of achieving the manager’s vision.
3. Successful business leaders involved people in decision making
All too often in large organisations communication become problematical and can, in extreme cases, degenerate into top-down dissemination of information only. Better decisions are made when there is genuine two-way communication – with ideas and suggestions coming as much from the team as from the business leader. This is particularly important where the decisions being made directly affect the team.
The successful business leaders got their team members' involvement and buy-in at an early stage in the decision making process by actively listening to them and then acting on the team’s suggestions and ideas. These actions clearly demonstrated that the leader trusted and valued the team. And this trust was then reciprocated.
4. Successful business leaders followed better supervisory practices
When a new team member is selected by the leader for their skills, knowledge and for a good cultural fit, the team performs better. This was what the more successful managers did. In addition, once a new recruit was “on-board,” the successful business leaders provided clear and appropriate direction.
This level of supervision was adjusted as the team members' abilities, knowledge and skills grew. The successful business leaders were more aware of what people were doing, and were careful to ensure that people in their team were neither underutilised nor over-worked.
5. Successful business leaders walked the walk
Number one on the list of effective leadership skills is doing what you say you are going to do. Keeping promises and leading through personal example sets and maintains the culture in the team. This consistency and predictability is important to people and helps them give their best to the company.
It was, therefore, not surprising to find that these high personal values were practiced daily by the more successful business owners. They really did lead their teams by example, and as a result, their teams and the business was successful.
What skills do you think a successful business leader should have?