Leaders differentiate themselves from others because they can take charge, lead groups of people and generate results for a business. In both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, leadership is crucial to ensure that the vision of the entity can be met.

What Business Leadership Really Means

When considering “great”  leaders, they can come in many forms, such as:

  • Leaders who manage teams to meet business goals
  • CEOs who can guide an entire business to success, such as Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos

Good leaders seem to share a lot of the same qualities that allow them to separate themselves from other figures in the business.

What Makes a Good Leader?

Many believe that leaders are “born, not made,” and there may be some truth to this statement. However, there have been plenty of leaders who steered some of the largest companies to success with the skills that they honed on their own.

If you want to be a business leader and are trying to improve the qualities that you have, the following should be your main focus:

  1. Communication is one of the most important skills in the world. You need to have both strong verbal and written communication skills. These skills need to go beyond just words, too. You need to have empathy and the ability to look at situations from all angles to be good at communication.
  2. Emotional intelligence must be learned, including the ability to self-regulate your emotions, motivate team members who are struggling and being able to empathize with others in the business.
  3. Vision is a concept that includes hard and soft skills. You must be able to spot market trends and capitalize on needs.
  4. Agility is the ability to adapt to ever-changing markets and environments to overcome challenges and meet demand.

what makes a good leader? 4 qualities infographic

Finally, you must lead by example. If you demand that your workforce put in 12 hours a day, you need to be in the trenches with them to meet the business’s goals. Leaders who lead by example are far more effective than non-hands-on leaders.

Why Leadership is Crucial to Business Success

Leadership can mean the difference between business success and failure. A good leader will have the ability to delegate tasks to improve efficiency.

They will be able to operate at higher levels of efficiency even with lower budgets. A good leader motivates teams and  manages unexpected problems in a way that doesn’t derail current operations. 

When a good leader takes the helm of a company, they have the ability to envision the future of operations in ways that few can. These visions can include the acquisition of companies, future divisions in the business and future customer demand.

If a leader is subpar, even in an emerging market where they’re working for an industry-leading company, they can still see results and reach objectives. However, great leaders will continue to innovate industries, drive unmatched growth and ensure that the business maintains market share – or increases it.

In the times of business uncertainty, a great leader like Steve Jobs envisions the iPhone rather than the Blackberry.