I guess the first leaders I ever had experience with were my parents.
They certainly had good leadership qualities.
My brother and I really didn’t get into too much trouble. From what I recall we listened to both parents pretty well. That would have to be a reflection of the way we were raised.
As I got older I was able to see how different business leaders acted towards people including their customers and employees. I came across business leaders as a customer. I came across them in the jobs I had from my teen years into my professional years.
Today, I have the opportunity to work with business leaders through Ghost Blog Writers.
There have been people I’ve really admired over that time and I thought I’d put together some of the traits I really think are important for a business leader to have.
These traits hopefully aren’t only about making someone like you. These are traits I’ve seen in people that see success. They make profit and they don’t have an issue doing it. I think that’s a big distinction, but I also think you can be a good person and make profit.
Let’s get into it.
This one I’ve not always appreciated in leaders, but every time I’ve looked back on a leader that pushed me it was always for the better.
Leaders can be persistent in a few ways.
For one, they’re persistent to keep going until the business success. There is no straight line to success. I’m learning that. I think everyone knows that in life, but it’s a difficult concept to understand. Most people seem to give up when things don’t go well.
For leaders, giving up is never in the equation. They might change things, but they’re never going to give up no matter how many people tell them that they should.
I’ve seen this in the leaders I’ve worked with. They’ve pushed themselves and they’ve pushed those around them. It’s always been for the betterment of the business and everyone working in it.
I also notice this in the autobiographies that I read.
The biggest example would be Michael Bolton. The guy was well into his 30s and 40s before he found success. That’s over 20 years of working to become a singer with failure upon failure. The guy never gave up. It was never a consideration even as he raised a family.
You read stories about “great” leaders like Steve Jobs. It’s hard to argue with his results, but the one quality the guy seemed to have was the ability to push people beyond their limits. He didn’t care if people liked him or not, but it also seemed like he didn’t have much patience.
I think patience is a good quality. And I think patience has multiple applications.
For one, you have to be patient with people. You have to let them figure things out. There’s a balance with understanding if a person has potential and knowing when it’s time for both parties to move one.
But the biggest area where I like patience is when things are going really bad (or really good).
When these things happen it’s easy to make decisions in haste. That’s when poor choices are usually made. The best leaders seem to be able to sit back, take a breath and let the decision come to them instead of rushing it.
3. Unimpressed With Themselves
This might be something I appreciate personally more than it being a requirement, but this is something I really admire in people, business leaders included.
I like seeing a business leader that isn’t impressed with what they’ve done. They certainly recognize when they’ve done something great, but they do it for themselves. They have their own standards and they don’t feel the need to tell everyone about it.
If others find out, great, but great leaders don’t need to showcase anything. They’re content knowing that they did something for their own accomplishment and from there they can keep building.
Maybe I’m needy, but I’ve always appreciated a leader that is available. I’m not talking about someone that will pick up the phone every time or someone that will respond to emails within ten minutes all day every day.
I’m talking about a person that will schedule a time for a discussion every time. They’ll take the time to listen and be there when someone has a question.
If you’re available when needed it’s a good sign. I’ve had people I’ve worked with that aren’t available in a few different sense of the word and it usually leads to discontent.
I get this from my grandpa.
If you’re on time, you’re late.
When I was growing up my grandparents lived two hours away. Every summer, my brother and I would stay with them for about a week. My parents would drive us halfway there where my grandpa would meet us to take us the rest of the way. I still remember that Hardee’s in the small town in West Central Wisconsin.
Anyway, my grandpa was always there before my parents got there. And my parents weren’t ones to be late.
But if we were supposed to meet at 9:00 AM, my grandpa would be there at 8:30 AM. That’s just the way he was. He didn’t want to waste anyone’s time. He was always thinking of others and he still does today.
He did all he could to make sure he wasn’t burdening anybody.
But there’s more to it than that. You could rely on my grandpa to be there.
And as I’ve gone through life I’ve noticed that some people are reliable. They have things that happen. There are always emergencies, but reliable people know how to get past those things. There are no excuses. The moon cold all out of the sky and they would still be there on time ready to go.
If you’re reliable, people will want to work for you and do a good job. That’s my experience.
Finally, we have consistency. I know I’ve mentioned this in other places before, but we’ll discuss it again here.
The people I’ve admired the most in life are consistent. They might not be the best at something, but they’re always consistent.
We hear this term in sports all the time.
Football is going on right now in the US. Coaches always talk about how much they admire the player that shows up every day at the same time and always comes ready to work. They don’t get too high and they don’t get too low. You can always count on them.
Coaches appreciated that more than the player that has wild swings in performance. They can be great one moment and a choker the next.
Close that gap and you’ll become consistent.
People like to know what they can expect. It makes them relax.
These are some of the traits I think are important for a successful business leader to have. My goal in life is to build these traits. I think about them often, but I know I don’t fit into my own concept of a perfect business leader.
It’s one of my goals, but I’ll try to always look for ways to improve. I’m sure I drive the people I work with crazy sometimes.
If you’ve worked with me you know I’m not the best at answering the phone. And I’m sure there are plenty of other things. I know there are.
But we’ll keep working on them.