So, how do they do it? How do the top business leaders become masters in their fields? Is there a sequence to their success, or are there inherent qualities shared by the business world’s top leaders? Studying the top business leaders in various fields allows us to pinpoint the key qualities they share which enables them to achieve success in their business and abundance in their lives. Here are the top qualities of business leaders that you can learn from to improve your leadership skills.
- Leaders naturally work in their flow. Working in your flow means being aware of your natural talents, strengths and aptitudes and operating within them. In positive psychology, “flow is the state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.” Everyone’s state of flow is different. Think about Warren Buffet and Oprah Winfrey. It is undeniable that they are each successful leaders, however, how they operate is polar opposite. We encourage business leaders to use tools such as the Gallup StrengthsFinder and the Wealth Dynamics profile test to help identify their area of natural talents so that they too may operate in their flow.
- Leaders are committed to constant and never-ending improvement and innovation. We live in a world where how business is done changes rapidly. There is no status quo. Economy, technology, and new generations entering the workforce are just some of the changes a leader must face. To keep a company, and a team, flourishing a leader must be proactively looking for how the company can improve and innovate.
- Leaders are willing to take educated risks. Dennis Waitley, author of the Psychology of Winning, says, “life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” Risks are vital in business, without risks you cannot grow. However, great leaders take risks based on facts, figures, trends, and opportunities. They do their due diligence prior to making big decisions.
- Leaders embody their company culture. Every company has a company culture, whether by creation or by default. A company culture by default may make it ok to come in late or blame one another for a lack of results. Great leaders have a company culture that is mindfully created, written, and lived throughout the organization. Employees look to their leader. Leaders know that culture starts from the top so they lead by example.
- Leaders love to learn and are committed to learning. The two most dangerous words in the English language are “I know.” The minute a person thinks “I know” they have shut down learning. Great leaders know that they don’t know it all so they constantly seek out opportunities to learn. They learn in many ways – by attending seminars, reading books, picking the brains of their colleagues, any opportunity for learning, they take advantage of.
- Leaders invest in their own personal development as well as the development of their team. “People who achieve their potential are people who invest in themselves every day. They take time to add value to themselves. Because when they do they are able to add value to others” – John Maxwell. Leaders understand the importance of investing in themselves but they also encourage and invest in the training and development of their team members. Leaders want everyone around them to win. When your employees are happy and fulfilled they bring that energy to work. Leaders promote win/win situations.
- Leaders surround themselves by people who help them grow. Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Think about the top 5 people you spend the most time with. Does that leave you inspired or discouraged? Leaders are committed to taking themselves, their companies and their teams to the next level. To do this, leaders constantly surround themselves with people who inspire them and challenge them to grow. Leaders embrace humility and vulnerability because they know that it leads to growth.
- Leaders build extraordinary teams. Leaders know you cannot do extraordinary things with ordinary people. No one has ever achieved a big goal alone or without an amazing team. Leaders seek out extraordinary team members, they never settle for subpar and they have the courage to let someone go when they are not a fit. Leaders help their team discover their flow and they place them in roles that let them operate there. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and Great by Choice, says that the most important thing for your company is getting the right people, doing the right things, at the right time. Leaders know that and make it happen.
- Leaders are able to reliably produce results. Leaders do not try to make excuses or blame others for a lack of results in the company. Instead they take ownership, responsibility and accountability for the results of the entire organization. At all times they know where the company is at; they know their financials, they know how their teams are doing and they know how close to their goals they are. Leaders maintain the energy of the organization and are willing to make midcourse corrections if necessary. Leaders do whatever needs to be done to achieve their results.
- Leaders know how to motivate their teams to produce extraordinary results. Leaders know that motivating their team begins with knowing their team. They understand that each member of the team is different. For example, some team members are motivated by helping others while others may be motivated by financial gain. If you don’t understand the unique differences of each member of your team, no amount of pep talks or motivational speeches will help them. Leaders learn what motivates their team members, set metrics that will inspire team, and most importantly leaders makes sure to celebrate the wins of their team.
Learning and implementing the qualities discussed here will help you on your path to becoming a great leader. Which can lead to professional success and personal abundance.