When you’re running a startup, it’s important to understand your industry, as well as a wide variety of relevant business topics, like sales, marketing, HR, finance, accounting and more. However, don’t forget that the people who successfully lead their teams to greatness aren’t purely focused on facts and figures and knowledge; they also consistently demonstrate certain traits that help them to be effective at managing their workforce.
If you want to follow in their footsteps, it’s important for you to hone these types of characteristics in yourself. Read on for some of the key characteristics you should be focused on today.
For starters, resilience is a key trait all leaders have to have. When you’re running a department or a business, you will regularly come up against challenges, some small and many large. To succeed as a manager, you must be able to face these head on and be resilient enough to “keep on keeping on” even when you’re sick of continually having to work long hours, solve problems, make tough decisions and so on.
Resilient leaders are adept at handling the stress that comes their way day after day. While they still sometimes get frustrated by setbacks, they don’t let the pressure get to them too much, and they also help to shield their team from the pressure in turn. If you feel like you currently aren’t as resilient as you’d like, consider learning some relaxation techniques to help you cope with pressures and/or speak with a counselor or other mental health worker about strategies you can employ to build your resilience up over time.
Of course, if you’re planning to become a top leader, you should pursue a business degree, such as this William and Mary MBA, where one of the things you will be taught and tested on is your communication ability. After all, business leaders must have the power to speak effectively in person, to groups and in writing if they are to lead a team to success.
To ensure the employees you lead understand your vision and instructions, and are as engaged, motivated, committed and productive as possible, you must be able to get your point across clearly the first time, portray your passion, convince potential sceptics about your ideas and rouse teams to greatness. Although many potential leaders worry about being an effective communicator because they’re introverts and feel that managers are always more “out there” than them, in reality extroverts aren’t necessarily the best communicators. Listening actively and being able to read body language are key skills leaders need to have. If you’re still concerned, particularly about things like public speaking, consider joining Toastmasters for practice or enroll in a specialist corporate communications program.
Another attribute displayed by some of the world’s most trusted and well-known CEOS and other leaders is focus. When you’re in charge of a team, or a whole organization, you will continually have tasks, people and goals competing for your attention. However, to achieve the results you need to, it’s vital that you stay focused on just those things at the top of your agenda.
Leaders with laser-like focus are better at planning for the future, being productive, staying organized, becoming experts in their field (because they commit to an area and learn as much as they can about it), and putting helpful processes in place. Being focused will also assist you to see potential opportunities and threats well ahead of time.
If you want to become known as a valued leader in your industry, creativity is another trait you should try to hone in yourself. These days, technology, markets, situations and other factors are regularly evolving and changing, which means leaders have to keep up. To achieve the most, you have to be able to deviate from your initial course when required and come up with clever new ways of looking at things or innovative alternative solutions to problems. This is often done on tight budgets and to short deadlines, too.
Being a creative person will help you encourage this same characteristic in your employees as you’ll lead by example. Plus, it will make it easier for you to out-maneuver the competition. Innovative leaders are also more likely to be responsible for the development of attention-grabbing and revenue-generating new products, services or processes.