How to Become a More Effective Business Leader
Behind every successful business and/or company is a well-organized and knowledgeable business leader. Business leaders are the driving force behind a lucrative business and are typically responsible formotivating team members,establishing business objectives and goals, and embodying the soul of the company they are leading. However, most importantly, they are the person responsible for ensuring the business remains successful and hits the goals and objectives they have set.
Becoming an effective and efficient business leader means learning the skills and tools of the trade while remaining knowledgeable when trends change and being able to adapt to them.
What is a Business Leader?
Typically, a business leader is someone who sets goals and motivates a group of people so that everyone is working towards achieving a common goal. However, business leaders come in all shapes and sizes and take on a variety of roles and responsibilities.
A business leader can be a vice president or chief executive officer of a large or small company, yet they can also be an editor-in-chief of a magazine or newspaper. You could also find a business leader lower on the business ladder, as many team leaders or managers may have the same responsibilities. Therefore, a business leader is not determined by your job title but rather the job specification.
The 6 Qualities of Every Good Business Leader
A good business leader possesses a number of key qualities. But what are these qualities and how should you focus on improving them?
The world of business is ever-changing. You need to remain knowledgeable and on top of all the latest trends so that your business’s goals can remain achievable. For instance, if one of your business goals is to increase engagement across all social media channels, then you will want to ensure your objectives take into account the latest social media trends and how you can use them effectively. Not remaining knowledgeable can have drastic consequences for the business you are leading as well as your professional skills and career.
Senior business professionals can continue to build on their existing skills and knowledge by completing further education. For example, Aston University offers online DBA programs that focus on providing business leaders with the skills and tools to further their critical thinking and solve intricate business problems. This specific executive DBA program is tailored with part-time and distance learning in mind so that business leaders can balance their career and education. Business leaders can also apply their learnings to the real world and include their findings in their research project and final thesis.
Business leaders should always be curious and seek out new and innovative ideas that will improve their business and drive better results. You will want to continue finding new and interesting ways to inspire your team but also hit your goals and targets. Furthermore, you will want to encourage your team to tap into their curiosity and feel comfortable in sharing their thoughts and ideas with you and the rest of the team.
You can improve your curiosity by focusing on improving critical learning skills. This can be through workshops which you and your team can attend through training days, or it can be learnt through further reading. Here are the best books on critical thinking you and your team can read outside of work.
You will want to improve your communication skills so that you can clearly articulate your thoughts with the whole business. This should be through both verbal and written forms, and not only will this help you articulate your business goals more clearly, but it will also reduce confusion amongst your team. Poor communication can lead to mistakes that could have been avoided, and clear communication is important if you are responsible for a decentralized workforce.
Improve your communication skills by:
- Learning to listen
- Understanding body language
- Being brief but specific
- Picking up the phone if an email will not do
- Having consistent check-ins
- Maintaining a positive attitude
- Writing more effective emails
With the business world adapting to more remote working, it is essential for business leaders to especially improve their digital communication skills. This means learning programs such as Skype and Slack, organizing weekly check-ins with your team members and learning to be more precise with your emails.
Keeping your team’s spirits lifted and motivated can seem like a challenging and daunting task, especially when each individual will relate to different methods of motivation. However, there are a few tried and tested ways that business leaders can adopt, as a motivated team will usually have a positive effect on the whole team’s work ethic and increase productivity. As a business leader, you should:
- Make your team feel valued
- Have frequent communication (without micromanaging them)
- Encourage career progression and define a clear career path for each worker
- Create a positive working environment and optimistic atmosphere
- Ask for their opinion and insight through an employee survey
5. Goal setting
Good leadership means recognizing and setting clear business goals for the company and team. Business leaders will know which business goals are worth the company’s time and will provide value; however, a good leader will also know how to motivate their team so that they are more likely to achieve the goals that have been set.
As a business leader, you will need to decide on the goals, create a step-by-step plan on how the company is to achieve the goal in question and also be able to articulate the goal and steps to everyone involved.
Tip: Do not forget to set goals for yourself. It is easy to focus on the company’s goals and the goals for your team, causing you to forget about any personal goals you should set for yourself.
6. Risk assessment (and taking)
The world of business is challenging, and there is a lot of room for mistakes to be made. However, as a business leader, part of your job is assessing risks and determining whether you should make them. A true leader is expected to make educated risks so that they can help the company achieve its goals. Risk taking should not be confused with recklessness, though. Good business leaders will collect data and run scenarios to determine whether the risk is viable.
The best way to become a more effective business leader is to focus on improving the qualities listed above. A good business leader knows to improve their skills and expand their knowledge. They know how to motivate their team, set goals and, most importantly, assess risks and take the ones that are likely to pay off.