Whether you plan to launch a business soon or need to build your already-operating venture, it always pays to think about how you will lead your organization over the coming months and years. One of the best ways to grow a thriving business is to look to the people in both your industry and other sectors who can inspire you and provide you with ideas for success.
When you examine many of the top CEOs and other leaders from across the globe who have led their firms to massive heights, you’ll find they often have many personality traits and skills in common. If you’re keen to join their ranks, read on for some of the important traits you should emulate if you want to operate at the highest level of business.
Take a look at the most memorable, successful CEOs and other business leaders around the world over the years and you’ll find that invariably they all have top-notch communication skills. While you may think that some people are just born with the “gift of the gab,” in fact many entrepreneurs spend a lot of time and effort to learn how to communicate effectively in the workplace and elsewhere.
Start With Your Education
If you’re already planning to study for a higher degree in business or some related subject, keep in mind that you will develop several personal strengths from doing so, on top of simply overall business knowledge. One of the most important of these is communication skills.
Apart from involving plenty of essay writing, and the need to make presentations to the class, MBAs and other business-focused degrees also typically require hands-on practice in real-world situations where you must deal with a diverse group of people, as well as lots of group activities and assignments. All of these facets of a course will help you to quickly develop your communication skills so that they are well and truly honed for the workplace.
Grow Into Your Business
Once you get into a leadership position, you will soon find that you must get across your messages and requirements in a variety of different ways and settings. Any previous communication training that you have done will prove worthwhile here as a result.
For example, you will need to communicate effectively to your team so that your instructions are carried out, and so that all staff members clearly understand the organization or department’s goals, mission and vision. This will ensure that everyone is always working towards the same things.
Communication skills are also necessary for:
- Managing employees
- Conducting training
- Inspiring the team to do better
- Promoting a productive workplace environment
Furthermore, you will need to be able to use words and other communication methods (such as body language) effectively to:
- Engage with customers
- Advertise your venture’s wares
- Promote your company’s stories, products, and services to the press
- Entice investors
- Land top job candidates
Resilience and Persistence
Other traits found in almost all successful long-time entrepreneurs are resilience and persistence. While you may continually hear the stories of all the great things many leaders have done over their lives, look into their biographies more closely, and you’ll quickly find out that all of them had to handle at least some, if not many, setbacks during their careers.
To make it as an entrepreneur over the long-term, you must have the ability to bounce back when things don’t go as planned, and to keep persevering even when times are tough. You may find, for example:
- That some of your product, service or business launches simply don’t work
- That you choose the wrong partners, investors, or colleagues to work with
- That you didn’t understand your target market and their needs well enough
- That the revenue stream from a venture isn’t enough to keep a venture afloat
No matter the industry you’re in, it is near impossible to not have at least some “failures” (or rather, times of “lack of success”), throughout your years as a leader. What’s important, though, is the ability to keep on going even when you feel stressed, ashamed, anxious, or angry, so that you can learn from the experience and move forward.
Often these challenging times will even end up leading you to much greater success in the future because of the lessons you can take from them.
Lastly, another key characteristic of most successful leaders around the globe is that they have the ability to focus. CEOs and other leaders must have laser-like focus if they wish to achieve audacious goals and help spur their ventures on to greatness.
Being focused on where you want to go with your career and your business will help you to:
- Learn more
- Stay organized
- Become an expert in your field when others don’t
- Be more productive
- Avoid distractions
- Plan for the future
An ability to focus on tasks at hand, or short and long-term goals, also helps leaders to understand the impacts of their decisions, and to see potential trends, opportunities, weaknesses, and risks sooner rather than later.