Many business professionals have wondered what it means to be a leader over the last several years, especially during this current economic downturn. Are leaders someone who can grow the company and won’t stop until they make a profit? Profits are essential for a business to survive. We have seen leaders who will do anything to maximize their profits, but have little regard for the greater good. Leader can be used to refer to many different things for many people. This paper examines the topic of Business Leadership in detail and what it means.
The first step in analyzing business leadership is to identify some traits and characteristics that are common among successful entrepreneurs like Brandon Long Marketing Consultant and business leaders. Globalization has brought about an increase in the rate of change in the business environment. Most business markets are dynamic and volatile because of this change. Companies are now more dependent on their leaders to help them navigate these turbulent waters. Companies are putting more importance on business leadership at all levels of their organizations.
In the past, managers may have been promoted easily due to high economic growth. They may just have been expected to keep the status quo. Many managers and business leaders must think outside the box in order to deliver continuous growth to shareholders or their superiors. Visionaries are the new breed of business leaders in this new economy. They are visionaries who look at how the business world is changing and adapt their strategies to avoid any market disruptions. Many large financial institutions were forced to file for bankruptcy due to the recent housing bubble burst and subprime mortgage scandals. Companies are looking for business leaders who will not only make the company profitable but also instill a sense of ethics and integrity.
These are the top traits and characteristics that business leaders have today, based on extensive research. Leaders must have the ability to maintain a positive outlook and be able and willing to tolerate stress and frustration. Today’s business leaders must be able maintain calm in the face of adversity, and have a clear understanding of what actions are necessary to achieve their goals. Emotional stability, also known as locus control, is a key trait for a business leader.
Self-esteem would be the next trait. Business leaders are often under constant scrutiny and must make quick decisions. Leaders must be confident that they will lead the company in the right direction. This can inspire others within the organization to share the same vision or goal.
Today’s business leaders often have the drive or need to succeed. A leader who is satisfied with average results will stop pushing the envelope. This can lead to a decrease in productivity and profits. True business leaders are driven to succeed. They are constantly looking for new challenges and find ways to overcome them.
Business leaders are known for their ability to quickly filter information. Business acumen is another term that can be used to describe this ability. Ted Prince points out that leadership development was an early boom-time phenomenon before the Great Recession. It was able to concentrate on traditional leadership skills such as decision making, interpersonal skills, and emotional intelligence. Leadership development has been reduced to the study of leadership in times when things are going well.
We are at a different point today. Business acumen is about showing how our actions directly affect and improve business outcomes. This can be measured in terms of financial and market value. Business acumen is a way to bridge the gap between traditional leadership programs and business acumen. It involves behavioral skills that increase profitability and market value. “Business acumen” is defined as “the ability to bring about positive business results.” (Prince).
Every successful leader will possess optimism. Leaders often view problems as a challenge, and see setbacks as an opportunity to move forward. They remain focused on the goal and won’t let any obstacles distract them from their determination to achieve it. They will believe that they will get the sale one day, even if they don’t get it. They can use their optimism to drive them to their ultimate goals.
Tolerance to ambiguity is a person’s ability to accept uncertainty and take on risk. This is a daily reality for business leaders who will have to deal with it every day. Art Petty wrote in his blog, “Top performers fight the routine.” High-performance individuals from all walks of life, including athletes and leaders, work hard every day to resist the pull to get stuck in the rut. High-performance teams and organizations find comfort in not being the same or following a routine but in accepting the uncertainty of the world, the constancy and need for change. “Petty says that many of the most successful leaders push their teams and themselves to do things differently to keep their minds sharp, expand their collective and individual minds, and keep their ideas fresh.
Business leadership requires courage. You must be able to tolerate risk as a leader and entrepreneur. You are usually the only one who starts a business. Many more fail than succeed. True business leaders are able to take calculated risks and persevere when things get tough.
These traits are the most prevalent in true business leaders. Other traits that are highly desirable, but not necessarily found in all business leaders, are high energy and intuitiveness, maturity as well as team orientation, empathy, charisma, and team orientation. These traits can be examined in greater detail to understand how leaders can benefit.
You must put in many hours as a leader to achieve your goals. High energy leaders can keep their eyes open and focused, no matter how many obstacles may be faced by their business. Business leaders also need to possess intuition. This trait can also be classified under business acumen. Many scholars also believe that leaders must be aware of themselves. Leaders can adjust to the current situation by becoming aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
Leaders must possess humility in order to be truly effective and intuitive. Leaders must be able to accept that they may not know all the answers and that mistakes can occur. Although logic and reasoning can help most people get through many situations, there will be times when an individual must rely on their gut instincts to make the right decisions. Today’s true business leaders are mature and can successfully implement a team orientation strategy. Leaders realize that they are only as good or worse than their worst employees. It is important to put profits, accolades, and success aside in order to foster a positive atmosphere within a company. You must recognize that empowering others is more effective than trying to control them or using a didactic management style.
Empathy and charisma are two other characteristics that are common in sales leaders and business professionals who are successful. Empathy and charisma are two other traits that can help you see the world from different perspectives. You can build trust once you have the ability to empathize and understand a customer or employee. You won’t get the best results if you don’t build trust between customers and employees.
The question of whether leaders can be born or developed is a constant debate in society. They are developed, according to extensive research. Although certain traits or characteristics are inherent to people, it is how they are used that will determine their potential as leaders. Every successful leader has the ability to be persistent, time-sensitive and adaptable to changing circumstances. However, they have also worked hard to acquire many of these traits if they weren’t born with them.
To be a successful business leader, you must first know yourself. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses can help you develop the qualities you are lacking. You might have difficulty with public speaking. It is a good idea to join a Toastmasters group, or any other forum that allows you to practice public speaking and get feedback from others. Tricia Bisoux interviewed many of the top MBA school directors in the article “What Makes Leaders Awesome”. Paula Hill Strasser is the Southern Methodist University’s Director. She points out that the role of a business school does not necessarily require teaching leadership. She stated, “We don’t believe leaders are born. But we do believe that different people have the potential to lead.”