What are the qualities or characteristics of effective business leaders? Leaders are trailblazers. They are visionaries. Great leaders show you the way and help you get there. They know how to turn ideas into something you can see and touch. There are certain characteristics that effective leaders have.
You can only “fake it ’til you make it” for only so long. Facts do not lie. Are your words and actions consistent? Did you fulfill goals and objectives? As a leader, there are specific expectations placed on you. If you want to continue to be considered a leader by others, you have to demonstrate that you can meet and exceed certain expectations. Be consistent. Meet your goals and deadlines. Do not over promise and under deliver. You should actually under promise and over deliver.
Confidence is about credibility and trust. Being confident is about being sure of the result. If you are unsure, how do you expect others to be sure? If you are indecisive, how can you expect others to be decisive? Confidence is about knowing what the outcome is before anyone else. Confidence is about clearly defining and clearly communicating vision, goals, objectives, etc.
John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” As a leader you are visible. Others watch to see how you respond. Do you knuckle under pressure, or do you roll up your sleeves and push through? The more hurdles you overcome the more of an inspiration you become to others. They study you. They watch you. They emulate you. Be the person you want them to be.
Commitment and Passion
Commitment is the consistent decision to fulfill your promises no matter what is thrown at you. You are the first one to arrive at work and the last one to leave. You work hard to find real solutions. Passion is that drive that keeps you going when things get difficult. Commitment and passion are about endurance. You do the things you need to do to get to the finish line.
Words have power to inform and motivate. A good communicator provides clarity. A great communicator motivates others toward a specific call to action. Great communicators are able to get others to respond and act a certain way.
A decisive leader demonstrates the ability to make the right decision at the right time. Decisiveness is about making a decision and not changing your mind later. Decisiveness is not about perfection. It is knowing what the end result looks like, steering efforts towards its completion, and knowing when to call it complete.
Accountability is much more than accepting blame if something goes wrong. True accountability is about transparency and compliance. It is about developing systems and procedures that increase personal ownership. Accountability is necessary in cash handling situations. You should know who is responsible for the money, how much there is supposed to be, how much a register is over or under, and ways to identify why values do not match. Accountability is the processes in place to ensure that goals and objectives are being met.
One person cannot run a large business alone. It is often necessary to enlist others to help you fulfill obligations. Leaders focus on key responsibilities and leave the other tasks to others. What are the core aspects of your business? A business leader should focus on those things. For example, a doctor should focus on being a doctor, and a lawyer should focus on being a lawyer. A doctor should not spend any significant time looking at financial budgets, schedules, or insurance. A doctor should focus on the health and well-being of the patient. Any task that is not directly related to improving a person’s health should be given or delegated to someone else.
It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. True innovation generates true change. Creative thinking and creative solutions help you stand apart from the crowd. When you become an expert in your field, you have the ability to adapt. You see that certain activities help some clients, but do not help others. You find ways to help identify which activities are best for which clients in order to streamline the whole process.
Empathy is about connecting with people on an emotional level. It is about the ability to pickup and decipher emotions from a specific person. It is about leveraging this ability to build stronger relationships that engender trust and compassion. Trust is one of the most useful tools you have in your arsenal as a business leader. Having a successful business is less about the product or service and more about the person providing it. If you want to thrive, build trust. Part of building trust and brand loyalty is to be able to pick up on other people’s emotions and turning negative feelings into positive ones.
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