There is a huge difference between being a good business leader who is capable of getting the job done most of the time, and really standing out as a great leader who has the skills to accomplish all leadership goals no matter what the circumstances may be. If you want to be great rather than mediocre or just good, consider the top 10 keys to leadership. These are universal strengths that every great business leader has, regardless of the type of leadership being carried out.
#1 Versatile Communication
Having great communication skills is an obvious requirement for leading others to business success, but when you have versatile communication skills you are able to adjust your tone of voice, body language, and other aspects of your demeanor to the situation at hand. A good leader is able to communicate with others when they are in cooperation, but a really great business leader can adjust those skills to successfully communicate with literally anyone.
#2 An Open Mind for Innovation
Don’t get too stuck on doing things the way they have always been done, or your own way. A good leader listens to new ideas, but a truly great business leader knows how to take the right innovative ideas and apply them to create the most effective ways to solve problems and create a strong business.
#3 Open Door Policy
This is a combination of having an open mind and establishing great communication skills. It doesn’t matter how open minded you are or how great your communication skills are if everyone you are leading is scared off from coming to talk to you. Good business leaders say they are always open while great leaders make sure everyone knows they can talk to them whenever necessary and then they follow through with that.
#4 Forward Focus
All good leaders are able to manage and keep things under control in the moment, but a really great business leader always has an eye to the future. They are able to tailor what they do today and what they instruct others to do in order to improve the company or make their team stronger in the future.
#5 Consistency with Rules
One aspect of leadership that some people really enjoy is the ability to set the rules and force others to stand behind them. A good business leader is able to set rules which are good for the company or the team, but a really great business leader keeps the rules consistent over time and does not get off on a power trip putting up rules without just cause.
#6 Respectable Consequences
This one goes hand in hand with being consistent and reasonable with rules. A good business leader sets consequences for rules but a really great leader will let everyone know ahead of time what those consequences are and they will make sure punishments are reasonable and understandable. The punishments must be the same for everyone; no playing favorites.
#7 Respect & Care for Others
Without the people on your team, you would have no team. Good business leaders care for others while great leaders know the difference between showing care and being manipulated. You should be able to both show care and concern for others and uphold your rules and stick to the mission of your company as a whole.
#8 Time Management
Many leadership positions require you to make things happen on a very short time limit. This means you need to manage more than just what tasks are handed out to what person. A good leader makes sure all bases are covered and all tasks have been assigned but a great business leader will continually check up on each member of the team to ensure time is being handled effectively and the project is moving along at a nice pace.
#9 Self Confidence & Belief
If you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else? Great leaders display an air of unshakeable confidence while good leaders try to fake it.
#10 Personal Integrity
It is one thing for a good leader to understand the integrity of the company and to mold themselves to that model while working, but another thing for a really great business leader to ensure that their personal life exemplifies that integrity as well. In our modern world this means not displaying sexually gratuitous pictures of you while drunk on your MySpace page while trying to convince your professional associates that you are a person of integrity.
It should be clear from this what sets a really great business leader apart from someone just trying to get by with as little work as possible.