During the current economic downturn, many business professionals have wondered what it takes to become a leader. What is it like to be a leader? Does it mean that you are able to grow your company and not stop trying to get the profits? Without profits, a company cannot exist. We’ve seen some leaders sacrifice the greater good of the society for maximum profits. To many people, the term leader could mean many different things. This paper examines Business Leadership of Jason Hare Kingston explains what it is.
To understand the characteristics and traits that make successful business leaders, it is important to first identify the traits and characteristics of today’s business leaders. The pace of change in business has increased with globalization. Businesses everywhere are experiencing a change that has made them more dynamic and volatile. Many companies now look to their leaders to steer them through these challenging waters. All companies place a greater emphasis on business leadership at every level of their company.
Many managers of the past were promoted by large economic growth. However, they may not have expected to change the status quo. Many business leaders and managers must think outside of their comfort zones to provide growth for their shareholders and superiors. Visionaries are what we are seeing among the new generation of business leaders. They seek to understand how business is changing, and then adapt strategies to make sure that they do not impact their markets. Many large institutions went bankrupt due to recent scandals involving subprime loans and the burst housing bubble. Many companies are now looking for business leaders that not only will keep the profits coming but also have strong ethics and integrity.
Following extensive research, here are some top characteristics or traits found in business leaders today. Great leaders need to be able maintain their heads and cope with stress and frustration. A business leader must be able and able to maintain their calm even in times of stress. Emotional stability is another trait that makes a leader a success, also known to be called locus de control.
The second trait is self-esteem. Being a business leader means that you have to be constantly analyzed and make fast decisions. Leaders have to believe that they will steer the business in the correct direction and feel confident in their decisions. This can in turn inspire others within an organization to work towards the same goal.
Many business leaders today are known to have the drive or the need to succeed. If a leader settles for average results, he or she won’t continue pushing the envelope. Often productivity or profits may suffer. True business leaders have the drive and desire to achieve. They are always seeking out the next challenge, and they find creative ways to overcome obstacles.
Today’s business leaders also have the ability to quickly and efficiently filter information. Business acumen is another term to describe it. Ted Prince notes, “Leadership development wasn’t a boom-time phenomenon until the Great Recession. It was possible to focus on traditional leadership competencies, such as interpersonal skills. It is possible to see leadership development as a secondary subject in the study and practice of leadership.
We live in a very different time today. Business acumen is the ability to show how our actions have a direct impact on and increase business outcomes. Business acumen development fills the gap left by traditional leadership development programs. It focuses on the behavioral skills that will lead to increased profitability and greater market value. Business acumen can be described as the ability to create positive business outcomes. (Prince).
Every leader who is successful in business will have a strong streak of optimism. A leader sees problems as a challenge. They also view setbacks and obstacles as opportunities to improve. They never lose sight of the main goal and are determined to reach it. They believe they will sell the next sale even if they don’t make it that day. Their optimism can often drive them towards their ultimate goals.
Tolerance towards ambiguity refers a person’s tolerance to uncertainty. Business leaders must have this ability to be successful today. Art Petty writes on his blog that “top performers battle the routine.” High performers in all areas of life, athletes to leaders, and great contributors to the community work hard to resist the temptation to stay in the same rut. High performance individuals and organizations find their comfort in not following the same path or being a predictable part of life, but in being open to the uncertainty and constant need to evolve. Some of the greatest leaders push themselves and others to be different in order to keep their senses sharp, collective and individual minds expanding and ideas fresh.” (Petty).
In business leadership, courage is a key trait. Leadership and entrepreneurship require a high tolerance of risk. Most businesses fail because they are starting from scratch. True business leaders know how to manage risk and keep going even when times are slow.
These traits seem to be the most desirable in business leaders. The traits of high energy, intelligence, maturity and team orientation are also highly desirable, although they may not be present in every business leader. Empathy, empathy, charisma and charisma are some other traits that are highly valued, but might not be found in every leader. Let’s look at these traits more closely to discover how leaders can benefit from them.
A business leader must be able to work long hours in order to achieve their vision. High-energy leaders are able to keep the business focused and on track, regardless of any obstacles. A business leader should also possess intuitiveness. This can also be called business acumen. Many scholars agree that leaders must have a deep understanding of themselves. If a leader is aware and comfortable with their weaknesses, they can make adjustments to fit the current circumstances.
Leadership must be humble to be effective. This means that the leader should be able to recognize the fact that they might not know everything, and that errors can happen. Though logic and reasoning can be helpful in many situations, the human spirit will often prevail over logic. Leaders of business today have maturity and are adept at creating a team orientation strategy. The leader recognizes that his best employee is his worst. A positive work environment among employees is more important than achieving success and accolades. Recognize that empowerment is better than trying and control others, or having a didactic approach to management.
The charisma and empathy are two other qualities that are frequently found in highly successful business leaders. Being able and able relate to people at all levels can allow you to see the world in many different ways. When you’re able to empathize with employees and customers, you can start building trust. You will not achieve the best results by customers or employees if there is no trust.