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The qualities of a successful business leader

November 4, 2013 | Valerie Wong

What makes a successful business leader? While some may obviously say: “Someone good at making money!” there are other qualities that are far more important than just a desire to increase one's financial position. One must also remember that a “leader” must, by definition, lead people into success, so that their business can keep thriving, regardless of any obstacles that could appear along the way. Here are some of the qualities that many of the most successful business leaders of the world all share: 

Good Communicator 

A business leader can be highly intelligent and have a head full of ideas that could help a business grow, but if they are not able to communicate with others, leadership becomes impossible. Having the right communication skills will let a leader connect to everyone in the organization, such as the management staff, employees, clients, vendors and external partners. This allows the leader to create positive and lasting relationships. 

Able to Make Difficult Decisions 

Leading is quite easy if everything is going smoothly and according to plan. However, a leader's capabilities are truly put to the test the moment that an unexpected problem arises. For one to be an efficient leader, they would need to evaluate all information available to them and make the best decision, even in a time of crisis. 

Listens to Feedback, Comments and Concerns 

Nobody is perfect and nobody knows the answer to every question or solution to every problem. This is why it is very important to listen to what others are saying. Feedback can come from numerous sources, such as employees, clients, and even from people who have no connection at all to the business. A person in a leadership position should value any comments received and take the time to listen to any concerns brought to them. Ignoring feedback can be catastrophic for a business in the long run. For example, complaints from employees about the company's overall culture can be an indication that if appropriate changes aren't made, the issues brought forward could snowball into a toxic working environment, with low employee engagement, loss of productivity and high rates of turnover. 

Able to Plan for the Future 

An excellent leader will definitely show a lot of enthusiasm for the company's future, but it takes a lot more than just an optimistic outlook to succeed in the world of business. Leaders need to have the ability to see what lies on the road ahead and develop plans that will help the company stay competitive in the long run. While predicting the future with certainty is of course an impossible task, one can take a look at developments that are happening in the present and try to see how they could cause events that could happen next. 

Good Motivator 

In order for a company to succeed, everyone involved must pitch in and make the necessary efforts. Leaders are there not only to make decisions, but also to motivate employees to give their 100%, helping them reach their complete potential. When employees are motivated, they are more likely to take pride in their work and thus will be more committed to producing quality results. Motivated employees also stay with the company longer and are generally more productive, all of which can contribute to creating a great working environment for everyone in the office. 

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