Leadership isn’t just about being an intellectual or having the power to lead a company. It’s about being a visionary. It’s about steering employees to work harder to meet the company’s goals. Successful business leader leaders are more than just bosses. They know how to sacrifice, to listen, and to empathize with their employees. They lead by example with a combination of enthusiasm, discipline, luck, and self-assurance. The best leaders are not the ones who came from Ivy League schools and who’ve always won in life. They are the ones who knew how it feels like to lose and how to stand up from that loss.
The best leaders are those who know how to sacrifice. If a company is on the verge of bankruptcy, for example, who should make the ultimate sacrifice? Is it the rank-and-file employees? Should they cut their salaries for the company while the owners keep their profits? Isn’t the first step to trying to save the company is for the owners to step up to the plate and make more sacrifices than they’ve already done? This way, it is easier to ask your employees to make the necessary sacrifices for the organization, too.
Look at the way SMRT Chairman Seah Moon Ming sacrificed for the good of the company. Instead of keeping his day job with Pavilion, he decided to resign from it and focus on his role as the new SMRT chairman. He understands the importance of investing his time and focus for the good of the company.
How can anyone expect to be a good leader if they cannot manage themselves? Sure, top business leaders need an effective staff to manage their schedules and tasks, but that doesn’t mean these leaders cannot do this themselves if the need arises. They should know how to balance their personal and professional lives. Time management is part of being an effective leader. Aside from managing their time well, good leaders are also adept at handling their emotions and managing their stress.
No leader can be successful without focus. The most successful people in the world have a single-minded focus to finish their tasks and fulfill their duties. That’s what separates them from other business leaders. Athletes are focused on their training. They don’t let anyone interfere with their goals to win a championship, for example. You will often find that athletes who get distracted by issues are the ones who struggle to reach their goals.
Effective leaders are good communicators and listeners. They know how to emphatically communicate their goals and explain to their employees what needs to be done to reach these goals. But remember that leaders need not go angry or shout or get frustrated when employees don’t easily understand what they’re trying to communicate. Good communicators know how to use words and tone to communicate their messages in the best possible way.
More than that, business leaders must be good listeners, too. If their staff have suggestions about certain tasks in the office, they should open their doors to these. After all, you don’t become successful single-handedly. You need an efficient group of people surrounding you, too.
Can a leader lead without passion? Hard work and passion go hand in hand. Passion is what pushes you out of the bed in the morning when you’re too tired to work, but you do it anyway. If you are not passionate about your work, it will be hard for you to push forward. It will be harder for you to motivate your employees. Passion helps anyone reach their goals even if the odds are stacked against them.
Times are changing. Business leaders cannot get stuck in the past doing the same things they’ve always done. They need to adapt to new challenges. They also need to innovate; accept that there are new ways to do things. Not only is it going to inspire your employees, but it’s also going to open up ways to market your business and improve your brand. Adaptability allows you to welcome new ideas and new ways of doing things. It improves your ability to face challenges head-on, as well as come up with methods that take your business to new heights.
It is often said that leaders are made and not born. Though you have some innate abilities to lead when you are born, your qualities as a leader will develop over time. It is through dedication, passion, and hard work that you will become the best person to manage, inspire, and lead your organization.