When some people hear the term “leader”, prominent politicians or C-level execs come to mind. Yet, leaders are everywhere among us – in the boardroom and in politics, on the home front and in schools – and in small businesses around the globe.
There’s no doubt that being a leader is high-stress work, whether you’re the head of a sole proprietorship or managing an entire team. Below I’ve named five leadership qualities that strongly benefit entrepreneurs, no matter what field you’re in or how far along you are in your entrepreneurial journey.
1. Vision. As a leader, it isn’t enough simply to have a vision – you must achieve clarity with your vision to be able to articulate it well to others. Be willing and able to reevaluate your vision as needed to ensure that it’s still in alignment with your values and goals.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll likely be asked to communicate your vision to others just like any other leader, so think of the process as painting a picture with words, as Entrepreneur.com suggests. Get personal with it – bring some passion into your vision – voice it, write it, draw it, feel it.
2. Authenticity. Whether you’re just embarking on your entrepreneurial voyage or a seasoned professional, authenticity has everything to do with becoming a leader who stands out from the crowd. More than 1000 studies over a 50-year time-frame have not produced a single profile of the ideal leader. Why? Because such a profile does not exist.
Leadership emerges from people’s life stories and from their ability to develop self-awareness about their experiences. If you want to become more authentic, you must commit to discovering who you are. The benefits are profound: heightened efficiency, effectiveness and motivation, a greater balance in life, more empowered team members, and noticeably superior results over a sustained period of time.
3. Balance. Integrating our lives is one of the greatest challenges that all leaders face. To lead a balanced life, we need to bring together all of its essential elements—work, family, community, and friends—so that we can be the same person in each environment.
Remain ever-aware of the significance of staying grounded. Make time for family and friends, exercise regularly, engage in community service, and of course, set aside time just for you. All are essential to being an effective leader.
Achieving balance isn’t just an excellent way to enhance our leadership abilities – flexible workplaces are good for businesses and the economy.
4. Communication. This vital quality seems like a no-brainer, but it’s so important it deserves a mention on any list of strong leadership traits. Whether you communicate with someone in person or via another method like phone, email, or Skype, give that person the gift of your presence.
Be proactive. Listen to the other person. Give – and be willing to openly receive – feedback. Send a greeting card to acknowledge a holiday or birthday, organize an after-hours meetup, or simply ask someone how they’re doing to show that you care. After all, as any smart business professional knows, good relationships drive careers.
5. Perseverance. When the going gets tough, the tough keep going. One of the hallmarks of any great leader is the ability to persevere in the face of adversity. Entrepreneurs in particular are all too familiar with hard times, and that’s why perseverance makes the list.
When met with an obstacle, an experienced leader remains committed to her mission. No matter what comes your way – criticism, unanticipated barriers, or other challenges – rise above – even if a solution isn’t immediately available.
If you’re looking for innovative strategies, useful resources, and mega-inspiration for your business (and life!), don’t miss out on my free training event, Ladies’ Leadership Secrets. It’s taking place right now and it’s still not too late to get in on the action.
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Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Colleen Slaughter, Proud Executive Coach to the UN World Food Program, the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
As an Executive Coach for Women in Leadership and Transformational Facilitator, my intention is to help leaders in positions of high influence to understand their worth at a profound level.
Supporting women leaders to truly thrive and step into their greatness, while succeeding in male-dominated industries and spaces is my native genius.
My technique and approach show you how to achieve incredible career success without compromising any part of who you are and what makes you magnificent.