In all industries, but especially in the business world, it’s important to be a leader. Whether that means holding a management position within your company or being a leader on team projects at work, the best way to get ahead and climb the corporate ladder is by not being afraid to take charge when necessary. But what exactly makes a great leader? We read some great Forbes and Entrepreneur articles on the topic and put together a comprehensive list of the qualities of a leader you can apply in your daily job responsibilities. We’ve included quotes from leaders in various fields to inspire you.
- Persistence: No matter what your specific job title is, all business professionals experience disappointment from time to time. It’s important to be persistent and work toward achieving your goals despite setbacks.
“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go.
You lead by going to that place and making a case.” Ken Kesey
- Confidence: Because being a leader often requires you to be in the spotlight, confidence is key in the business world. Don’t be afraid to speak up or voice your opinion, especially in group settings.
“Wisdom equals knowledge plus courage. You have to not only
know what to do and when to do it, but you have to also
be brave enough to follow through.” Jarod Kintz
- Intuition: Sometimes you have to go with your gut and trust your intuition. Although it can be risky, some of the best business ideas have come from one person’s idea.
“If you really want the key to success, start by doing
the opposite of what everyone else is doing.” Brad Szollose
- Cooperation: Though leadership means taking charge, it doesn’t require you to steamroll over other people. Working well on a team is a quality that many employers look for — especially when it’s time for a promotion.
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things.
He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” Ronald Reagan
- Accepting constructive criticism: Being criticized is part of the learning process, so it’s important to learn from your own slip-ups. Take constructive criticism well and use it to make yourself better.
“In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become
what we need to be by remaining what we are.” Max De Pree
- Fearlessness: In this case, we aren’t talking about skydiving or roller coasters. In a business setting, being fearless can mean taking on a responsibility that forces you outside of your comfort zone and allows you to grow as a professional.
“Keep your fears to yourself, but share your
courage with others.” Robert Louis Stevenson
- Accountability: Mistakes are going to happen, no matter how hard you try to get things right. The occasional error is nothing to lose sleep over; instead, be accountable and take ownership, then offer strategies to correct your oversight.
“A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the
blame and a little less than his share of the credit.” John Maxwell
- Passion: One thing that most successful leaders have in common is a sincere passion for what they do. Closely linked with persistence, this characteristic means caring about your work and ensuring it is high quality.
“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong
that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough
from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” Steve Jobs
- Communication: No matter how good your idea is, it’s useless if you can’t communicate it effectively to others. The ability to connect with and understand your coworkers is an important component of leadership.
“Communication — the human connection —
is the key to personal and career success.” Paul J. Meyer
- Positive attitude: When you encounter challenges at work, it can be easy to get negative. No one likes when a project doesn’t work out or an important presentation tanks. But leaders inspire others by staying positive instead of dwelling on what went wrong.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior
teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” William Arthur Ward
- Creativity: When no obvious solution to a problem presents itself, it’s time to get creative. Sometimes the ordinary doesn’t cut it, so you’ll need to think outside the box.
“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think,
is still the secret of great creative people.” Leo Burnett
- Decision-making: Another part of taking ownership is having the confidence to make tough decisions. Leading means not being afraid to choose a strategy or route to take.
“Whenever you see a successful business, someone
once made a courageous decision.” Peter F. Drucker
Becoming a Leader Starts With Education
Students who earn their business degree at Shorter gain the knowledge and skills they need to get ahead. With our online Bachelor of Business Administration, you’ll be ready to become a leader and develop the key characteristics covered in this post. From finance and accounting to ethics and communication, our curriculum combines hard and soft skills so that you are prepared for the challenges of the business world. Discover what a Shorter business degree can mean for your career as a business leader.