An exceptional employee is not always an exceptional business manager or owner. A study from The Hay Group lists traits that separate business leaders from others:
- Confidence. Exceptional business leaders reject failure as an option. Best of all, their “do or die” attitudes prove contagious and boost organizational performance.
- Integrity. Most exceptional business leaders are unwilling to set aside their principles for financial gain. They also work to foster a business environment where people are not castigated for occasional mistakes or for criticizing the status quo. These leaders stress the importance of rewarding employees whose work and ideas produce bottom line improvements.
- Initiative. Exceptional leaders understand the need to monitor the marketplace in a search for opportunities to expand their businesses. They note that change and growth are keys to success, and focus their attention on innovation that will matter over the long term instead of fly – by – night novelties. According to the report, “Successful entrepreneurs can spot the hot issue and always see a new idea through to fruition. Their ability to turn what are often simple ideas into profits is usually based on their own personal or business experiences.”
- Selling. Successful business leaders operate with a passion and can convey their unbridled enthusiasm to potential clients. Their ability to communicate ideas with drive and commitment represents an essential part of their sales arsenal.
- Commitment and capacity for hard work. True business leaders understand success requires commitment. As a result, they pour their energy into every endeavor – often to the detriment of their personal lives.
- Drive and determination. Excellent leaders are willing to sacrifice all (sadly this includes friends and family) to achieve success in business. They are also more willing to take risks and facilitate decision making or defuse organizational politics.
- Decisiveness. Business leaders constantly evaluate their organization’s performance and take steps to correct personnel issues, address inefficiencies, and correct shortcomings. The goal is to eliminate complacency and create a challenging work environment.
- Influence: Great business leaders can inspire people to follow their lead and take initiative in the workplace. Moreover, those who perform well, help improve the bottom line, and show loyalty and support are always rewarded.
I believe what I found interesting is that in no place did this study reveal that a great business leader does not have a huge ego, a higher IQ, nor drive a fancier car. Nor do they dictate to their employees, always making sure they understand who is the boss and who will never be the boss.
I’ve had several bosses that were exceptional. They found out what I did well and found ways for those things to be worked into the daily grind more. They learned what I didn’t do well and helped me get better at them. They met me with a smile in the mornings and I always felt like I mattered to them as a person.
Don’t know about you, but I found several things on this list that I find myself needing to work on. You know, too, it isn’t just about being a boss in a business … it’s also ways to be as a parent and as a friend.
We can always do better.
See you on the bricks!