The Traits of Success: Top 7 Business Leadership Qualities You Need to Make It as an Entrepreneur

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Do you want a mug that says "Best Boss" or would you rather be invited to speak at a leadership conference? A cheesy gift or sector-wide respect isn't a hard choice when you look at it.

But a lot of people never upgrade themselves from boss to leader, because they don't know how or they don't know the difference.

You're not one of those people. Even just by looking into business leadership traits, you're showing the self-awareness and vision to improve.

Our guide below can help you on that journey.


Business Leadership vs. Business Bosses

Are you a leader or are you a boss? There's a difference! A boss is someone who thrives on title and power, while a leader is there to help.

Here are seven ways to tell (or work on) becoming a good leader:


1. Emotional Intelligence

If you want to be a great leader, that means you're going to have to be great to your followers. And you can't be great unless you're understanding and empathetic.

In previous years, people thought we had to keep empathy and emotions out of the workplace. But we're realizing that's impossible.

Your employees are people and they'll thrive when you treat them as such.

That means sitting down with employees when you see attention or work quality dipping, to find out what's really going on. Investing in your employees by giving them great benefits doesn't hurt either.

You also have the right to be vulnerable, as a boss. If you need help, ask for help. People respect when someone admits that they're human too - it's a two-way street.


2. Confidence

No one is going to follow someone that says, "I think I know the way!" It's just not how people work. Imagine if the world leaders who started revolutions only half believed in their message.

We wouldn't have half the political independence we have today.

Having confidence in yourself as a leader doesn't mean you have to think you're perfect. In fact, part of confidence is willing to be wrong.

And there's good news - you can fake it till you make it. The more you pretend you believe in yourself and your ideas, the more you actually will.


3. You Have Vision

We used to call this ambition, which is a little different than vision. Ambition is the drive to get things done and keep coming up with new ideas.

Vision, on the other hand, is less shortsighted. If someone has vision, they can take those ambitious ideas and see how they're going to play out down the road.

For example - business partnerships. Maybe a partnership sounds good in the moment, but what's their reputation? Are you going to be proud to have worked with them down the line?

A leader with vision will make the right choice.


4. Fairness

A good leader is fair, while a boss is harsh. We already talked about the difference between a boss and a leader.

While you do want to be emotionally available and have empathy, you also have to be fair. If an employee is having a hard time, they still have to get their work done.

If they don't, consequences should follow. But you can help them get it done in an empathetic way. Maybe you let them work from home for a few days, with the expectation that a product/report comes in on time.

That's something a lot of people don't realize about fairness - it's flexible. You can have expectations for your employees while treating them like humans.

Just be open and honest about your expectations and ask them to meet them.


5. Self-Awareness

As a leader, you have to admit you're a person. People have issues and that includes you.

If you fall short and it affects your team, take responsibility. Give a short explanation of why something happened and how you're going to address situations like that in the future.

If you dropped the ball, pick it back up as soon as you realize you did. Most of the time you'll still be able to stay "in play". Don't make excuses and do what you can to fix the situation.

If it comes up or someone asks you about it, be honest. Don't lie to an employee who's asking why something's taking so long. Tell them what happened.

Part of self-awareness is investing in finding out more about yourself. There are Success Performance Solutions and quizzes you can take to make this easier.

Your self-awareness and vulnerability will make them respect you more, we promise.


6. Endurance

Sometimes, in business, a lot of things go wrong before they go right. If you're smart, hopefully, you have some sort of savings or account you can dip into when this happens.

But you can't get down on yourself and stop working. There are people that depend on you to get the business back on track.

If you need help - ask for it. Brainstorming sessions have saved many a business. You can even admit that you're feeling frustrated - but you can never show defeat.

If you show defeat, your employees will lose hope. Being vulnerable about business struggles and not getting defeated is a delicate line to walk, but you can do it.

Tap into that fake it till you make it confidence we talked about before.


7. Accessibility

If you want to be a good leader in the workplace, that means you need to listen to people. But you won't have anyone to listen to if employees don't know they can come to you.

Make it obvious that your doors or at least your inbox are open. You can even set up office hours, where you promise to be in your office for a certain amount of time so that anyone who has issues can come to see you.

Forging relationships in the workplace is another thing leaders do. Bosses have employees, leaders have colleagues.


Working on Leadership

No one is ever the perfect leader. That's because no one ever is a perfect person and leaders allow themselves to be people too.

If you work on yourself and keep improving, you're on your way to business leadership success, if not fame. We can't promise you'll get it right the first time - but we can promise you will if you keep trying!

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