Leadership is a principally important role in any business, growing or well-established. A business without a leader is a rudderless ship; leaders co-ordinate and energize while building relationships and plotting a course for success. But what traits make a leader?
A good business leader is a hungry one. Leadership involves having the grit and tenacity to steer a business and its employees to better waters. Good leaders always have their eye on the price, stopping at nothing to achieve crucial milestones – whether through shrewd expansion or transition into new markets.
A good example of this growth-seeking tenacity can be found in Thomas Fiohr, CEO of international private aviation company, Vista Global. Fiohr’s leadership pulled the business through the murky waters of the coronavirus pandemic, seeking growth opportunities all the while. The services and offerings provided by Vista Global have seen marked improvement by targeting key areas of the market and expanding into them with ease.
The same hunger that inspires budding leaders to find new routes to success should also inspire them to learn. The learning process is never ‘complete’ for anyone – and those who grow content with the limits of their knowledge are doomed to obsolescence.
Learning is the sole mechanism by which future leaders have any control over their momentum or trajectory. Sure, luck can land you a lucrative deal or two. But learning grants you the ammunition to land those deals on the regular. Constant reading-up on the things that make your company tick – coupled with a concerted effort to stay on top of the latest news in your industry – ensures you will always be one step ahead of the game.
A good leader is also an inspirational one. Commanding a business or department is no easy task, especially where there are human beings behind the metrics. It is a leader’s job to motivate just as much as to delegate; with the right approach to inspiring staff, improvement and growth can be achieved organically.
A key role model for this in the public eye is Steve Ballmer, who ran Microsoft between 2000 and 2014. His tenure was one of highs and lows – as well as the occasional viral moment, thanks to his high-energy presentations – but his radical approach to growth strategy inspired staff to no end. His attitude to Microsoft was, in large part, responsible for the success of Xbox, one of the most popular video game console brands in history.
A Great Communicator
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, a great leader is often determined by how well they communicate. Communication is a profoundly important piece of the puzzle, whether you’re illustrating long-term strategy to partners and teams or reaching out to customers and clients.
Public speaking is obviously a useful skill for any leader – but it only covers a small part of a much larger whole. Elon Musk is a unique example here, being both an example of excellent and poor communication. His public-facing approach is a self-effacing one that garners a great degree of support and even fandom for his enterprises. Meanwhile, his forthright brand of internal messaging has received mixed reviews.