“Great leaders are born, not made.” It’s a very familiar phrase, and one that is often used when it comes to the world of business - but is it still true today?
Like many skills, leadership is something that can be learned, although it’s not an easy road. Today’s most successful leaders come from a range of backgrounds and upbringings, offering hope to the leaders of tomorrow. What are the secrets of their success? Here are some lessons in leadership you can learn from some of today’s most influential figures.
Passion promotes passion
Passion is an important part of being a good business leader. On his website, Virgin tycoon Richard Branson wrote, “a passionate commitment to your business and personal objectives can make all the difference between success and failure.” Without your own belief in what you do, how can you expect others to be passionate about what they do? Be passionate about what you’re doing to help ensure business success and to inspire those around you to help you achieve it.
Giving back is important
Good leadership not only comes from making good business decisions but from other qualities that can inspire others. Those who practice philanthropy, like renowned jewelry designer Moti Ferder, make the headlines not just for their business successes but for the work they do to help others. Being able to give back shows that you’re not just someone who’s in it for the money but wants to make a difference too.
Show your employees that you care
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Being a respected leader doesn’t just come from being a likable personality, it comes from developing good relationships with your employees. Looking after your employees’ welfare shows that you care and can help secure their loyalty to your company. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is an excellent example of a leader who cares about employee welfare. In recent years, Zuckerberg has introduced a variety of policies that promote family-friendly working, including up to four months paid paternity leave, paid bereavement leave and paid leave to care for sick family members. Demonstrating that you value your employees and offering benefits which improve their work-life balance can have a big influence on how your employees perceive you.
Be a good communicator
Good communication is a key skill of any great leader. Being able to communicate with different people in different situations is what will set you apart from others. Communication is important for businesses and helps create a feeling of trust among employees. The increase in businesses using 360 degree evaluations shows that there is an appetite for more open and honest communication that you as a business leader have the chance to offer. Good communication skills can take time to develop, but they’re one of the most vital you’ll learn as you work to become a successful leader.
There are many lessons to be learned from great leaders that can help you develop your own successful style of leadership. While it may not happen overnight, one day it could be you sharing your wisdom on what it takes to be a good leader in business.