Many believe that those in leadership were simply born with the innate ability to lead and inspire others to follow them in their entrepreneurial pursuits. However, while there may be some element of charisma and personality involved with being a strong leader, there are a variety of skills and characteristics that good visionaries possess and are constantly working toward mastering:
1. Master self-awareness.
One of the most valuable elements of entrepreneurship isn’t your ability to sell products or dream up services. Instead, your self-awareness and emotional intelligence is one of the most important skills you can learn and master. From having the ability to regulate your emotions during difficult moments to knowing how to read and engage others in effective ways, social awareness and emotional intelligence can take you leagues ahead of your competition in mere moments.
2. Plan ahead for future Success.
Do you really want to lead well? Then you will need to offer those who follow you a strong and strategic vision of the future! If you have not taken the time to sit down and map out a plan for the next 1, 5, and 10 years of your own life and the life of your company, then it is time to take this essential step of leadership.
3. Read to lead.
In the words of US President Harry Truman: “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” True leaders are lifelong learners – always seeking ways to learn and instill new skills and knowledge. As a leader, it is vital that you find ways to increase your overall knowledge and industry expertise. Seeing yourself as a learner will help you grow in your leadership while staying humble.
4. Find ways to lift others up.
While you may desire to hold a firm grasp on your company or organization, it is important as a leader to seek ways to allow others to lead with you. Whether through pragmatic leadership opportunities or one-off opportunities to lead initiatives and teams, find creative ways to allow others to shine in their own leadership potential.
5. Become a humble servant leader.
If you had to define an entrepreneur and leader, then you would probably use words such as “bold,” “visionary,” and “commanding.” While these are traits that many look for in a strong leader, too much can be a bad thing. The best leaders have the ability to hone in on their powerful presence while still having the ability to serve and humble themselves. Find ways to get your hands dirty at the bottom of the ladder to show true leadership.
6. Spend time investing in the next generation.
If you aren’t taking time to invest in the next generation, then you are missing out on a valuable future resource for your present and your future. Good leaders have the ability to spot and retain top talent in their field, as well as discover individuals who may be the next great addition to your team.
7. Be willing to push ahead, and know when to pivot.
Great leaders are known for their ability to push ahead through the good and the bad in life and business. When the storm is raging and the winds of uncertainty are blowing, having the ability to stand firm and remain unmoved can be a huge advantage.
However, great leaders are strong and able to recognize when it is important to adapt and pivot to changes. If you begin to notice changes in your industry, culture, and business practices, then you should have the humility and willingness to hear out whether or not you should begin to move in a different direction – with confidence.
8. Dress like you are passionate.
When it comes to leadership, the final skill to improve on is an easy one: begin to dress to impress and influence. Your business wear – regardless of your job or industry – will make a huge difference in how others perceive you. Putting some work into your attire and wardrobe can make a huge difference in how your team and other clients view you. Not only will you benefit in your relationships with others, but you will also enjoy some added professionalism and productivity as you feel polished!