Strong business leadership gives an organisation a good sense of direction and keeps everyone on the team productive. A team that does not have a strong leader will fail in the long-term, lose morale, and not overcome the challenges or obstacles that crop up in the future.
In this article, we will define what business leadership is, how it is important in the workplace and the steps anyone can take to improve their business leadership skills.
What is Business Leadership?
The meaning of being a business leader is to be someone who is in charge of making high-level decisions in the company. A business leader is a role model who inspires employees and sets the tone for corporate culture in the workplace. Business leaders can have different job titles or positions and their main responsibility is to create a leadership follow that everyone can follow. As a business leader, you will be given several opportunities to showcase your skills, experience, and competence to lead others in the enterprise.
Many of India's successful entrepreneurs became who they are today thanks to the business leadership skills each possessed. It is true that hard work, creativity, passion, discipline, and effective time management are skills one should inculcate to succeed, but business leadership stands at the top.
Types of Business Leadership
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to being a business leader and every individual is different. How unique you are, what you offer as a leader, and the impact it has on the team all will collectively carve out your leadership identity. There are many different types of business leadership roles, styles, entrepreneurship skills, etc., but the most important ones are as follows:
This type of leadership gives complete authority to the leader. The sole individual is responsible for making key decisions and team members cannot go against their word.
Democracy means 'by the people, for the people, and of the people.'
In this leadership model, the leader is appointed by members and key decisions are made on the basis of their votes.
Bureaucratic leadership is performance-oriented and sets solid rules and objectives for both leaders and team members. Employees are held accountable for their actions and all processes laid down are non-negotiable.
A servant leader places emphasis on the well-being of others, foregoing even their own sometimes. The focus of a servant leadership model is to improve society as a whole. Servant leaders share authority with members and report directly to the group.
Laissez-faire leadership is a unique type where the leader puts all trust in his employees and leaves the work to them. The leader does minimal interference and employees effectively take charge of the company's growth. The downside to this model is that the leader may not provide inputs, which may result in slower growth or certain inefficiencies.
Transformational leaders trigger change within communities and stir the morale of the group up. They are charismatic by nature, well-spoken, and not afraid to say what they want. This style of leadership has deep roots in persuasion and transformational leaders motivate employees to achieve beyond what they think they're capable of.
Strategic leadership is volatile, unpredictable, but highly effective. It's acting when the opportunity arises and waiting out by working as usual. Strategic leaders are focused on day-to-day or routine tasks and encourage employees to perform at a high level. The goal of strategic leadership is to translate the company's vision into reality, no matter what the cost, business strategy, or time taken needed.
Transactional leaders work on a business philosophy and are not concerned with emotions but results. They take a sales approach and set targets or deadlines. There are rewards and consequences for succeeding or failing in their goals. This leadership style is cold and can sometimes be demotivating, especially for employees who want a stable work-life and social balance.
Visionaries are radical and think completely outside the box. A classic example in history is Steve Jobs, late CEO of Apple. Visionary leaders are natural problem-solvers, articulative, and can visualize solutions from different angles and realms of possibilities. Visionary leaders tend to rely on others a lot and aren't too focused on the little details but rather on the picture as a whole.
Top Business Leadership Skills
Following is a list of the key traits every business leader should have in order to be successful.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to show empathy, recognize emotions, and have a sense of self-awareness. It also means being able to connect with others, understand their pain points or be able to relate to them. Emotional Intelligence is a critical skill for communication and shows that you are a human too. It can teach you to remain flexible under pressure, learn when to take breaks or call it quits, and when to push forward for better performance. In short, it's a self-management hack.
A business leader's communication skills are essential to success. If you cannot communicate your ideas clearly to others in the team, you cannot execute them effectively. You need to communicate the company's goals to others and motivate them to accomplish tasks. Communication is made up of several other subset skills such as adaptability, transparency, clarity, inquisitiveness, empathy, and body language. Carry yourself well because the image you protrude is perceived by others.
A good business leader can build a team from scratch and turn it into the best. An effective leader doesn't tell others what to do but rather leads by example. This not only ends up improving team performance but holds team members together, growing the organisation as a whole. Important team-building skills include sharing your vision, fostering workplace relationships, commitment to excellence, demonstrating strong problem-solving skills, etc.
There's no point in being a business leader if your company goes bankrupt. Financial literacy is a critical skill since it keeps the organisation afloat. Knowing how to do cash flow analysis, analyze metrics, make financial statements, and review profits should be a part of every business leader's skillset.
When running a business, it's inevitable to face moments when things don't go as expected. There will be risks and those unforeseen circumstances that come out of nowhere. Sometimes a wrench can be thrown into your plans and it's part of your job to be flexible and able to handle the pressure. Business leaders get out of tough spots and don't complain. They are willing to work through it, change scenarios, and adapt their course of action accordingly.
Intrinsic motivation is more about what drives you as a business leader. There will be a time when you have to do the work alone and nobody is taking your side. True business leaders excel at what they do and are some of the hardest workers. Even if there is no one to follow them, they will do what needs to be done. The others automatically follow them, give respect, and do not ask questions but listen instead when they see this.
Good business leaders know how to stay organized in the workplace. Organisation prevents chaos and keeps you accountable for following through on promises. If you have multiple assignments and projects, there is no way you can juggle or manage all of them without proper organisation skills. If a business has a leader who prioritizes being organized, the team is likely to end up being productive as well. And that's because people learn by watching you.
Why Would Anyone Need Business Leadership Skills?
Business leadership skills are an invaluable asset when it comes to life. People who are likely to most benefit from developing such a skillset are:
Early Career Professionals -
Those who are just starting out their careers or setting foot into the industry can reap the benefits. They can get a huge advantage over peers, enjoy better job promotions, and earn recognition by having business leadership skills.
New Leaders -
Those who are transitioning into leadership or high-level roles will immensely benefit from having business leadership skills. Having strong business leadership acumen can help them perform their responsibilities effectively, thus reducing the pressure.
Aspiring Entrepreneurs -
Entrepreneurs have to think outside the box by default and derive as much value from the team. If you are starting up a business, proving the value of your brand is important and this is where these leadership skills come in. Business leadership skills can help you acquire new investors, get stakeholders interested, and keep your mission running strong.
How to improve one's Business Leadership skills
Business Leadership is all about the organisational capacity to set and achieve challenging goals. It helps in effective decision-making and decisive action when required and inspires others to perform at the highest level. The following ways can help in improving your leadership skills:
- Lead the organisation through inspiration rather than domination.
- Lead by example.
- Practice of empathy towards employees.
- Be flexible.
- Communicate effectively with all stakeholders.
- Become adept to conflict resolution.
- Celebrate success with all the stakeholders.
In a nutshell, effective leadership and well-trained leaders are paramount for providing efficient outcomes. Organisational efficiency is so important in a global setting it is critical to look at the issues in a global economy. Business leaders lead their organisations, and leaders need to wear many hats. Business leadership in an organisation is a highly specialised structure with people working in the organisation.
Are you interested in shaping your organisational values through effective leadership?
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