For a business to succeed, leaders should seek to develop the best leadership qualities and practices. The good news, however, is that these qualities can be learnt.
Becoming a good leader does not happen overnight. It takes time to learn and study to be a good leader. Be ready and willing to learn on the job and avoid being dictatorial to your employees. Instead of telling them how to do specific tasks, model what needs to be done and wait for them to deliver excellent results. Always remember that, sometimes, the end justifies the means, but sometimes it doesn’t.
Although the list of qualities of good leadership is long, these ten leadership qualities are important for students:
1. Leadership by Example
As a student in business, you need to understand that as a good leader, you cannot preach water and drink wine. Do not shy away from getting your hands dirty. Pitch in where needed and offer a helping hand whenever possible. This will help you establish good relations in your team and consequently improve performance efficiency.
Decision making is one of the important qualities for students in business. As an effective business student leader, you should learn how to make the right decisions on the spot. Generally, starting a business venture is risky, and at times you will have to make swift decisions whose outcome is uncertain. Always remember that any direction is better than no direction, and in case you make a mistake, you can always learn from it and move forward.
As a leader, you should never be biased. Irrespective of the situation you are in, treat everyone fairly. If a leader is subjective, they are likely to lose the intended purpose of specific tasks. Instead, be objective and focus on what you want to achieve in the long run. Avoid taking every conflict, situation or personal issues too seriously as this will only throw you off course.
Being a leader does not mean you have to be bossy all the time. Some leaders attempt to make up for their shortcomings by saying, ‘I am the CEO,’ or ‘I am the founder.’ This ends up rubbing the rest of the team badly, and you might lose the respect you were hoping to command. As a leader, adhere to the company’s set rules and restrain from using your title as an excuse to not following them. Remember, leadership starts with you.
5. Creativity and Imagination
This quality ensures that leaders can come up with innovative ideas to improve a business. Setting up a profitable business is not all that complicated. The question is, are you able to sustain the business? This is where creativity and imagination come in. If you are looking to double your profits, doing the same thing over and over, decade after a decade will not produce a different result. As a good leader, you should be able to come up with new ideas to grow your business.
6. Effective Communication
Effective communication is crucial in any business, but it is one of the key leadership qualities for students. It’s important for a leader to communicate to employees the importance of their work in the overall achievement of the company’s goals. Employees often need affirmation; hence, as a good leader, you should always remember to commend a job well done. It is also important that a leader communicates clearly with the team when a business is going through a crisis. This makes employees feel engaged and valued as important members of your team.
7. Good Listening Skills
To be a good communicator, you must first be a good listener. A good leader listens to employees’ grievances and establishes a good rapport with them. Also, employees tend to work more efficiently when underlying issues are dealt with.
Often, leaders have huge egos and tend to think they are jacks of all trades. In the real sense though, there is no way you can be a good CEO, a good CFO, or a good marketer all at the same time. Hence, it is vital for leaders to empower employees by assigning tasks to them according to their strengths.
Humility is the ability of a leader to contain their ego. Some may think that a humble leader is weak or uncertain. An effective leader is willing to admit he or she does not know everything and appreciates what solutions or ideas others have to offer without feeling threatened. Humility promotes good relationships and, in the long run, helps a business overcome hiccups.
A good leader focuses on the future by looking at the big picture. They have a clear understanding of where they are going and what they are trying to achieve. A visionary leader can transform the future of a business by laying down strategic plans to aid in the accomplishment of objectives. While it is the work of managers to get the job done, visionary leaders tap into the emotions of its employees to get them excited and mobilized towards the future of the company.