Do you aspire to be a great leader? To inspire those who work alongside you and empower those who work under you? Some entrepreneurs are born to lead; naturally gifted at bringing out the best in projects and people. For others, becoming an amazing leader means educating oneself and consciously undertaking strategies which grow their existing leadership skills. If that’s you, keep reading on! Here are 11 things that amazing leaders do, and how you can follow their example to up your capabilities, and results, as a leader in business:
Amazing leaders honour their roles at the top and take pride in their work, meaning making themselves accountable is a high priority. They are proactive about getting feedback on projects, whether during weekly meetings or tech and software which allows constant monitoring. If goals aren’t met, they will carefully analyse what went wrong and look at how to take action to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Great leaders expect the same accountability to be taken by others and know how/when to be both encouraging and disciplinary to bring out the best from others. They will always be open to discussion and reflection with others, before making negative claims and accusations but they will know when they need to make a firm stand based on what is and isn’t being achieved.
Making subordinates feel valued is perhaps the most important job of being an exceptional leader. When those below you are not feeling valued, they quickly lose respect and, in turn, motivation to get things done and bring the best out of your business. While many leaders are natural ‘people persons’, others need to learn how to most effectively make others feel important; investing in the right training may be necessary, having the right intention alone is not enough. Amazing leaders are amazing communicators. Not only do they know how to express their opinions, they know the importance of being an effective listener. When they ask a question, they don’t just listen out for what they want to hear but have the patience to hear exactly what the other person wishes to say.
Other aspects of making others feel valued include giving authority to others, passing on perks to their team members, and accepting the blame when things go wrong. Amazing leaders have the ability to make others feel like equals while still being in control.
Ultimately, amazing leaders treat everyone with respect.
Sadly, bad news is part and parcel of business. There’s no doubt at some point you’re going to hear something about your company you don’t like, and going into denial is never beneficial. Great leaders know when to face up to the facts, and they won’t just wait for negative facts and data to filter through – they’ll actively seek them out. Great leaders don’t wait until the end of a project to uncover red flags, they monitor progress and identify when things are going off-track as soon as possible.
When they are delivered with news they don’t like, they won’t shoot the messenger either. Great leaders appreciate an employee who points out underperformance and will be glad it has been brought to their attention. Identifying problems as early as possible is key to business success, and great leaders are ready to solve them with urgency – whether it’s convenient or not.
When business news isn’t great, leaders worth their salt know that the action which needs to be taken may be brutal. Being an amazing leader often means making bold and uncomfortable decisions, and when things aren’t going well – this may mean putting a stop to things which aren’t working, even if they had previously worked for years.
Great leaders know how to deal with their emotions, and to put sentimentality and guilt to one side. A good leader will be looking out for what is best for their business as a whole. For example, they will not be afraid to say goodbye to an employee who is no longer pulling their weight (even if they have existing rapport or personal connection).
However, a good leader will not rush into this decision. They will gather insight, discuss other options, and allow input from others so that big adjustments can be made allowing individual employees and the business as a whole to thrive.
Next time you discover an area in your business which isn’t performing as you’d like, try not to panic. Accept the truth of the situation and calmly approach others who will need to act on the situation swiftly.
It’s not just back news that great leaders keep their eyes open for. They make a concerted effort to look out for the gems in their business, from marketing strategies that are working to staff which are doing an exceptional job. The job of a great leader is to pick out these victories, analyse why they are having such success, and take action to encourage more of the same. It’s also important to think about how similar techniques can be applied elsewhere in your business for greater impact. For example, a great leader may notice the good behaviour of managers and consider why they perform so well. They can then experiment by using the same training, creating the same work environment, or providing the same incentives on the shop floor.
Great leaders know how to make employees and other partners feel great too. They are not afraid to praise those who are doing a good job, as it’s crucial that those who are considered ‘gems’ realise their importance and are encouraged to keep up the good work.
As well as dealing with issues as soon as they arise (and highlighting the shining gems within their company) great leaders know the difference between opportunities which have long-term potential and those which will prove a novel distraction. They are constantly looking for a balance of focussing on what is already working, and looking out for new and exciting strategies/products which will inspire and motivate their company to push toward even greater success.
Without careful planning, a business cannot succeed. This means an amazing leader has to always be looking ahead and deciding how to best use the company’s time and resources. They need exceptional time management skills, able to be effective at managing not just their own time but thinking about what will work best for other people’s schedules too.
Planning successful quarters is a particularly important tactic for great leaders. While annual goals are vital, amazing leaders will break goals down into quarters and then each week within that quarter too. The best businesses focus on successful weeks to reach the best results they can at the end of every quarter. Great leaders know business is not a sprint, but a marathon. Every leg of the race aids the end goal – strengthening your chance of reaching the finish in first place!
Regulating your business practices to ensure consistency allows your teams to know what to expect and for your company to run smoothly. Yet, an amazing leader realises the difference between achieving consistency for productivity and allowing complacency. When a business is consistent, leaders have the time and space to focus on new opportunities and what will take things to the next level. It allows them chance to think creatively, evaluate new strategies that arise, and calculate the risks which need to be taken in order to achieve more.
Just as great leaders are on the lookout for sure warning signs of their business going off track, they are also on the lookout for areas of their business which have gone stagnant, and complacency has taken over.
‘Status meetings’ may be common practice in many companies, but great leaders understand that they provide little real solution for problems which have already started to take shape. Instead, amazing leaders will focus on ‘adjustment meetings’ where, not only do teams look at the status of projects, they discuss plans of action for things which look likely to get off-track (or already have done so).
Adjustment meetings are a way to help employees stay engaged and proactive, they replace the average 70-80% of time spent on status, with 70-80% of time spent on solutions. Great leaders will start the meeting with a round of good news, bringing teams on a high, before discussing solutions for things which are off track and how to prioritise the action required.
Amazing leaders are humble and always willing to learn. They know they cannot always be right and that they don’t know everything. When they’ve made a mistake, they will be willing to apologise, listen to feedback, and take action to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Great leaders are as committed to their own personal development and growth as they are to the growth of their business. They are constantly working on their weaknesses and know how to best utilise their strengths.
As a business leader, you will be expected to have input in a wealth of company issues – some of which are more important to the bottom line than others. Amazing leaders know exactly how to prioritise, and realise that not every good idea can be a great idea (and one worth auctioning). Implementing too many ‘good’ strategies can spread your team too thin, making them less effect despite best intentions. Great leaders will focus on key strategies which have been discussed and debated with other executives in order to weigh up the pros, cons, and likely outcomes of each. They focus on prioritising in line with current set goals and targets, rather than making decisions on a whim of what may be good for the business in general.
Great leaders also know when to prioritise moves for long-term vs short-term benefit. But while intuition may be present in a great leader, they will always carefully consider options from a logical standpoint rather than making rash decisions just because they can!
If raising capital for your business is the next stage, we’re here to help. Crowdfunding is an exciting and viable funding option for most businesses and allows you to raise exactly the money you need to use however you like. Plus, crowdfunding enables you to gain support for your products and services from the masses along the way by spreading the work to early adopters and nurturing loyal advocates. For those who invest, there’s something special about helping a new business get off the ground and knowing you’ve been part of creating something special by even making a small donation.
For great leaders, crowdfunding is the ideal solution for early-stage funding for your business. You can forget the stress of seeking out accredited investors and take charge of your crowdfunding campaign yourself. You’re able to get your exact message across to your ideal client and eventually turn your first financial backers into paying clients too.
This modern form of business investment works two-in-one as fundraising and marketing. Great for those who need exposure for their new business as much as they need the money to get things done.
A successful crowdfunding campaign will help you build traction, social proof, and validation which can then be used to grow your business through traditional investment at a later stage (if this is what’s best suited to your business).
Click below to start your crowdfunding project today and begin raising the cash you need now! Plus, leave us a comment and share the leadership qualities which you have most admired in the amazing leaders you’ve experienced.