7 Ways To Be A Leader In Business

September 14, 2013 — 8 Comments
7 Ways To Be A Leader In Business | Joseph Lalonde

Leadership is a funny thing. We all want to be leaders, and yet so few of us ever achieve that role to any effectiveness. However, the truth is that, while some people are born natural leaders, anyone can develop leadership qualities.

In the business realm, where efficiency and cooperation can mean the difference between success and failure, leadership is especially important. Whether you are an employee or in an official leadership role as a manager, these 7 tips can help you become a more effective leader and role model in your business.

 1. Share Your Vision

Perhaps one of the main things that sets apart good leaders from great leaders is their vision. A great leader doesn’t just tell people what to do, he or she has a vision for the future and helps others catch that vision. Your vision can be anything from creating a more positive work environment, to doubling profits. Large or small scale, no matter what your vision is, having a vision and then sharing it with your coworkers is key to leading others in business.

 2. Have a Plan

Planning is the unsung hero of leadership. When we envision leaders, we probably picture someone with an outgoing or charismatic personality. However, while these traits can be useful, they are not necessary to be a leader. Other qualities, such as planning, are the more important traits to foster.

A good leader is a capable planner, who not only talks the talk but walks the walk. He or she has a vision and has a plan for making it a reality. This is especially important for crisis situations in business, but is also a vital component of everyday business activities. A capable leader will be able to analyze situations and take specific measures to ensure positive outcomes for the company.

3. Delegate to Others

If you do everything yourself, you will not be leading anyone but yourself. Delegation is key to developing a true leadership role. If you do not trust your coworkers with your plans or visions, you will not gain their trust or respect in return. Learn to delegate tasks and include your team on your projects and ideas. Identify the various strengths of team members to ensure that the right people are assigned to each task. This will result in greater efficiency and synergy among your team.

 4. Be Honest

Honesty in business may seem like a forgotten art amongst all the scandals in recent history. However, that doesn’t mean it should fall to the wayside of your own business and leadership philosophy. Whatever moral or ethical standard you hold yourself (and your business) to, your team will follow. Honesty inspires trust; cultivate this value in your own leadership practices and you will be a more trusted and respected leader (and person).

 5. Laugh Easily

Sometimes, in spite of our best efforts, everything that can go wrong does. It is during these times especially that having a sense of humor sets the inferior leaders apart from the truly superior ones. Being able to laugh at oneself and one’s situation not only makes you a more approachable and likeable leader, but also helps improve morale and increase positivity. No one likes a stickler. While it is important to be tough sometimes, always remember to laugh and never take yourself too seriously.

 6. Lead by Example

A great leader isn’t always the person officially appointed in a managerial role. Sometimes the best leaders come in the form of followers. No matter what your official capacity is in a business, lead others through your example. Inspire confidence by being confident. Encourage productivity and positivity by working hard yourself and supporting your colleagues. You don’t have to be directing people to influence them in business.

 7. Seek Innovation

Finally, leadership involves innovation. To be a leader implies that you are leading people somewhere. The best leaders take their teams in new directions and uncharted territories, always seeking progress, continual improvement, and innovation. Whether innovation in thinking or practical application, it is important to foster a community of creativity.

For example, successful entrepreneur Richard Schaden is perhaps best known for his innovative variation on the traditional fast food burger. His gourmet burger restaurant, Smashburger, has received national attention as a creative niche mixing the appeal of fast food and the quality of gourmet restaurant dining. It is innovation and creativity like this that sets leaders apart in the business world.

Question: Do you have any other keys to being a leader in the business world? Please share your ideas in the comment section below.

This is a guest post by Jake Magleby. Jake Magleby has written extensively about effective marketing, sales, and financing strategies to help small business owners succeed in the fast-paced and ever-changing business world. He loves sharing his experiences with others on his blog, Franchise a Business, and finds inspiration from entrepreneurial success stories like that of Rick Schaden.

I’m always looking for guest posters. If you would like to guest post, you can find the guidelines at An Invitation To Guest Post.

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  • http://www.buckleadership.wordpress.com/ Justin Buck

    I think young leaders so often get hung up on sharing vision! We feel like we don’t have the right or the experience to have a vision of what our teams could be. The vision of today’s young leaders is more important than ever!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Justin, that does happen a lot with young leaders. There’s many leaders who, while leading, will also sit on the sidelines feeling like they haven’t earned the right to step up and speak up. What would you recommend to those young leaders who feel that way?

      • http://www.buckleadership.wordpress.com/ Justin Buck

        It’s easy to just say “Speak up!” Leaders with ideas have to become salespersons FOR those ideas. Find an advocate or mentor or sponsor or whatever you want to call him/her and allow yourself to be developed. Find ways to partner with others and start racking up wins to build credibility.

        • Jake Magleby

          Thanks for the comments, Justin! I totally agree. It is not always easy to stand up for our ideas, especially when we are relatively new to a business. But I have found that if you work hard and earn people’s respect, it is much easier to share your visions for the future and receive positive feedback. And absolutely seek out a mentor–learning from people who have more experience can help you avoid costly mistakes.

  • http://storiesmadepowerful.com/ Arlen Miller

    Thanks, Jake and thanks, Joe. I especially like #4 and #5. Those are special elements of being candidly human. To limber up and be real. I like it. Thanks.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Arlen, I’m glad you enjoyed what Jake had to share. And I’m with you, laughing is so important!

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    great advice.

    For me, everything goes back to integrity- being real – ALL THE TIME!

    people know when we are fake and it only takes time for our flaws to come out, so we might as well be REAL with who we are. Be open to sharing our successes and our failures.

    Have integrity when people are looking and when they aren’t (because someone is always looking).

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Oh yeah TC. Integrity is the at the core of being a great leader.