10 Habits of Successful Business Leadership

Accomplishing successful business leadership is a learned skill and something that can take your career to the next level. But competition in the entrepreneurial world is at an all-time high and the list of qualities a successful business leader must possess continues to grow.

Not to worry, I’ve narrowed down the top ten habits you should work on cultivating in order to achieve success in any field.

1. Think Long Term

The ability to think long-term is often lost on business leaders. If you’re swamped with the daily to-do list and plugging away trying to accomplish the short-term goals of the company, long-term thinking and planning can quickly fall by the wayside.

This is especially typical of businesses that service clients or customers and have to satisfy their needs in order to keep the business afloat. It’s important to carve out time every so often to think about and plan for the future.

Try having a once monthly meeting with coworkers, investors or a business manager who is working alongside you. Track your progress over the last month and consider where you’d like to see the company at the end of the year, in five years and in even in ten years.

Growing a business to its maximum potential takes thought and planning. If you don’t make time to do it, you won’t be able to make the necessary choices required to expand and build the business of your dreams.

2. Get to the Point

As a business owner, your time is precious. Try to avoid micromanaging and lean into task delegation whenever possible. More importantly, be sure to communicate effectively with your team and your clients.

If you’re running a client or customer service based business, always respond to emails and calls promptly. You don’t want to be known as someone who is slow to answer, it will make your customers go elsewhere with their business. You want to create the reputation as someone who works fast and also conveys clearly and efficiently what they’re trying to say.

This especially matters when speaking to anyone who works for you. You want them to understand your expectations and be able to execute a task based on your instruction. If you communicate in a long-winded or confusing way, it will only cause chaos behind the scenes and slow you down significantly.

3. Be a Smart Spender

Just because your business is starting to make money doesn’t mean you need to go and spend it. Be careful when it comes to spending. Determine if it’s absolutely necessary and if there is a way to cut costs and still achieve the same outcome.

Don’t overspend when it comes to your overhead. Reconsider the big office, the fancy company dinner, and other unnecessary expenses. There is a difference between taking a leap and spending some money when you’re cash positive and the return on investment seems likely.

When making big (or small) financial decisions, ask yourself if this choice aligns with the long-term goals of the company which you have already set.

4. Network

Ever heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Well, this holds up in the business world. People want to work with people they know, like and trust. It’s important to build strong business relationships with people in and around your field of expertise.

You never know when an opportunity will arise based off a connection you have with a peer. Nurture your network and when you can, connect and create opportunities for those around you. They won’t forget it and are often more than happy to return the favor when the table is turned.

5. Think Outside the Box

One thing that sets a top business leader apart from their peers is the ability to think creatively. New ideas, however out there they might seem, will be the thing that propels your business to a new level.

Create a safe environment for your employees to share innovative ideas and lead by example; showing your team that out of the box ideas are sometimes where the gold is discovered.

Schedule brainstorming meetings where you or other team members write new ideas on a whiteboard and discuss them as a group. Encouraging an atmosphere of creative thinking will drive you and your team to keep pushing forward.

6. Be the Best in Your Field

To put it simply, get great at what you do. If you’re not the best, your business will be outshined by another and your customers will go elsewhere for service.

It’s better to be really good at one thing than okay at several. Figure out where you and your business excel above the rest and work on it until the rest of the world knows there’s no other choice when it comes to selecting a company to fulfill a particular need.

7. Be Scared and Do It Anyway

Owning a business comes with a range of scary moments. You have to be willing to take risks and make bold decisions in order to see significant forward momentum.

When these instances arise, you’ll likely feel fearful which is totally normal. That fear, however, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the leap. Feel the fear and take the leap anyway. Keep pushing forward.

Your career and business will be met with some epic failures but if you never take the risk, you won’t be able to enjoy the moments of monumental success.

8. Listen

The mark of a smart and successful business leader is someone who is able to find quiet moments to listen to those around them. The people who work with and for you have important insight that you’re not necessarily able to see with the same eyes.

Listen to your team, to your clients, and to your customers. They may have the next great idea for your business or be able to tell you something that is going wrong with the company you’re unaware of. Keep in mind that just because you’re the owner, doesn’t mean you know it all.

9. Welcome Feedback

How can your company grow if you’re not getting feedback from all ends? Have a review portion on your website where customers and clients can leave notes about their experience with your company.

You can also simply ask them. Businesses should always be tweaking and modifying to be the best the can be. This means welcoming criticism and accepting that there will be areas that could be improved.

You can also gain feedback from your team of employees by scheduled a bi-yearly review where you discuss their progress but also ask them about their experience working for you and any suggestions for improvement they might have.

10. Change Is Good

Change can be scary and overwhelming but it’s also the thing that facilitates some of the greatest successes in the business world. If something isn’t working, perhaps it’s time to move on.

Embrace the idea of a new business model, a new product or a new company altogether. You might be surprised where you end up when you take a chance and try something that scares you.

Give These Tools a Try

Now that you have a guide to accomplishing successful business leadership, you can put these tools to work and watch your business grow.

Give it time. You can’t expect to be a pro at these skills overnight. They’ll take constant work and self-reminders. But stay with it and you’ll see a significant difference in your level of success and the ease with which your company begins to run.