The first of the leadership traits possessed by almost all exceptionally creative business leaders is integrity. The Oxford dictionary defines integrity as the quality of being honest and fair. It also defined integrity as the state of being whole or unified. Integrity is the most important of all the leadership traits attributed to such leaders. But we don’t often find many entrepreneurs with integrity these days. Integrity is the thin line that separates over-achievers and the average people. Building a business on the foundation of integrity is bound to be successful. A look at the leading businesses that have survived over the years will prove this. General Electric is a good example of such businesses. Let’s look at some of the leadership styles.
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]The most important thing in your business relationships is your reputation for honesty. If you can genuinely and sincerely fake honesty, you will be a success. Never doubt it.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
Many entrepreneurs manage to raise billions of dollars in capital without much stress as they have a reputation for honesty. Integrity can be your strong trait and it will also leverage your position if you want to rise to leadership role in the future. It can also become your winning competitive strategy. If you study the lives of exceptional business leaders, you will realise that they are an embodiment of integrity. Warren Buffett is a good example of an exceptional business leader with integrity.
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]It takes 20 years to build a reputation and no more than five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
So, if you want to be an exceptional business leader, then you must be a person of integrity. You must have strong self-imposed standards, because it takes discipline to manifest integrity. You must be a man of your word. Be honest, be open and be disciplined.
They are Excellent Strategists
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]The best thing to invest in your business is your time. To schedule, plan and use time effectively, know your turf and know your objectives. Assess the obstacles and opportunities, then devise your strategies.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
Entrepreneurship is similar to a game and if you want to be a winner, you must have the ability to strategize. It is this trait that separates exceptional business leaders from the average ones. Creative business leaders are referred to as masters of the game because they are excellent strategists and are pretty good at business management. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jack Welch and Alfred Sloan are the masters of leadership management of the business world.
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]The most meaningful way to differentiate your company from your competitors, the best way to put distance between you and the crowd is to do an outstanding job with information. How you gather, manage and use information will determine whether you win or lose.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
To become an excellent strategist, you must develop your critical thinking skills.
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]To learn new things, you might need to unlearn old thoughts and tricks. Both processes can never be achieved without humility.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
Often, a humble leader is an exceptional leader. What does humility have to do with being an exceptional business leader? The answer is everything. The qualities of leadership also include humility to serve, it takes humility to learn and it takes humility to admit your mistakes. So, it takes humility to be an exceptional business leader. Nobody will willingly follow a proud and arrogant leader unless they are forced to. Take a look at successful entrepreneurs such as Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga of Globacom Nigeria, Cosmos Maduka of Coscharis Group, Bill Gates and Li Ka Shing. These men are epitomes of humility.
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]One of the great things about being willing to try new things and make mistakes is that making mistakes keeps you humble. People who are humble learn more than people who are arrogant.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
They are Proactive Learners
Highly exceptional business leaders are proactive learners. They know that no man has a monopoly of knowledge. They are willing to learn at every giving opportunity. Sometime ago, Bill Gates scheduled a visit to meet Warren Buffett. According to Bill Gates‘ schedule, the meeting was to last an hour, but Bill Gates over stayed his time by nine hours. The meeting ended up lasting ten hours because Bill Gates and Warren Buffett discovered that they both had something to learn from each other. Being willing to sacrifice other appointments to learn something you don’t know is an attribute of an exceptional business leader in the making. To be a successful leader, you must be willing to expand your context at every giving opportunity your cup must never be full. [sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]A cup that is full is useless.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]You have to act and act now.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
One important trait possessed by exceptional business leaders is their ability to arrive at a decision quickly. Most people avoid being responsible for their actions. They hate being the one to make the last decision. As an entrepreneur and business leader, it’s up to you to determine the direction in which your business goes. A single decision often makes or breaks your business.
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]Screw it, let’s do it.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
Being decisive is an exceptional trait possessed by creative business leaders. These set of business leaders face reality with guts. They are prepared to face the consequences of their decisions, whether good or bad.
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]Before making an important decision, get as much of the best information available and review it carefully, analyze it and draw up worst case scenarios. Add up the plus or minus factors, discuss it with your team and do what your guts tell you to do.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
They are Excellent Communicators
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
Are you a communicator? Are you good at selling? If your answer to the two questions is ‘no’, then you are never going to be an exceptional business leader. Take a close look at highly exceptional business leaders and you will observe that they are excellent communicators and sales people. When they speak, people listen. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs are two classic examples. All successful business leaders are excellent communicators. Learning and putting good communication skills to use ensure your success.
Exceptional Business Leaders are Team Players
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]Successful businessmen share the ability to hire people smarter than they are.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
They are good at networking and often network with other exceptional business leaders. They know that birds of the same feather must flock together.
They are Flexible
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]Willingness to change is a strength, even if it means plunging part of the company into total confusion for a while.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
Flexibility is another outstanding trait possessed by highly exceptional business leaders. They are always willing to try out new strategies and innovations, even when there is massive risk involved. It is lack of flexibility that made Henry Ford lose the leadership position of Ford Motor Company to a more flexible General Motors led by Alfred P Sloan.
Creative Business Leaders are Excellent Negotiators
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]If you cannot negotiate, you will end up getting good deals at exorbitant prices or worse still, you will get nothing.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
If you cannot negotiate deals, forget about being an entrepreneur.
They are Excellent Motivators
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
Highly Exceptional Business Leaders thrive on Criticism
All these men have faced mass criticism but that hasn’t deterred them. They remain focused on their goals and realise their dreams. So if it’s your desire to become a creative and exceptional business leader, then be prepared to take criticism. It’s not optional, it’s a must.
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]Dare to risk public criticism.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
Finally, everyone can be an exceptional business leader. But unfortunately, not many dare to reach there as they hate being responsible for their actions. So, in case you intend to become an exceptional business leader, then remember these 11 leadership traits and pursue your dream.
History has endless examples when it comes to great business leaders. You have ideas and signs all around you. Acquire leadership skills by reading, observing and gradual practice. You need have a different look with new perspective to filter what is best for you. Change your thoughts, and you will improve the results.