How To Be An Effective Leader: 5 Must-Have Traits

Creating a successful business requires several different critical attributes from you, the business leader. Success doesn’t appear the second a lightbulb flashes and inspiration hits. Instead, it takes time, effort, and hard work. 

But what are the traits that you need for success in business? 

In this article, we’ll explore some of the traits that you need to be successful.  

Never Stop Learning

As someone with sort of a learning addiction, it makes sense I would say this, but I'm not advocating that you are ALWAYS reading and consuming information. No. Some of my best learning has come without cracking open a single book.

Some business leaders make the mistake of thinking that because they are in charge that they have some kind of superior knowledge to the rest of their team. Nobody can know everything, It's important to admit when you make a mistake or when you don't have a clue. it. By doing this, you open yourself up to learn a better way.

If you want to learn more about pallet shipping, the flammability of Victorian fashion, or other weird and wonderful subjects, you do some research. You might even consult someone you know who is already an expert on the subject. Seriously, though, women were going up in flames in those dresses. The things we do for fashion!

Learning doesn't stop because you've "arrived" at some level of leadership. In fact, it's even more important for you to stay abreast of things that impact the folks you lead. As a creative entrepreneur, that means staying knowledgeable about your industry and keeping your skills sharp, but also about what's impacting the lives of your fans. There's nothing worse than an out-of-touch rock star trying to be the voice of their fans.

Never stop learning - and stay humble in the process. There's always more that you don’t know. 

Great Communication Is Vital

As a business leader, you will need to be able to communicate with a range of different people. This will include suppliers, other business leaders, customers, fans, and maybe even investors. It's not a "nice to have". Solid communication skills are essential.

Be honest, fair, and direct. Beating around the bush is a recipe for disaster in almost every case - except maybe Christmas time, when keeping a secret means you don't spoil the surprise. Know your message, share it freely, and make it clear, so that people can understand what you're talking about.

Measured Ambition

I'm not talking about Glengarry Glen Ross here. Too much ambition can lead you to do some pretty unethical and deceptive things in order to get your way. Measured ambition keeps one eye on your goals and the other on your ethics so that you aren't trampling people on your way to the top of whatever heap you're aspiring to.

Business is cyclical. Income goes up and down - sometimes on a daily basis! During these challenging times it's the leader who has to keep morale high. Your ambition and enthusiasm for your vision will go a long way toward keeping your team focused on their goals.

Ask For And Accept Help

No one can do it all - if for no other reason than you can't possibly know it all (see that point above)! Fusion Creatives, I know you'll have a hard time hearing me on this, because I've been there. At some point, you need to be able to ask for and accept help from others.

Delegate Outcomes

It's not just about delegating the things you don't enjoy doing. It's about making sure that the tasks you're assigning are generating the outcomes you desire.

There's a difference between having someone draft your email welcome sequence and having someone increase subscriber retention by 10% or more. One is a task, the other is the desired outcome. When you empower your team to handle the outcome, it's truly off your plate so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.

Empower your team to show you what they can do. Give them ownership of an outcome, responsibility for the task and you'll be delegating in an effective way. 

To rephrase an old saw, no leader is an island. In order to be effective, there has to be someone to lead, a vision to follow, and as your organization grows in complexity, you need the support of others to keep it healthy. These 5 traits go a long way to making that happen.

Feeling stuck? Need some support to wade through all the information you already have? Want to make clearer, more confident decisions as the leader of your company? The Creative Freedom Incubator is now open for enrollment. Join a collective of creatives who are defining and achieving success on their own terms. We'd love to have you!


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