8 Characteristics of a Good Corporate Leader

Recently I asked my company’s chairman, who is due to retire soon, “What are the characteristics a good business leader should possess?” And in reply he smiled and made me sit down. He started his journey from a young rash entrepreneur to a successful and respected head of a multi-million dollar organization. Today I would share few insights from my conversation with him. Incorporating these characteristics can make anyone a good leader.

1) Simplify Life and Problem: Often we wonder how some people get accurate solutions of various complex issues in no time. We wonder if they have some magic wand hidden from us, but the fact is there is no magic wand. Good business leaders have a different approach towards problems which lesser mortals find baffling to contemplate. They don’t feel any thing is too complex to solve, they simply the issue and evaluate it bit by bit. This way they are able to identify the root cause and get to the bottom of it. Good leaders usually have a simple lifestyle and you won’t find any unnecessary clutter in their rooms.

2) Focus your resources and energy: A good leader doesn't do hard work or a lot of work; in fact he does just enough work to achieve what he wants to. Steve Jobs once said, “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do”. Often we keep on wasting our energy and resources on tasks which don’t fit in the big picture, learning to prioritize your tasks goes a long way to becoming a better leader.

3) Take responsibility and remain involved: You would never find a leader blaming others for his failures. A leader is the one who takes full responsibility for his from end to end and thus is praised and criticized for the performance of his team. Remaining involved in every department of an organization gives a leader a foresight of what to expect from them and how to correct the nitty-gritty before it’s too late. Always remain life gives roses to those who take the risk to hold thorns.

4) Profits are not the ultimate goal: This is the biggest mistake an entrepreneur or a business leader makes when he equates his success with profits alone. I agree profit is the sole purpose for which a business is setup but there is a difference in short term profit and long term sustainable profits. Apple can make its product out of low grade plastic and still they will sell like hot cakes, they will earn a very high percentage of profit too in this deal. But a small compromise now will ruin its brand in long run and you may find it competing it with low quality Chinese brands 10 years down the line. Focusing on process and quality may lead to lesser profits in short term but you will be able to enjoy fruits of labor over long period of time.
Top Qualities That Make A Great Leader, leadership traits, business leader
8 Characteristics of a Good Corporate Leader
5) When going gets tough, the tough get going: A test of truly great business leader is when the tide is going against him. To err is human and every leader makes some bad decisions in his life which lead to tough situations. But it’s how a leader handles himself and his organization during such tough situations which defines his real character. Accepting your mistake and taking corrective actions as soon as possible is a mantra of success during such times.

6) Motivate and push people to achieve what might look impossible: As humans, we are the race of organisms that resists change more than anything. No one wants to do anything out of their comfort zone until he/she is pushed to do it. A good leader acts like a stimulus who motivates people around him to give their best. He makes people realize their latent talent, their true potential. A great leader may make life hell for his subordinates but he will also be the one who will lead them to heaven. Setting tough, yet not impossible goals, for yourself and your team is one way to push them.

7) Bend rules for your A-team only: People management is an art which a leader tends to learn as soon as responsibilities come to his shoulder.  An organization consists of all sorts of unique personalities, whom you have to deal with. Demands of every individual also can range from genuine to outright absurd. As a leader you need to identify who matter and who don’t matter in the large scheme of things and how much of leeway can be given to everyone. Having hard and fast rules for everyone is a recipe of doom especially is you have a team of mavericks. Bending rules for some key individuals is needed in order to keep bigger picture rosy.

8) Be on your toes always: I have met managers who are known for their laid back style of functioning. They let their team work at their own sweet pace. This attitude is detrimental for a leader. A leader needs to anticipate events and make things happen rather than flowing with flow. Being attentive can make it easy to rectify and handle unforeseeable events.

Getting to learn these attributes of leader from my chairman made me sit up and evaluate my own way of functioning and to be frank I need to change a lot. J
Hope you find this article useful; don’t forget to follow my journey as a Manager’s guru.

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