Strength of character, the courage of their convictions and the ability to inspire are the most important attributes of any leader, especially those who aspire to really shine in their role.

Skills

After decades of baffling mission statements and anonymous leaders many companies have realised that they need their leaders to be clear and concise and, where possible integrate well with their workforce. If every employee is aware of the company values, they will feel more confident and able to be more productive. A truly successful leader will have the courage of their convictions but they will also demonstrate that they can be amenable to change. Not all new ideas from staff members are bad ones and a leader who demonstrates that they really listen to their company members, and may even implement some of the suggestions, will go a long way towards empowering staff and creating a confident working environment. Staff motivation is the key to a successful company. The business guru, Deborah Meaden, also suggests that, ‘successful business people have the ability to get right to the heart of things.’ A leader must be able to listen to customers and staff, and occasionally take risks when he or she feels that it is justified.

Strength

It’s important that both customers and staff know that company leaders are accessible, that they will answer complaints and they will do their best to empower their workforce. Companies are only as strong as their workers and their products; therefore they have to ensure that their recruitment policies find the right staff. It’s no use a company expecting employees to be able to carry out tasks in an autonomous fashion if they do not have the correct skill set. The same applies to the skills expected by an inspirational leader. If a leader wants to help the HR and accounting departments free up some time to address other important issues, the company can seek help with tax administration. This will allow in-house departments to devote their time to assessing company financial growth and allow the HR department to carry out tasks in staff development and rewards for exceptional performance. If a staff member feels trusted and is able to carry out their role autonomously, they will be empowered and encouraged.

Public perception

A business leader is the public face of a company and should always have a reputation for integrity and honesty. This should inspire employees to be proud of their firm and its products. Clear and concise speech is essential, thankfully the adoption of business ‘new speak’ seems to be on the wane, and there’s nothing wrong with a company message being delivered in layman’s English.

Delegation and keeping staff informed

A good leader will know how to delegate and will also recognise the importance of relevant training and development. The ability of senior management to take unpopular decisions is also important for the good of the company and the future of the workforce, and these decisions should always be transmitted to the whole company so that everyone concerned knows what is happening. This type of action will increase morale as staff members like to know what is going on in their firm before they read about it in the newspapers.

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