Share this article
People wonder what makes a successful business leader. There is no formula for successful leadership. The rules of the game are not static. The debate is on. New research and more changes bring up new paradigms.
The success of any leader depends on the characteristics of the leader and the skills and drivers of the followers, the task in hand, the available resources, the business ecosystem, and a host of internal and external factors. The leaders do not work in any silos. The context plays a vital role in determining the leadership style.
Tips for successful leadership in business
Many models and theories have been developed and proposed. From the old days of ‘The Great man’ theory and ‘The Traits’ theory to the Transactional and Transformational theories; many theories have been developed and researched.
The very recent study has been the ‘Centered Leadership’ concept that talks about creating a collective resolve and developing an alignment of a shared vision for creating a successful business organization.
Some leaders are ‘Eventful Men’ who have leadership thrust upon them by the situation and business contexts; and some leaders are ‘Event-Making Men’ who leave their marks by their decision-making abilities, risk-taking appetites, clarity of vision, and sheer strength of character.
Academics and business professionals have all tried to create leadership models to better understand what makes certain business leaders tick. It is an endless debate on the specific traits of great leaders and whether leaders are born, or managers can be groomed and developed as great leaders. One thing certain is that there is no all-weather science of leadership. It is a combination of science and art.
There are certain ‘Emergent Traits’ that are hereditary, which help individuals become good leaders. But there are a large number of characteristics that are known as ‘Effectiveness Traits’ that could be acquired over a period of time with practice, training, and coaching.
Examples abound with cases where business leaders are hugely successful with one or a few ventures, but the same individuals fail miserably at other firms. There is much more to leadership than what is obvious and visible to us.
Business leaders must ‘Positively Engage’ with themselves, team members, and other stakeholders. There must be sharing of a common vision and agreement on the road map for effective and efficient business performances. Leaders must ensure that personal and organizational goals are well aligned.
Moreover, this must also happen with business partners, investors, and external stakeholders, in general. Leaders must communicate with clarity and transparency with the stakeholders. The stakeholders must know ‘What is in it?’ for them.
- Engage with Self
- Engage with Team Members
- Engage with other Stakeholders
Alignment of objectives
A collective resolve and alignment of a common vision are important ingredients for any high-performance team. The leader must engage with the self and invest time and energy in learning and upgrading skills. It is suggested that leaders should invest, at least, 10% of their time in self-development.
It is critical as businesses are conducted in a given environment with competitors and many other stakeholders having diverse objectives and viewpoints. Leaders must also communicate with other stakeholders in a way where their objects and interests seem to converge.
A great and successful business leader must develop positive emotions around the shared vision and must deal with the stakeholders with empathy. The journey of any business leader is full of challenges and hence a high dose of commitment and drive is necessary for sustained success.
Author – Syed Shahid Imam (Senior Faculty)