8 Qualities of Effective Business Leaders

Influential business leaders aren’t born; they are grown in the industry through years of experience in leadership roles. That’s one reason it’s essential to have the right people in the right places. Whether you are a startup or an established company, leadership must be learned. 

You can develop leaders, or hire quality leaders. We’ll look at the qualities of leadership and how you can develop these qualities in yourself. Remember, these qualities won’t develop overnight; they must be carefully cultivated.

Self Awareness 

Nobody likes to lose, whether it’s a game of chess or a game of football. However, life isn’t about winning and losing.

Good business leaders are not only aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their own teams; they are aware of their own strengths and especially their weaknesses. Lesser leaders go to lengths to cover up their weaknesses, but good leaders are open and see them as strengths. 

Decision Making 

Business leaders are capable of decisions quickly, but that doesn’t come without a degree of experience and failure. “Paralysis by analysis” refers to the situation in which a decision is not made because of overthinking; this happens with inexperienced leaders.

A strong business leader recognizes that a bad decision is better than no decision. If the decision turns our faulty, they can always fix it later. Admitting faults is okay. Fear of making a wrong decision does more damage. Taking action when necessary and being comfortable with uncertainty is the mark of a strong leader. 

Fair Minded 

Great leaders don’t take sides when it comes to internal disagreements and fallouts. Instead, they listen to all sides of a discussion and treat everyone with the same level of respect. When leaders start to take sides, it weakens the company and makes resolution less likely to happen. 

Not only is a good leader fair-minded, but they are able to transcend the issue and stay focused on the larger goal. Usually, that larger goal is related to the growth or stability of the company or institution, and resolving internal disagreements are part of the process of building the business.   


In order to inspire others, a good leader needs to embody the qualities of enthusiasm and leadership to encourage others to develop these qualities as well. When leaders don’t embody the qualities of emergency leadership, it’s impossible for students to embody those qualities.  

It’s one thing to embody the qualities of leadership, but it’s another to show enthusiasm for the role. If you want to encourage more people in your organization to develop leadership qualities, you need to make the role attractive to them by displaying your enjoyment on a daily basis.  


Integrity in business is about standing for something bigger than yourself without drawing attention to the work you carry out. Many leaders do the opposite; not only are they interested in narrow personal goals but they lean on titles as a crutch and elevate themselves above others. 

If you want to develop more integrity in yourself and your business, start by taking the focus off yourself and work towards more idealistic goals. Take the attention off your own personal goals and put the business at the heart of everything. Credit others before you credit yourself. 


Many business leaders elevate themselves to a higher position and then disappear from the day-to-day operations of industry; this is one example of poor leadership. Employees need to know that the business leader is fluent with the daily operations of the business and their work. 

If you want to improve your leadership or you want to improve the general leadership in your business, you need to understand the job roles of your employees as well as they do. When you can talk to them about the job role directly, it inspires confidence and motivates employees.   


There are many leaders and entrepreneurs that make the mistake of thinking that hard work is all it takes to be successful. Of course, hard work is a central component of what makes a company successful, but the success needs to be sustained over time which requires creativity. 

If you want to business to thrive for decades, you need leaders in key positions that have the drive, determination, and creativity. When industry changes or a technology develops, you need business leaders who can introduce new developments at the right times and integrate them.  


Finally, strong business leaders need endurance! They need to be able to last the distance even when things become tough, and it seems easier to throw in the towel. There will be times in leadership when everything seems to be working against you, but things can change quickly.

When you find yourself in a situation that seems insurmountable, you need to show those leadership qualities more and more. This is your time to shine as a business leader. One way to overcome insurmountable odds is to transcend issues and focus on what’s best for business.  

Final Thoughts 

Whether you are a startup or a multinational company, you need strong leaders in key places to ensure the business grows and you develop new leaders for the future. One of the best ways to achieve this is to cultivate leadership qualities in your employees by developing leaders or hiring ones with established skills who can train other employees in mentorship roles. 

The qualities the make a leader great include self-awareness, decision making, fair-mindedness, enthusiasm, integrity, knowledge, creativity, and endurance. It’s also important to be aware of weaknesses and look for ways to improve on them rather than cover them up. Sometimes, leadership can’t be taught, so make sure you have the best people at the top.

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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