Leadership is a tricky thing. Even when it’s not your fault, it’s your fault. Even when your employees/staff are acting up, it’s your responsibility to bring them back to earth.
You’ve got to master all sorts of skills to be a good leader in business.
I found an article for the Office of Personnel Management in the federal government. It laid out a set of qualities you need for business, and to be honest, I don’t know that I have found a better list.
If you want to be able to serve your city through a really great business, become competent in each of the categories below. Create a useful product or service, take care of those you lead, contribute to the local economy, and do it all through good leadership.
The list (with my own summaries) are as follows:
Leadership is Leading Change
You’ve got to be able to foresee the direction your industry is going. Lead those around to catch the vision so that you can be a cohesive team during times of transition. Be willing to take risks and try new things.
Sub-categories listed on OPM are:
- Creativity and Innovation
- External Awareness
- Strategic Thinking
Leadership is Leading People
Understand how to take people with different points of view and unify them under the goals of your organization. This one is particularly hard because all of us are flawed. But labor to help each person reach their potential.
OPM sub-categories are:
- Conflict Management
- Leveraging Diversity
- Developing Others
- Team Building
Leadership is Results Driven
Don’t just be all about talk. Take responsibility for the productivity of your team. Understand that results speak for themselves, and do not blame others when your team fails. Learn how to look for new opportunities, calculate risks and solve problems.
- Customer Service
- Problem Solving
- Technical Credibility
Leadership is Business Acumen
There’s no way around being able to work with numbers and understand business principles. It’s also a skill to be able to make money. Some people just have that midas touch, but most of us have to learn how to do it.
- Financial Management
- Human Capital Management
- Technology Management
Leadership is Building Coalitions
Network, network, network. It is essential in business. If you can’t network, you can’t lead in business. Build strategic partnerships. Understand that helping others in their organization is the key to gaining loyalty when you need their help.
- Political Savvy