If you want to become a leader during your career, one that is as successful as possible, it’s important to concentrate on more than just learning about your industry. There are many key characteristics leaders need to have to be able to effectively motivate, inspire and engage a team of workers. Read on for some of the most vital traits leaders demonstrate, which you should be honing in yourself today.

Focus

For starters, all leaders, particularly business owners, need to have the ability to focus well if they want to lead a successful team. You need to know what your goals are each week, month, quarter and year, and you should continually work towards them, alongside your staff. Being focused will enable you to become an expert in your field because you can zone in on an area and learn everything you need to know about it.
Keep in mind, too, that as a leader you will have many potential opportunities, and disruptions, competing for your attention all the time. This means you need to be focused, so you can pick the right things to work on and don’t waste your valuable time on tasks that will never take you closer to achieving your goals.

Resilience

Being a business owner or a manager is tough and will see you having to face challenges time after time, as well as plenty of rejection from investors, shoppers, suppliers, bosses and others. To ensure you don’t give up at the first hurdle, you must be resilient. This characteristic will ensure you keep going, even if you feel full of despair, anger or frustration - or if you are overwhelmed and exhausted.

Resilience is also something you need if you want to learn from your mistakes and keep trying new things. People who aren’t resilient will often be so heartbroken over a failure (or rather, “lack of success”) that they give up and don’t examine what they might have done differently and how they might learn from the experience. They also often become too afraid to try innovative things in the future. Since being creative is vital in all organizations and for all types of leaders, this can be a big issue.

Persistence and Patience

Listen to many of the world’s top business founders and other leaders talk about their journeys, and you’ll hear them mention how they got told “no” time after time - but they continued trying, no matter what. It is often the fiftieth attempt at something that bears fruit and proves just how necessary persistence is. 

Along the same lines, leaders also need to be patient. Although you will always want to achieve results quickly, the fact is that building a brand, getting traction in a market, completing projects and many other tasks take time. You’ll need patience to help you stick with your plans and direction, so you don’t give up too early.



Communication

Of course, another key trait that the most successful leaders demonstrate is being able to communicate effectively. As a leader, you’ll need to be able to explain your vision, requests, concerns and other information in a clear way that your team will understand the first time. You have to be able to chat well with people from all sorts of backgrounds and know how to hold your temper and not let your emotions get the better of you in situations.

As you’ll discover in business, or when completing an online MBA or other type of management-related course, leaders must be able to communicate well in different forms, too. This covers things like talking to people one-on-one and in groups; making presentations and pitches; writing documents, emails, text messages and the like; chatting over the phone; and talking over video conferences. You must therefore work hard to hone your skills in all of these different areas. Plus, being able to negotiate well is another communication ability to work on.

Flexibility

If you want to get the most out of your team (and yourself), you need to be a flexible person. Things regularly don’t go to plan in business; you can face unexpected challenges, employees can disappoint you and more, so you must be adept at dealing with setbacks or delays. 

Flexible leaders are also able to move staff members around the department or business as needed at different times of the year and to make best use of resources. Additionally, they must be open to changing tack as required or going down new paths when good opportunities present themselves.

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