The leadership strengths of a business owner typically involve skill in all areas of operations as a business generalist. They also include the skills of an innovator, marketer, mentor, and cheerleader. The hours are long, the risks are high, and the rewards are not always quick or obvious. But the business leaders I work with are creative, resilient, and determined.
Identify Your Business Leadership Strengths
Most likely, you already bring most or all of these characteristics to your organization. In order to take it to its next level, you and your team need to identify and leverage your business leadership strengths. This is done by understanding and mastering the essential master roles and leadership functions. As you shape your business and teams around your strengths, you will emerge as a strong entrepreneurial leader. You will gain insight and satisfaction while delivering the value that you promised to yourself, your customers, and your employees. What’s not to love about that?
Wisdom from Business Leaders
Thought and business leaders over the years have certainly had their say about what makes a business leader successful:
Business Leadership Strengths Master Roles
Knowing how to lead in a given situation and time frame is the defining factor for modern entrepreneurial leaders. In consulting with hundreds of business leaders around the globe, I’ve concluded that superlative leadership strengths consist of four roles. The four essential Business Leadership Master Roles include Passionate Visionaries, Strategic Planners, Master Delegators, and Culture Builders.
Passionate visionaries clearly communicate the purpose and vision of the organization. Their leadership strengths include seeing the big picture of where the organization is going. They also grasp its place within the specific industry and community. Passionate visionaries inspire the team and stakeholders with an exciting, promising outlook of the future. They have a single-minded passion about the direction of the organization. They lead by example, expertise, and with reminders about the importance of aligning daily actions with the purpose and vision. Sometimes, however, visionaries are not talented at aligning their own daily action to their ideas. They are amazing at creating, looking ahead, and energizing, but not as great at following through. Most likely, they will need a more detail-oriented operational person. This individual will solidify the vision into strong processes and teams who create alignment between vision and the action plan.
Strategic planners develop, prioritize and share strategies, goals, and tactics. These individuals are valued for delivering existing products and services while also evaluating new opportunities, calculating resources, and mitigating risk. Eliminating prideful and non-productive decisions, they set a course for achieving the vision within the organization’s core values and purpose.
Master delegators develop and maintain an organizational structure to delegate the execution of the strategic plan to qualified members of the team. They focus on accomplishing goals, creating rigorous processes, measuring results, and improving performance and profit. For many business owners, especially experts who command high standards, delegation to team members can be challenging. Through a commitment to personal development, consistent processes, and effective communication, these owners can learn to lead and earn trust. The outcome is a healthier balance between professional and personal life for owners and employees.
Culture builders construct a healthy, safe, and thriving environment for managers, employees, teams, and strategic partners to grow, flourish, and innovate. They also create an environment for customers to receive immense value, give feedback, and become raving fans. Culture builders realize that right-fit people in a cooperative environment will raise the standards of products, services, and customer service. Wrong-fit people will ultimately bring down the quality of everything the organization does and stands for.
With various degrees of experience, training, and natural ability, each of us are competent in some aspects of these Master Roles. The leader of a prosperous organization generates long-term results by learning, being, and doing all of these roles well. Anyone can get short-term results through fear, intimidation, and a heavy hand. Getting results by doing it yourself, stressing everyone out, and leaving a wake of destruction is not the answer. Sustainable results come from trust, teamwork, and the accomplishment of shared goals. Ultimately, this means good leadership is about getting results the right way with the right people for the right reasons. An entrepreneurial leader is intent on being more, making more, giving back more, and exiting with more. And they understand they will be held accountable for what the organization produces and how it produced it.
Chances are you will need to acquire new skills to generate sustainable results and become a superlative leader and role model. This can be a long and difficult process, but it’s also stimulating and inspiring. Even the most determined and experienced students of strategic planning and leadership development will encounter mental roadblocks and lows. This will occur even when they realize that there are no real, lasting obstacles except the ones created in their own minds. Working with a coach can be an stimulating way to keep moving through these roadblocks and navigate them with more ease and effectiveness.
Which Business Leadership Master Role is Most Important?
When I introduce these leadership roles to clients and audiences, I am often asked, “Which Master Role is most important?” The answer has been proven time and time again: building a culture that is healthy, safe, and thriving. If the culture is weak, underperforming, or toxic, the remaining elements cannot be fully realized.
There are times when one aspect of leadership is needed more than the others, but overall, culture trumps strategy. As Peter F. Drucker puts it, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”