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What Makes an Effective Business Leader?

Starting a business is not like getting up from bed on a nice Sunday morning to make pancakes just because you are hungry; doing so takes one years of hard work and tons of sacrifices to build courage and save money to turn his dreams into reality. However, wealth and passion are not enough for an entrepreneur to cement his spot in the corporate world. For him to continue thriving in such an unpredictable domain, he should be aware of the factors that make one a reputable business leader.

Bob Gandossy of the Top Companies for Leaders survey and Ronald Heifetz of Harvard Kennedy School have their takes on how business executives should behave to maintain their and their enterprises’ good stature. First, a business leader should know when to take a step back, and view the big picture. Taking into consideration not just a part of the business but it as a whole will let entrepreneurs make decisions that will improve the company en masse. A good leader should not only have control over his corporation but also of his emotions – he must not be driven by ego-fulfilment or hunger for money or power alone.

When travelling down the long and winding path to success, it is better to do so with partners who have the same interests and goals as you, according to both Gandossy and Heifetz. Teamwork and collaboration are key elements for seamless business operations for the company’s development, so it is important to find individuals who you will be able to mesh well with. Also, business heads should uphold trust and integrity in the workplace, remain fair when dealing with conflicts in the office, and treat their colleagues with respect.

Heifetz and Gandossy believe that a good leader should be able to ride the waves of the ever-changing global market. While following a concrete plan is essential for a business to prosper, mixing things up by taking current trends into account can translate into bigger returns that will help sustain the company’s projects. It would also help if businessmen know who they are up against; having information about your competitors can help make your product stand out from its peers.

An effective business leader should not only walk the walk, he must also talk the talk. Being a good communicator is an advantage to executives especially when their employees need motivation to strive harder for the benefit of the institution. Being an eloquent speaker also helps entrepreneurs leave a good impression on parties they hope to strike a deal with. Lastly, Gandossy and Heifetz urge aspiring business moguls to try what they think are “stupid” ideas, as these eclectic concepts may provide alternative solutions and break open new creative ground for you to explore.

Everybody can open a business, but not everyone is fortunate enough to see their “babies” take off and be a hit among consumers. If you desire to be a pioneer of a business that will change the lives of many people, assess yourself and see if you have the ability to lead before venturing into the business world.

Frank Wallem is a Norwegian serial entrepreneur. For more than 20 years in the industry, Frank has already put up, managed and sold a number of enterprise. Today, he is the Managing Director of an investment firm, Spin Invest AS and a logistics company Safe Finans AS.


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