5 Important Leadership Competencies All Entrepreneurs Desperately Need to Thrive

Every entrepreneur needs crucial leadership competencies to manage employees and lead their business.

When we hear the word entrepreneur, our minds turn to business owners — people who have invested time, money, and skills into growing their business and carry most, if not all, of the financial and emotional risk tied to the business.

For these individuals, doing most of the work themselves during the early days of their company is a norm. However, as company operations grow and things get busier, it becomes necessary to employ extra hands who will in turn handle and oversee the different departments of the business.

As such, these entrepreneurs need to gain leadership skills, which will be very useful in training new employees.

Before discussing the leadership skills every entrepreneur needs, it is vital to define who a leader is and what makes a good leader.

Who is a Leader?

Leadership is more than just a title.

A leader is someone that can steer others in the right direction and positively influence the decisions of their followers. Such a person can motivate and inspire followers to do the right thing while instilling confidence in them.

Many people think leadership is innate, that is, people are born with the natural ability to lead. But whether that is true or not, the fact is that leadership can be learned and imbibed.

So, what makes a good leader?

  • Accountability. Leaders are obligated to hold themselves and their followers accountable for the tasks each of them is responsible for.
  • Zeal. A good leader is enthusiastic about the team’s objectives and fosters teamwork among the members.
  • Bravery. Leaders must demonstrate courage in various situations, such as correcting inappropriate behavior or coming to unpleasant conclusions.
  • Good communication. A leader is an effective communicator. Leaders pave the way for the rest of the team by communicating in a straightforward, constructive manner.
  • Sensitivity: Leaders must be in touch with the feelings and circumstances of their followers. This requires emotional intelligence.
  • Flexibility: When working as a team, duties, objectives, and responsibilities will change. Flexible leaders make necessary changes and keep their teams on course towards achieving desired goals. [Click to tweet]
  • Modesty: Great leaders are humble; they own their errors and lift the people around them. When leading and managing a team, humility is crucial.
  • Patience. Setbacks, misunderstandings, and mistakes will inevitably occur. Through these difficult circumstances, good leaders must remain calm and patient.
  • Creativity. Leaders must be able to generate ideas, compare competing viewpoints, and resolve conflicts. They should be able to think things through and develop creative solutions.

5 leadership competencies every entrepreneur needs

1. The ability to communicate properly

Effective communication is crucial in building leadership competencies
Effective communication is an essential leadership skill for entrepreneurs

One leadership quality every entrepreneur needs is the ability to communicate well with employees and other stakeholders.

As your business grows, you will have to relate with people in various contexts. As such, it is vital to learn how to properly communicate the goals, objectives, and values of the business.  

Failing to do this may result in a poor work culture as employees would have no idea what the company stands for or what its values are.

In addition, good communication skills are necessary if you seek to create a work environment that promotes teamwork, growth, a high level of productivity, and satisfaction. 

2. Active listening

No man is an island of knowledge.

As your business grows and expands, one important leadership skill you need is the ability to listen to the opinions of others.

Do not get so caught up in the glee of your success that you believe you are the only one who knows it all or that your opinion is the final decision.

Rather, by listening to and seeking the opinions of others, you not only appear humble, but you are also able to see things from a different angle.

Leaders who see no need to listen to members of their team will end up with unhappy employees. Such employees will always feel underrated, unhappy, dissatisfied with their work, and unproductive.

3. Delegation

A leader shouldn’t do it all.

Learning to delegate and allot tasks correctly is a crucial leadership skill every entrepreneur needs as their business grows and expands.

By assigning tasks, you can shift your attention to more pressing matters, build your skills, pursue your interests, and get the rest your body needs.

Besides the good it does for you as a leader, sharing tasks helps employees trust you as it shows them that you respect them and trust in their abilities.

This will in turn help them work harder, be more productive, and be committed to their job and the company as a whole. Delegating also helps employees acquire new knowledge and skills. 

Furthermore, it helps you as a leader to discover the individual strengths and weaknesses of each member of your team and groom the upcoming leaders.

4. Good leaders are reliable and approachable

Leadership is not about looking tough. Rather, a good leader is approachable and easy to trust.

Such leaders gain the loyalty of their followers by showing they truly care about their employees’ well-being outside of their roles in the company.

Too many times, business leaders make the error of not prioritizing trust-building, which results in misunderstandings.

As an entrepreneur seeking a business environment that allows all employees to feel valued and appreciated, it is necessary to promote a positive workplace culture. Build a workplace that allows team members to feel comfortable approaching you with any problems they may have.

5. Continuous improvement

The world is constantly developing.

Each day, volumes of information emerge as quickly as they fade out. Therefore, any entrepreneur seeking to remain relevant as a leader needs to constantly improve and develop themselves.

An important foundation for this process of continuous improvement is the skill of being self-critical and self-aware when making decisions, especially in business.

This is very important because your business could either succeed or fail depending on your perception and response to the things that matter.

What next?

It doesn’t matter how much you know if you are not going to do anything about it. What steps can you start taking today to hone your leadership skills? Who do you need to share this article with? Let us know in the comments.

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