There is no secret to success; if you ask any entrepreneur, they’ll most likely tell you they worked extremely hard for what they have. Researching your craft, working late hours, rising in the early morning – those traits are just the tip of the iceberg. Many studies have been done over the years, and the following are just a few (important) qualities of successful leaders.
The Need to Seek Out Knowledge
Entrepreneurs never stop learning; at least the successful ones don’t. The thirst for “what’s next,” or “what else,” is what drives even the most accomplished business leaders to the top. Knowing your industry is essential; knowing how other industries and opportunities can help your business grow is what sets leaders apart from the rest.
Develop a Vision
For many, knowing what career path they want isn’t so cut and dry; life experiences and exposure to culture can all help to mold you into a successful adult. But for some, like Kris Thorkelson, a strong vision helped him become a successful entrepreneur. Working for much of his career as an entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry, although still active in the industry, most recently, Kris Thorkelson expanded his entrepreneurial ambitions to real estate. He now helps lead My Place Realty, a property management company in Winnipeg that specializes in helping home seekers find their perfect home. Thorkelson used his vision of identifying issues that most consumers deal with and tackling it head-on to rise as a leader in not one, but two industries.
Be a Creative Thinker
Part of being a business leader is the ability to “think outside the box.” Adapting to changing situations – and quickly – is a trait nearly all successful entrepreneurs have. Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy was elected to her position by the board in 2001 – after never aspiring to be in that role. She eliminated the entire desktop portion of Xerox and is regarded as one of the world’s most influential female leaders, because she adapted to stressful situations. When something isn’t working, a game plan is even more important than identifying the issue. The confidence and determination behind seeking a different way of making your product or service better are essential to business longevity.
Connect with Your Community
It’s not only important to know your competition and market; it’s also vital to be a strong, supportive member of the community in which you work and do business. Hosting mixer events, belonging to local associations, making donations and supporting other businesses and schools are all ways to show your community that you’re established and efficient.
Be a Risk Taker
If the thought of doing something differently frightens you, good. It should. Every successful business leader will tell you that a certain amount of fear played a large role in his/her success. But, facing and overcoming fears increases your courage and builds self-esteem; it also builds the respect of those around you.