10 Essential Traits of Effective Business Leaders

Leaders soar.

If you want to grow your business and be on top of the world, you need to be a leader, not just a manager.


To be an effective business leader, you need to hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone who works under you. To do that, you need to spend some amount of time focusing on yourself and improving your own skills as a leader.


Build healthy habits and routines. Make your bed, drink a glass of water, and meditate upon waking. Add structure to your life so that you have more control over your time.

Lifelong Learner

Read and absorb information constantly. Your mind will stay alert, and the knowledge you gain will be a great conversation starter.


Have you ever met someone you didn’t like, but didn’t know why? Poor confidence is betrayed by small mannerisms that your conscious self doesn’t comprehend, but your subconscious self does. Practice going outside of your comfort zone.


Always listen to what people have to say, and don’t cut their ideas down. Create a work environment that encourages thoughtful discussion by actively engaging the ideas of your employees.


Always strive to be better and improve your business. Make large goals that seem impossible to reach. If you don’t reach them, you’re still farther than you’d be if you played it safe.


Make small goals too. Create milestones for you and your employees to follow and celebrate. Break down large tasks into chunks so that you know what your next step is.


A leader needs to make clear choices. Delaying and switching your decisions will shake anyone’s confidence in you. Make a choice and stick to it, even if you’re unsure. At the same time, don’t disregard any good advice that comes your way—a leader who doesn’t listen to their employees is a leader who will quickly lose those employees.


Failure is how you learn what works and what you shouldn’t waste your time on. Take what you can learn from a failure, but don’t let it bother you. Move on to the next adventure.


Be willing to share when you’re wrong. Hiding and covering up failures creates a divided work-environment. People will respect you more if you open up to them.


Passion is contagious and a passionate leader is exciting and fun to work for. Learn how to share your passion with your employees and potential business partners.
Build upon each of these traits and you will end up being a more effective leader. Always seek to improve yourself—an effective leader can and will steer a business towards success.

About the Author:

Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer from Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. Information used in this article was provided by a startup consultant who recommends that leaders looking to improve their skills enroll in military history degree programs to learn some of the tactics leaders have used for centuries to motivate their people.