Right now, more than ever business owners and entrepreneurs are looking for leadership which means they are looking for someone to show them the way. Question is are you a leader of your business? Are you someone others want to follow?

And I’m not just talking Twitter-style followers where you follow me and I follow you back.  Leadership is much more than that and here are my 5 essential qualities that I look for in a strong leader.

As the strong and successful leader of your business, you will….

  1. Have a clear vision and plan for your business so you can demonstrate you know where you are going. This may seem obvious but it is surprising how many people want others to follow them when they are not really heading anywhere.
  2. Be a stand for what you know and believe. This means you will have a clear set of criteria that guide you so you will not be swayed by what other people think. Setting and maintaining your boundaries will keep you focused on outcomes that you want for you and your clients and not on pleasing others which can only diminish results and lead to mediocrity.
  3. Be willing to go first, take risks and learn by your mistakes as well as build on your successes. Goes without saying, if you have not done what you are asking others to do or implement your own strategies or recommendations you are speaking from second-hand experience and not from a position of leadership.
  4. Not be content with the status quo and always looking for a better way so you can continue to improve, stretch and grow. Playing it safe – and colouring in inside the lines is no way to create breakthroughs.
  5. Be a product of your product or service. If you don’t use and follow your own advice you will demonstrate a lack of integrity and lose trust. “Do what I say and not what I do” never works with children and will certainly not work with your clients and for good reason. People want leaders they can look up to.

A final point to remember.  You don’t have to re-invent the wheel to be a leader but you do need to stand out and shine your unique brilliance on the way you do business. Only then can you attract followers who want what you have to offer and who feel confident you will deliver.