A company with a great leader has a distinct advantage over its competitors. Leaders motivate, inspire, and form effective strategies to achieve company objectives. Organizations benefit from a great leader.

So how can you become one?

It is sometimes argued that leaders are born, not made, and that their leadership qualities are in their DNA. These are the people who seem to climb the ranks with minimal effort.

Everybody has a ceiling for their potential. And for some, it is higher than others. The variable that we can control is work ethic. With calculated, intense and consistent effort, everyone is able improve their leadership skills.

It All Starts With a Vision

Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is a great advocate for having a vision. Love him or hate him, he is still one of the most successful people around. In the video below, Arnold explains why having a vision is important.

Your vision for the company needs to be long term. For example, you may want to dominate your market or be the most profitable company in your sector. Whatever it is, it needs to motivate you, so dream big.

Once you have a clear vision, it’s a lot easier to form a strategy. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, you need to reverse engineer. Start with your ultimate goal, then work backwards. Map out the steps that need to be taken to achieve your vision. If you are struggling to understand what your vision should be, check out my article “The real truth behind finding a viable business idea”

 Empathy is Underrated

The hardest part is getting your team to buy into your vision. A truly successful leader has to have people skills. They need to motivate and support their employees. Gary Vaynerchuk is a classic example of a charismatic leader with more EQ (emotional intelligence) than IQ (intelligence).

There is a host of information on how to manage employees effectively. However, being empathetic builds the foundation for effective management. If you understand and share the feelings of your employees, you are already half way there.

If your employees know you care about them, they will care about you and your vision. Look after them, and they will look after you.

A key component to gaining respect is to keep your word. Nobody will trust a person that breaks promises. Without employee trust, leadership fails.

Treat people how you would like to be treated. It may be a cliché, but it’s a great saying to go by. Empathy may not come naturally to you. But if you put in the effort, the rewards can be astounding.

Communication Is Everything

Building my company Zzap Online has taught me that good communication with colleagues is often overlooked. Communication is the vehicle that is used to share your vision.It is just as important as all other principles of leadership.

You can do everything right but without effective communication your team will never be on the same wavelength.

At 19 years old, when I founded my company, I would openly talk about both my dreams and weaknesses. As we grow up, we tend to conceal our weaknesses to reduce our vulnerability. Such an approach makes honest communication difficult.

It’s important to break down these barriers to understand your employees. Practice thoughtful conversations with your team, and ensure you are honest and empathetic. Gary Vaynerchuk is a CEO with 600 employees and he still finds the time to do 1 on 1 conversations with them.

Close communication ensures nothing is lost in translation and that everybody knows exactly where they stand. That is invaluable for a company’s success.

What Makes a Great Leader?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Andy Margison
Andrew Margison is a founder and director of ZZap Ltd. From an early age, he has had a burning passion for entrepreneurship. He believes work ethic is the foundation for being successful. He knows that If you truly want something bad enough you can achieve it.
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