10 Tips for Being an Effective Business Leader

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 28, 2022

Published January 22, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An effective leader is crucial to a company's success. Good business leaders organize and motivate their staff and set and achieve goals for their organization. A business leader can be anyone who has these skills and qualities, from sales representatives to chief executive officers. In this article, we provide 10 tips for being a good business leader.

Why is being a good business leader important?

A good business leader helps a company's employees achieve a shared goal. The benefits of having a good leader can include:

  • Increased sales

  • Brand recognition

  • Company growth

  • High-quality work

  • New product development

  • Good employee morale

  • Productivity

  • Employee acquisition and retention

Great leaders in business have the communication, interpersonal, decision-making and analytical skills to create strategies for success.

Related: 15 Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader

Business leader tips

While business leaders have a variety of leadership styles and strategies, certain traits can help them manage and motivate their teams. Here are 10 tips for business leaders today:

1. Have a positive attitude

If you are enthusiastic about the company and its goals, your team is more likely to share that attitude. Set an example for your team by being optimistic and positive. If you believe in the company's mission, you can inspire your team to believe in it, as well.

A positive attitude can also make the office a more fun and productive place to work. Try taking simple steps such as:

  • Smiling

  • Greeting your colleagues each day

  • Asking if people need help

  • Praising accomplishments

  • Acknowledging good work

  • Saying yes to team members' ideas.

  • Offering encouragement

Make sure your positive energy and attitude are genuine.

2. Be self-aware

Understand and acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. Use your strengths in ways that benefit the company, and find ways to develop skills and traits that need improvement. Delegate tasks you know another employee can do faster and easier.

Also be humble. Admit your imperfections, and share the obstacles you've had to overcome. These steps can help build a strong team and a good company culture.

Related: Guide To Company Culture

3. Make decisions

Good business leaders are confident decision-makers. They make decisions quickly while considering how their choices affect the company and its people. When making decisions that impact the organization:

  • Identify your goal

  • Collect information about all your options

  • Consider the impact of each option

  • Trust your instincts, and make a confident decision

  • Evaluate your decision to determine if you could have done anything differently

Thoughtful decisions not only benefit the company but also increase your team's trust in your ability to lead.

Related: Decision-Making Skills: Definition and Examples

4. Be fair

Treat everyone on your team equally, and follow the same rules and principles in every situation. Ways to demonstrate fairness in the workplace include:

  • Listening to both sides of an issue

  • Respecting each individual's perspective

  • Being honest

  • Following your own rules

  • Treating people as you would want to be treated

  • Giving equal amounts of praise to all of your team members

This type of fairness and subjectivity can help you gain your team's respect and trust. Considering different opinions and views can also help you develop as a leader and make better decisions.

5. Continue learning

A successful leader in business never stops learning. Monitor your industry and the market to identify trends and ways to advance and improve. Attend conferences and seminars, take classes and pursue continuing education opportunities to help keep the company relevant and competitive. Encourage your team to be curious and willing to try new things or develop new skills, as well.

6. Use your imagination

Be creative so you can think of new and exciting ideas that can help your company succeed. Rather than doing things the way the company has always done them, consider whether you can make innovative changes that contribute to the organization's advancement.

Encourage your team to be creative, as well. Plan office challenges that require people to think differently and use their imaginations to solve problems.

7. Communicate clearly

Practice straightforward and open communication with every member of your team, particularly if individuals work in various offices or locations. Set clear goals and expectations from the start of a project. Encourage employees to ask questions and share information. Take time to talk to employees individually, where you can give them specific guidance. Ask questions so you can get the information you need to make decisions and lead effectively.

Also be aware of your team's needs. Practice active listening to better understand your team's opinions, issues and ideas. Be empathetic, and show that you care about your colleagues.

Related: 10 Communication Skills for Career Success

8. Work with your team

Show your commitment to the company and its success by working alongside your team, rather than above it. Do tasks such as answering the phone, addressing customer service questions, writing content or preparing products. Doing the same tasks as your team can also help you better understand their jobs and workflow and ways to improve.

9. Help your team succeed

Encourage your team to perform at a high level, but understand that no one is perfect. Help employees develop their skills and strengths rather than simply identifying their weaknesses. If someone makes a mistake, help them learn from it. A great leader wants their team to be the best they can be but understands that progress takes time and requires productive coaching.

10. Respect people's time

Find the most efficient way to communicate, share information and complete tasks. Schedule short meetings that have a clear plan and purpose. Determine how your team communicates best, whether that's using email, messaging programs, virtual meetings or in-person meetings. Ask your employees what work style allows them to be most productive and efficient, and respect that. This might mean allowing them to have a flexible work schedule, to work alone or to work as a team.

Show your colleagues that you value their time, and you can all work toward accomplishing goals and completing projects on time or ahead of schedule.

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