What are good leadership qualities? Are good leadership skills learnt or innate? When it comes to the qualities for a good leader to have, who better to learn from than Sir Richard Branson?
During my time on Necker Island (read more about my trip Necker Island stay here) meeting fellow entrepreneurs and chatting to Sir Richard Branson over dinner, there were certain traits that struck me that all great leaders are aware sets them apart and creates a business to be proud of.
Laying the foundations of your business takes time but by embodying the characteristics of a good leader you can be sure to build strong and steady from the start.
Great leaders don’t just happen by accident. So, what are good leadership qualities?
10 Qualities for a Good Leader to Have
Here are 10 qualities of a good leader that can transform your business and all aspiring leaders can practice today to build on for the future:
- Take responsibility
- Create an inclusive work environment
- Don’t see labels
- No blame culture
- Be solutions focused
- Know when and how to pivot
- Take others with you
- Talent spot
- Create a business family
- Acknowledge good work
My Top 10 Good Leader Qualities:
1. Take Responsibility
Regardless of your position in the team (or if you are a solo entrepreneur), you take your responsibilities seriously and hold yourself accountable for meeting desired outcomes regardless of the external environment.
Even when the going gets tough, you do what it takes to see not just yourself, but others through to the desired outcome.
And when others waver, you see it as your role to rally them up and delegate accordingly.
2. Create an Inclusive Work Environment
‘Respect is how to treat everyone, not just those you want to impress’.
~ Sir Richard Branson.
You treat everyone as the human that they are.
Popularity contests aside, everyone gets a fair chance to contribute; be they team members, freelancers, or a community.
Inclusivity is what will help change the planet. As someone with leadership skills you know the power of welcoming equality into your business model.
From management to your bottom-line, great leaders treat all team members well.
In fact, an important quality of great leadership is treating EVERYONE well.
When I asked Sir Richard Branson what his top tips were for creating a culture as amazing as Virgin, one where the brand values ‘ooze’ through each member of the team, he told me:
“people rarely leave jobs due to the money, people leave as they and their ideas are not listened to. Your teams need to feel motivated, loved, respected and praised which can be done with little gestures of appreciation”
3. As a Leader, You Shouldn’t See Labels
Status does not impress you, as a former talent finder for corporate brands and businesses I often see potential for greatness in the most unlikely characters.
Leaders understand a positive attitude and good time-management of one’s own daily tasks can often trump say, a high level of academia or having friends in high places!
In fact, you are not impressed by labels and see each human for the qualities they display, regardless of social status.
4. Practice No Blame Culture
When things go wrong, which they inevitably will from time to time, you are not the kind of leader who immediately looks for who to blame – making your team feel nervous or hesitant to step forward and find answers. You know this is not the way to build and develop people.
Instead, you look for the opportunities and lessons to do better in future and do not punish anyone for their mistakes.
You assess the situation, and adjust accordingly to implement systems that avoid similar scenarios in the future, a resilient business move.
5. Find Solutions
As above, finding opportunities in perceived problems means you have the potential to create an innovative brand.
While many focus on the negative, you pull out solutions that can transform results and build resilience long term.
6. Know When and How to Pivot
Speaking of results, should the need arise, leaders understand there will be times when they have to pivot to get the results needed.
When things go wrong, leaders inspire their teams to adapt accordingly, and if necessary change the actions but never the desired objectives.
FREE Sales Launch Mega Boost Toolkit
Learn how to plan the perfect online launch and boost your sales
7. Take Others With You on Entrepreneurial Journey
From waiting staff to managers, treating people well has a ripple effect and allows you to grow true potential in people.
Taking your people with you on your entrepreneurial journey, be they interns or assistants for example, allows a unique skillset to be nurtured over time and everyone reaps the rewards of this.
Sales Coach Jade Jemma at Necker Island
‘Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.’
~ Sir Richard Branson
As an example of this poignant quote, I often talk about how the way people treat ALL staff gives tell-tale insights into who a person is as a leader.
Loyalty and trust in teams can truly propel a business mission into world changing opportunities. As a bonus, you experience the satisfaction that together as a team or network you are stronger.
8. Can Spot Talent Others Can’t
As a sales coach I can spot someone with natural sales talent instinctually, having interviewed over 10,000 potential clients in my corporate career I would say I can spot talent others fail to see. All true leaders have this ability to read potential and is one of the best leadership qualities.
We tap into someone’s enthusiasm, drive and energy which often beat skills on paper or years of experience. Who people are determines their success. After all qualifications can be gained if necessary.
I have said on many occasions in my business journey that I owe so much of my success to my mentors from my sales career. I was fortunate enough that the first role I was offered after graduating from my masters degree was working for two legendary entrepreneurs; Richard Holliday and David Riley who certainly have the qualities of a good leader.
Richard and David saw the ‘raw sales talent’ inside me and gave me the training, development and direction that meant I quickly became one of their most trusted, dedicated and successful sales employees.
But it wasn’t just the training and support that makes them legendary leaders. Working for Richard and David was nothing like I had experienced before, rather than the outdated autocratic style of leadership that so many ‘bosses’ use (control and micro-management), they truly care for their teams, cheesy as it sounds – like a true ‘business family’.
Which leads us to…
9. Create a Business Family
If you are in Freedom Business Network you will know I pride myself on growing a family, not just a business network. We are a family of freedom seekers, focused on creating a lifestyle that benefits not only our lives but makes an impact on a much bigger level.
Leaders understand creating a family is key when it comes to life and business.
Loyalty, fun and opportunity abounds when we come together and create for the good of all.
Richard was my Sales Director and quickly realised that I had a lot of ideas and I did not like to be controlled at all. Rather than resist that (as many ego-led leaders do), he allowed me the space and trust to run with my ideas, which in turn saw me hitting the ground running and winning some of the most prestigious global brands as clients.
David who was Managing Director has a great way with words. I can recall many a time popping into his office for some advice on how to deal with difficult people or situations (you tend to have many of these working in sales!) and he always had great words of advice that kept me grounded.
I remember when he received his first complaint about me from a company I had been calling. At first, I was feeling concerned as he told me – until he finished with “if I don’t get complaints about people then I know they are not pushing hard enough” with a smile.
Finally I had found my people! A business family that got me and empowered me to perform at my best!
10. Be a Leader Who Acknowledges Good Work
The power in praise cannot be underestimated. A simple thank you goes a long way. From a verbal compliment to a token gift, however you say it, give thanks for good work.
Be remembered as the person who appreciated those that formed the bigger picture.
I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers, and that people flourish when they are praised.’
~ Sir Richard Branson
What makes Good Leadership?
Richard and David’s hands-on legendary leadership based on humanity, compassion and accessibility meant I gave blood, sweat and tears during my years with them and felt like a shareholder rather than an employee.
Years on, their legendary leadership skills carry on through me and I pride myself on being a sales coach who is hands-on, accessible and kind to my clients, students and community members. The qualities of a good leader that I admire are the ones I strive to live by.
Lastly, focus on freedom.
Whatever that looks like for you, leading others to the possibilities of what a freedom-based business can look like results in everyone reaching their full potential.
After all, freedom is what we are all striving for, so why not create freedom together?
To explore how you too can embrace leadership skills in your business, come and connect with other freedom-focused entrepreneurs learning the art of sales and creating strategies they love for more profits and impact over in the Freedom Business Network; a free community to encourage and support freedom focused entrepreneurs just like you to reach your business goals faster and smarter.
We would love to hear your thoughts on what makes a good leader today and what good leadership examples you may have?
P.S. Don’t miss the FREE sales training and resources over on my Sales Swag page!