How do you become a great leader? Well, first of all becoming a leader doesn’t suit everyone. Some people are great innovators, brilliant managers or excellent at hiring the right people. But, if you feel that leadership is the role you want, here are five traits to work on. They work for business leaders all over the world, whether they are selling a cup cake franchise in Boston, or rivets in Dubai, leadership characteristics are universal.
Have a Clear Focus
Every morning a leader wakes up knowing the prime business focus of the day. Without a clear objective from the top, members of the team would have difficulty keeping on track with a project.
One tried and trusted method for keeping yourself focused is to get up a bit earlier than you normally do and thinking about where you need to be by the end of the day.
Adapt and Change
It sounds counter-intuitive, but without the ability to use the changes in the world around you, a business will have difficulty keeping the momentum going. The world changes rapidly. This is nothing new, but there are game changing moments in every industry. Social media is a prime example of this. Those who thought it was just fad have missed out on the early years learning how it might work for their company.
This doesn’t mean you chop and change your main ideas constantly; nothing would get out into the world if you did, but you have to use the changes around you to your advantage.
Make Difficult Decisions
If there’s one point where leader really shines, it’s making the difficult decisions that nobody else can, or should be making. This can be whether to ditch a project that has been in development for over six months, or understanding whether a particular sales model is working for your company.
A leader also understands that to make their team outstanding, it has to have the right people. Knowing when to let someone go is one thing, putting it into practice is where a true leader stands out. Done in the right way it will make the team stronger, done badly and the whole team might feel insecure and wonder who is next.
There are different types of courage in business life. It’s one thing to show off your driving skills during a wadi bashing team building exercise, but quite another thing to confront difficult issues within your company or team.
If you recognise there is a problem nobody else is facing up to, this is where the real courage comes into play…figuring out how to address the problem to get the outcome you know your company needs.
An inspiring story will help you understand how other leaders became who they are, and as a consequence, help you become a better leader. Take a good look around the Kindle store, chat to your local bookshop owner, talk to your business colleagues, family and friends. Every one of them will have their own favourite book. And don’t confine yourself to the business shelves, read biographies on your favourite sporting hero or fashion designer, look beyond the business rack and delve into arts, film, even the hobby aisle. Go on courses run by inspirational people who will open your mind to new possibilities.
Without learning from the success and failures of people we know personally, or admire from a distance, we cannot develop the full range of abilities needed to become a really good leader. To develop learning cultures within your own organisation that will sustain business in the future , a leader needs to model and adopt lifelong learning practices themselves.
The leadership courses run by the Institute of Sales and Marketing in Dubai are in high demand because they help companies develop effective leadership principles. Please go to for more details on the next course available.