Business Leadership

The term leadership means different things to different people, and the more you study the subject, the more you find in terms of opinions and research.

The ability to understand leadership and identify leadership qualities isn’t about being in leadership training, however, it can help us in many ways such as:

  • Employing the right people
  • Our own personal development
  • Identifying target clients
  • Identifying the barriers to success in our own business

When looking at leadership, it helps to identify what you see as the most important elements of a good leader, and conversely, what you would call the non-negotiable attributes and skills.

The following is a list of what I believe are the 10 most important attributes in leadership today, based on my 35 years of business experience and extensive research.

These attributes are to promote thought, discussion and even self-evaluation.

  1. Purpose: having a real and enduring purpose is an incredibly powerful attribute. It is about what you do and why you do it, this is what guides and motivates.

Q:        Do you have a real and enduring purpose for you and your business?

  1. Vision:  Is about being able to see the future, what is the business going to look like some time in the future when your purpose has been achieved?

Q:        Do you have a clear vision for the future of your business?

  1. Passion: It is almost impossible to achieve results in business without being incredibly passionate about your business purpose, your people, your customers, and doing it better than anybody else.

“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” John C. Maxwell

Q:        Are you still passionate about what you do and why you do it?

  1. Attitude: If you believe you can – you can!  Your attitude is a choice; it is what delivers your actions.   Your people are a mirror of your attitude and maintaining a good attitude is easier than regaining one.

“It’s your attitude, not your aptitude that will determine your altitude.”

Zig Zigler

Q:        Do you have a positive attitude towards your business and the future?

5. Focus: Have an arrow like focus towards the achievement of your purpose.  The sharper it is, the sharper you are.  The keys are priorities, concentration and an ability to say no.

Q:        Do you have a clear focus on your business purpose or are you easily distracted?

  1. Core Values: Leaders have very clear core values and ensure they are embedded in the organisation to create a lasting culture.

Q:        Do you have a lasting culture with clearly identifiable core values?

  1. Teach Ability: To keep reading, to keep learning and never being afraid to ask for help.

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

            John Wooden – Basketball Hall of Fame

Q:        Do you continue to learn and seek help from others?

  1. Effect change:  You must be able to identify the need for change, how much, when and how to make it happen.

“In today's world there are two types of companies, those that change and those that disappear” Anonymous.

Q:        How successful are you at implementing change in your business?

  1. Achieve results: Leaders are never known for how hard they work, they are known for what they achieved.  They have an ability to make things happen, get results and don’t make excuses.

Q:        Do you regularly achieve your goals and objectives?

  1. Character:   It is about how you act, often termed the “characteristics of good leaders.”  The listen before they speak, ensure the vision is communicated, inspire others to follow, employ the right people, lead by example, are visible, earn respect and trust, have hard discussions, make decisions, respect others, have energy, ask the difficult questions and most importantly are highly self motivated.

Q:        Do you regularly display the characteristics of a good leader?

My top 10 attributes on leadership is very dominated by how you act, which is very true when you observe great leaders-they act like great leaders.  If you can’t act like a leader, it is impossible to be one. Yes skills are very important, however this is a separate subject and a lot easier to work on if a leader has the right attributes.

I hope you found this article thought provoking.  Understanding leadership is a skill which can be used in many ways.  This is one of the few topics in business that will never be resolved without continual evolvement of thinking.

What are your thoughts on the subject?  Are there elements more important than the ones listed?  How would you rate your own leadership attributes?

Have a think and continue the conversation.

Feedback is always welcome, please send suggestions to


Phil Coombs

Simply Business Australia