Is leadership a crucial element in business? This is a question that has been asked time and time again, with varying answers.
Some say that it doesn’t matter who is in charge as long as the business is thriving, while others believe it is the key to a company’s success.
According to experts, here are reasons why leadership is important in business:
When forming our business, like all the other founders and entrepreneurs, the earliest of our tasks was to:
- Create a statement of mission
- Determine the vision of how the world would be different because of our presence
- Determine our guiding values and principles
As the business owner, we take up the role of leader and share our mission, vision, and values with our team as well as our stakeholders and customers as a reflection of our commitment to finding and achieving some definition of success.
It’s when we stop demonstrating to our employees, stakeholders, and customers that:
- Our mission is not worth pursuing
- Our vision has been clouded
- We lose focus on what we are working on
Our business suffers, and we lose hope in making our vision a reality.
Leadership is the behavior of leaders to align action with our vision
Everyone in the business needs to have a clear picture of how their role impacts not only the day-to-day operations but also the long-term advancement of the mission and, ultimately, the successful exit of the business.
Therefore, it is your role as a leader to help guide the people within the business to provide:
- Encourage the business to work towards
- Timely goals
Good leaders are great communicators. They have something good to say, say it well, say it often and share it with everyone.
Related: Top 7 Leading Traits of Good Leaders
Leadership is not about barking orders but inspiring others to see your vision and enlist their support to play a part in reaching that vision.
Vision must be perceived through several lenses. It must be shared across the business in layers as well, including the high-level overview that is defined in our mission, vision, and values statements, but also in terms of the six macro-economic forces and opportunities, including:
- Environmental forces
These form the strategic decisions about how we interact with the:
- World and market
- Competitive forces and partnership opportunities
- New markets
- Changes in offerings
- Tactical considerations
that leads our business to reach our vision sooner when possible or at least consistently.
It helps solve problems and achieve desired results
The vision we want to share with customers is one we paint of how you offer a solution to the problem they have but don’t want or the result they want but don’t have.
It is human nature to defer judgment to the leaders and experts who can help solve their problems or help them achieve their desired results.
To achieve this, customers need business owners and employees to project a sense of personal and professional thought leadership to help them resolve their problems or achieve the result they want quickly and professionally.
Leadership is essential to every human endeavor worth doing
Leadership is a skill that one could dedicate their lives mastering, considering all the books and courses that have been created.
In fact, as of this writing, Amazon has over 60,000 books on leadership. Prolific leaders in leadership, including John Maxwell, Ken Blanchard, Simon Senek, and Stephen Covey, could be read and studied to improve your own leadership knowledge base.
But the most critical leadership skill anyone can learn is to communicate better. Listen, speak clearly, and guide the conversation towards your vision.
One of my favorite leaders, mentors, and lifelong friends, Paul Trapp, LTC, US Army (retired), and author of “Prep for Success,” lays a foundation of plans—communicates those plans, and carries out his business putting on trade shows for federal government agencies being prepared for success and exceptions.
I met Paul when he was a recruiter in the National Guard. I enlisted, and a year later, we both attended the Florida National Guard Military Academy Officer Candidate School.
The leadership training we received covered not only military leadership styles but self-leadership skills that we maintain today.
John Maxwell might call this a function of a 360 Degree Leader, which includes the traits of:
- Ability always to be counted on
To answer if leadership is important to business, I would have to say leadership is essential to every human endeavor worth doing.
Leadership is essential from the top, down, across, and within. If the body (that is, the business) moves in a coordinated fashion towards the vision; and customers recognize that your:
help them achieve the result they want and need to succeed, then yes, leadership is important to the business.
Leadership Coach and Business Consultant
Leadership, whether positive or negative, shapes the company culture
Leaders create the culture for any business, and developing leadership skills determines whether a business thrives or dies.
Leadership is about:
- Establishing the values of the organization
- Getting clear on the direction
- Filtering for what should be counted in or what should be counted out
Clarity of values and direction in a business setting is like the headings on a map that others can understand and drive toward.
Great leaders not only have clarity, but they also demonstrate the values and show alignment in the way they engage with their team members, customers, and community every single day.
It’s one thing to be clear in theory. It’s another to effectively communicate what you believe in. And it’s that skill that defines leaders and what sets them apart and ensures that they are leaders to be looked up to.
With positive culture, team members align with a values-based vision that is embodied by the leadership. The vision is the “North Star” that guides everyone in the company.
Positive leaders talk about it and call out team members’ behavior that aligns with it.
“I saw you help that customer in this way. That matches the part of our vision that says ______. Thank you.“ That’s different from a “Nice job, everyone. Have a great weekend.“
Meanwhile, negative leaders (often identified as autocrats) rule by fear. They create the “gotcha” culture and encourage back-stabbing and grandstanding.
Workarounds and undermining are seen as “part of the game,” and collaboration leads to paranoia as vulnerability and seeking help are seen as weaknesses. Stress claims, workers’ comp issues, and turnover are higher in such companies.
Though expensive and potentially detrimental to the bottom line, negative leaders see turnover as a good thing. There’s a hoarding of information, and negative leaders don’t see value in investing in their employees’ growth.
Positive leaders start by seeing employees as team members and recognizing the importance of investing in them.
Leadership brings groups of humans together for a common cause
Leaders create a cohesive workplace culture by providing meaningful work and letting each team member understand how their individual contribution moves the company towards its goal through the values of the vision.
Great leaders also acknowledge their team members, as individuals, for doing so.
Why is leadership in business so important? Leadership brings groups of humans together for a common cause and makes each contributor understand the importance of their contribution.
Richard Branson is attributed as saying, “Train people so that they can leave. Treat them so well that they won’t want to.”
Lauren LeMunyan PCC
Founder, Spitfire Coach
It is essential to the health and wellness of the organization
Leadership isn’t just important in business; it’s critical and essential to the health and wellness of the organization.
When we talk about leadership, we’re focusing beyond the title of CEO, Director, and VP. Leadership is within all of us. It’s what inspires innovation, faces friction, and creates community.
If you read a book on leadership ten years ago, chances are it was filled with:
- Sports analogies
- References to winning
- How to motivate teams to meet the objectives
Leadership was seen at the front, directing the way forward and correcting behaviors and inefficiencies.
This was through the lens of approaching challenges from a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertainty, Complex, and Ambiguous) environment. VUCA was a term created in the 1980s to describe war and high conflict zone conditions.
In a VUCA world, leaders need to be:
In 2020, a new acronym entered the scene—BANI (Brittle, Anxious, Non-Linear, and Incomprehensible). With the layered impacts of two years of:
- A pandemic
- Social injustices flooding screens
- Multiple global humanitarian crises
- Personal grief from lost loved ones and future plans
Employees needed a different kind of leader. Employees are looking for something beyond empathy in the leaders:
- They want compassion and psychological safety.
- They want leaders to help them exhale, heal, and show up.
This looks like:
- Energy check-ins (on a scale of 1-10, how do you feel today)
- Listening more than speaking
- Understanding people beyond their roles
- Seeking to learn individual preferences and workflows
My clients want to feel more energized; they want to feel focused, and they want to feel less brittle. The only way forward involves healing from trauma, whether in the office or outside the workday.
I hear countless leaders saying they want to disrupt and challenge the industry status quo. We know that companies at the next level and have accelerated beyond the competition know the secret sauce— their teams and employees have psychological safety.
When employees feel seen and supported, they show up and show out. This is when innovation and disruption are possible.
It creates and maintains the company’s culture
In Dr. Timothy Clark’s book, The Four Stages of Psychological Safety, he shares that psychological safety is an environment of rewarded vulnerability, meaning leaders are vulnerable along with their team in a way that creates shared understanding and allows for risks to be taken.
It’s amazing leaders have gotten as far as they have on the assumption:
- Assuming everyone is motivated by snacks or summer Fridays
- Assuming everyone wants to be promoted
- Assuming people will show up and do the work because it’s their job
The reality is the talent pool is shrinking, and people have options to work where they feel most aligned.
Leaders are at the epicenter of culture creation and maintenance. So I’ll leave you with this: “If you aren’t intentionally creating your team and company culture, who do you think is?”
CEO, Relationship Revolution | Communication and Leadership Coach
It allows every person to tap into the best parts of themselves
Why do apples go in apple pie? Because without apples, it would not be apple pie; it would be cinnamon and sugar on a pastry.
Does it still work? Yes, it sounds yummy, and it will produce a delicious pastry. The question is will it be the product you wanted? Will it be an apple pie?
The same is true with business leaders. The leader is the business.
Without the leader, random people sit around a table wondering what they can accomplish together.
Will they get things done? Sure, a game of Catan sounds like fun, and I am sure someone will volunteer to make a plate of nachos. But how aligned will their efforts be to the business goals?
So why is leadership important in business?
First, leadership is not about a position, title, or corner office. Leadership is a state of being, and leaders are found at all levels of an organization.
For the purpose of this request, I will use the term leader as a person who has supervisory responsibility for others who also hold the “recipe” for success.
They know the vision and mission and can provide the container or framework that allows those random people sitting at a table to understand what they can offer.
Let’s play with the apple pie example. The leader shares the goal: we need to make an apple pie.
The people at the table begin to share their experience with making a pie:
- Preferences for the best apple to use
- Knowledge of how to make flakey pastry
- Conversations are focused on all things apple pie
Within the recipe, there is flexibility:
- What type of apples will we use?
- How many are just the right amount?
- What is the right balance of cinnamon and sugar to suit the customer?
- And most importantly, do you want ice cream with it?
Surely, knowing how to do an oil change on a Ford F150 is not offered up at this time because it is not the skillset needed.
Every person demonstrates leadership at this moment, and collectively and collaboratively, decisions are made. The formal leader provided the container for work, and the informal leaders at the table designed the plan.
Leadership in business is not only needed but necessary to the success of a business, no matter the size. It allows every person at the table to tap into the best parts of themselves that align with the mission of an apple pie.
Without a leader, the people gathered around a table will still achieve things, maybe even great things. The question is, “Will it be aligned with the vision of a business?”
Not likely. You may just find that they opt to play cards and eat nachos. Now, where is the guac?
Leadership pulls everyone together to focus on what’s most important
For a company to be successful, the employees must work together as a team. This can only happen if a leader can bring everyone together and focus them on solving problems.
Many people think that leadership is all about giving orders and telling people what to do, but this isn’t true.
A good leader understands how to bring out the best in people and get them working towards a common goal. Master the art of leadership and watch how it can help your business grow.
The main purpose of a company is to solve problems in the market through the collaboration of hired talent. Leadership pulls everyone together to focus on what’s most important.
Without leadership, everyone would be running in separate directions without a specific agenda, and little to nothing will get accomplished.
Leadership is what keeps the boat afloat
As the saying goes, “a leader is only as good as their team.” For a company to succeed, the employees must work together under a defined set of core values and competencies.
This can only happen if a leader understands this and can bring everyone together, focusing them on solving problems. Bringing out the best in people and getting them working towards a common goal is the calling card of a strong leader.
Leadership is what keeps the boat afloat. If you want your business to succeed, then you need to make sure that you have a strong leader at the helm.
Leadership is an art, and it takes practice to perfect. But if you can master it, you’ll be well on your way to success!
Elene Cafasso, MCC
Leadership Development Expert | Executive Coach | President, Enerpace, Inc. Executive Coaching
It navigates the business and keeps it on course
A leader without followers is just a person taking a walk, according to John C. Maxwell. A business without a true leader is like a hamster on a wheel—most likely running but not getting anywhere despite the effort.
Whenever we’re asked to develop leaders, my first question is: What do we need them to do? I often get blank stares, so I refer them to Enerpace’s Leadership Pyramid.
The job of leadership begins with establishing a business’ mission, vision, and goals. If a business doesn’t know why it exists or what purpose it serves, it’s tough for the employees to be engaged in their work. They don’t know the “so what” that justified their efforts.
A vision lays out where the business is going. Again, if employees don’t have a direction, there’s no way for efforts to be coordinated or, to use a familiar phrase, have them “rowing in the same direction.”
Each day, a company’s people are making decisions. You want those decisions to be congruent with your purpose and advance your movement forward.
Leaders define the company’s values—how we treat each other, our customers, and our key stakeholders as we operate in accordance with our vision and mission.
Values need to be lived and present in all communications, or they’re meaningless. Employees often look to their leaders’ “say/do” ratio.
If the company’s top people don’t walk the talk, if they don’t do what they say they will do, then there’s no reason for the people to do it either. The behaviors that get rewarded should be those in alignment with a business’ mission, vision, and values.
Only once this is established can meaningful goals be set. The goals need to be set such that attaining them leads to accomplishing the business’ vision.
Whatever helps achieve that goal should be treated as a priority of the business.
Following this method, every level of the business, from bottom to top, can have performance objectives set on common cornerstones. From there, we help companies hire, develop, incent, engage and retain the right people to achieve their vision.
This is the true definition of leadership and leadership development. A true leader keeps their eye on the strategic foundations at all times. The vision is the ‘North Star‘ they stay focused on, navigating the business and staying on course through their goals.
It helps achieve more optimized results
Just as our physical planet is facing existential threats, so do organizations. Socially responsible business firms typically perform better financially than less responsible competitors.
Prioritizing sustainability leads to better results. The concentration of power, whether politically or socially, undercuts democracy.
Leaders need to help people gain control over their lives and work with autonomy. It is vital that leaders set new precedents and change the norms and rules of societies so that negative human tendencies are kept in check.
- Elicit powerful, positive qualities that are most needed.
- Be a positive role model.
- Communicate a sense of possibility, more so than probability.
- Dissolve the presumption of lack; actively nurture positive proclivities.
The imperative facing leaders in all organizations is not only to embark on a quest to manage processes such as project, program, and portfolio management but also to create “green ecosystems” and continually improve environments that encourage project-based work.
A “green ecosystem” creates an environment for consistent, predictable, and sustainable success. This means searching with unrelenting curiosity for leading practices.
When these practices are revealed, it also means that leaders are prepared to take action.
Integrating leadership with new thinking, guided by an eco-guide, make the difference that leads to competitive advantages for businesses and places where people do their best work.
From a long career as a program manager in high tech new product development and working with a wide variety of organizations worldwide, I observed a wealth of leadership practices, some effective for improving business performance and many not.
A distillation of leadership imperatives provides fodder for achieving more optimized results.
Like many other professionals, I’ve followed my superiors, who’ve led me through the nuances of the corporate world, and now, I have a team of experts following me as their leader, trusting me to make the right decisions and teaching them what I’ve learned over the years.
Here’s why I think leadership is crucial for every business:
It makes decision making faster (and easier)
Let me say it outright: If there is no one in your corporation to take quick, decisive actions as and when the need arises, your business is probably not going to make it.
Leaders are people trusted to make the right decisions—swiftly and in the company’s interest.
On the contrary, if a company lacks a leader or if the leader lacks leadership, the decisions can be mistrusted, delayed, or worse, not taken at all.
It helps realize what is possible
A leader should be someone the rest of the employees look up to. If there is no example for inspiration, people seldom realize what is possible.
A leader who:
- Works hard
- Encourages team members
- Is open to learning and empathetic
can expect the same dedication from his team.
It binds the team together
Many employees in your workplace share only a single similarity: the leader supervising their tasks.
Inter-department or inter-company competitions result in improved performances, productivity, and greater growth. The competitive spirit for this rivalry is aroused by the leaders of these departments and companies.
They push their teams to do better and learn more, individually and as a team. As far as my experience is concerned, I regard these reasons as highly persuasive as to why a company must have a leader.
Business Coach and Leadership Mentor | Founder, Lattice & Co
Leadership supports managers
Managers have control over the employees in their organizations, and their jobs get easier when they are supported by leadership.
There are substantial constraints to using authority and power to achieve high performance. The initiative and inventiveness necessary in many tasks cannot be generated just by authority.
However, because of its primary dependence on influence, leadership may get concrete and enhanced results from human efforts. Leadership entails all of the elements required to motivate others and inspire them to do great things.
It supports an adapting evolving workplace
Mishaps and last-minute alterations are unavoidable at work. Leaders can be adaptable and embrace whatever changes come their way.
Employees will value their capacity to adapt to changes and handle problems creatively. Leaders will also be receptive to recommendations and comments.
If a team member is unhappy with a particular component of the office environment, they listen to their concerns and are willing to make the required changes. Employees value a leader’s capacity to receive constructive comments.
Related: Reasons Why Listening Is Important
Human Resources Director, Mullen & Mullen Law Firm
It empowers everyone working on the same idea
For a business to thrive, it must have an effective leadership body.
Leadership does not only mean leading the idea and its execution; it also means empowering everyone working on the same idea. Moreover, it helps fulfill the company’s goals by ensuring everything is being executed perfectly, and all goals are aligned.
For a company that does not have effective leadership, all of its business resources would be useless.
Leaders are invaluable for a company when it comes to dedicating work and igniting passion in all the workers.
In my personal experience, having thoughtful and empathetic leaders can change the entire work experience by improving it drastically.
Furthermore, if you want your organization to achieve all the set targets successfully, you have to ensure that your leaders are trained to motivate all the employees, and they can set clear expectations for everyone.
Job Search Expert and Career Advice Writer, My Perfect Resume
Good leadership has the power to resonate throughout the company
The real-world changes rapidly so do the job market. One thing remains the same, though. No matter what the industry or form of work, the role of leadership in business is still invaluable.
Here are some insights on why leaders are important:
Leaders teach, support, and advise
Not all make natural-born leaders. Many people make great employees but poor leaders.
To succeed and shine bright at their jobs, they need to be given certain directions and shown which path to follow. And providing it is the leader’s role—to teach, support, and advise.
Carefully planned task distribution and guidance on completing them are keys to the team’s success.
Leaders provide fruitful feedback
Self-evaluation is subjective by nature. No matter how hard we try and what a multifaceted approach we take, it is impossible to judge one’s own job performance the way it can be done by someone else.
A good leader delivers:
- Constructive criticism
Fruitful feedback is the best way to help employees grow.
Leaders motivate and inspire morale
The leader is in a position to motivate and inspire morale among the employees. With a focus on purpose, they are willing to work harder. What’s more, good leadership has the power to resonate throughout the company, establishing its culture and developmental direction.
HR Manager, ResumeLab
It ensures that business not only survives but is also profitable
Leadership is not only important but downright imperative in business. Imagine a team without a captain or an army without a general. All you’d have is a chaotic, discombobulated group of individuals with no aim, strategy, or common purpose.
Thus (good) leadership is absolutely essential in any organization or company. Now, this is much easier said than done, of course.
Consider all the roles a wise and seasoned leader must play. You are the main:
You must know how to:
- How to sternly but fairly scold and punish (if necessary)
- Take the heat if things go wrong
- Praise and reward accordingly
All while anticipating the short and long-term future of your industry to ensure that your business not only survives but is also profitable.
It’s a lot to handle for anyone, but these are the duties and responsibilities of a leader.
So yes, while many businesses are promoting a flat/horizontal hierarchy, just like a ship needs a decisive captain to make the tough call, so does an organization that needs leadership to turn to in times of glory but especially downturns.
CEO, Capri Temporary Housing | Speaker and Success Coach
I’m surprised that people would think it does not matter in business.
In my own experience, businesses that have good leadership have a healthy organization. Their leaders are clear about the company’s purpose.
This empowers individuals to align themselves with a cause that is bigger than themselves. This alignment strengthens the company to provide its services or products with excellence.
For example, if your company sells flowers, and everyone understands what they do to sell flowers, then the company can better fulfill its mission to sell more flowers.
Leadership increases the value of an organization to the community
Good leaders invest in their employees, and in turn, those employees are empowered to perform with excellence.
Finding ways to cut costs, offering solutions for customer concerns, and being mindful of fellow workers creates an environment that saves customers money, time, and stress.
All these activities resulting from enriching the members of the company benefit not only the employees and customers, but also the community at large.
Leadership leads to greater growth for business
Companies with strong leadership are able to scale and grow. Good leaders realize their own limitations and seek talent that gets the job done better and faster.
These leaders also acknowledge that if they are the smartest person in the room, they need to find another room!
Their business best serves their community when the right people are in the right place doing work they are passionate about. Good leaders are about steering the ship, and letting people do their work.
Good leadership is attractive:
- Draws the right teammates
- Attracts the right customers
- Builds better relationships
- Businesses that lack leadership don’t last in the marketplace
Kristin Heller, PHR
Leadership Coach and HR Consultant, HR Creative Consulting
In the absence of leadership, people will listen to whoever speaks the loudest
If we have business leaders that do not lead their people, their team members will seek leadership elsewhere. That someone else may or may not have the best interest of the employees and the business at the forefront of their responses.
We all need to be led, some more than others. I have seen it repeatedly in cases of either vacancies or weak leadership where employees will find what they need without considering whether or not what they need is correct.
I don’t think it is super complicated; as I stated above and so many times throughout my career, in the absence of leadership, people/employees will listen to whoever is speaking the loudest.
Retired US Army Major | Transformative Speaker
It causes ripple effects and makes waves
Why is it important to be a leader people actually want to work for?
Leaders motivate others to accomplish a mission that they would not otherwise do on their own by providing purpose, motivation, and direction.
A servant leader who has true loyalty to their followers will not simply accomplish a mission they are tasked with; they will go much further to ensure the leader’s intent is always fulfilled.
True leaders can be at the gates of hell with their subordinates, armed with nothing but empty water pistols, and their team will charge when the command to attack is given. Leaders we want to work for have our trust, which can make us all better.
No matter the environment you are leading, you impact people’s lives. I have been fortunate to see some of the ripple effects of my leadership shared with me years after my actions culminated into waves.
The ripples of my leadership were not simply restricted to the recipient of my leadership but their spouses, children, parents, and friends.
For that reason, I advise leaders to remember: It is not all about the mission at work; what is going on at home is just as important.
A leader needs to know their people and be aware of what is going on behind the scenes.
How well should a leader know their followers? Well enough to know when something isn’t right. When a personal crisis arises, the leader must bring the subordinate into their office and get them to reveal what is really wrong so the leader can help them address the problem.
Yes, out-of-work and family problems are just as crucial as work problems. When your followers see you do this, not just for themselves but for others, they will know you are genuine in your care for them.
Keith Leaphart, DO/MBA
Founder and CEO, Philanthropi
It inspires people to share their ideas
Leadership is about empowering other people and unlocking their potential. My mentor, Gerry Lenfest, empowered me as a leader, and it’s because of him that I was inspired to launch my company.
When you become a leader or find yourself in a leadership role, you have an obligation to help the next person. When people think about how leaders can give back, giving time is just as important.
You can have an impact as a leader by having coffee with a recent graduate or giving someone an opportunity to take on a challenging project.
Leadership is not about telling someone how to do something; it’s about inspiring people to share their ideas. Good leaders bring people together for open conversation.
There’s a multiplier effect when you take the time to mentor people and invest in individuals. When people know that you trust and respect them, they’ll rise to meet high expectations.
Related: How to Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor
As leaders, we’re measuring our success in many different ways, but one area I try to focus on when considering my success as a leader is the number of people I am able to help.
CEO and Founder, Helloprint
Leadership defines the company
Leadership defines how people in a company act, react, mold, and shape a company. But what is modern leadership, and how should it be applied to workers’ desires in the 2022 pre-covid era?
In many ways, modern leadership differs tremendously from the leadership we know from the past. Generation Z and the millennials have taught us to democratize work more than ever, where the old-fashioned hierarchy is almost gone.
Today’s professionals care more about freedom and purpose and the balance between work and life. In many cases, the mantra is “personal goals first, company goals second.” But how should modern leadership apply to this?
It brings change and adapts to the needs of modern times
The covid situation has accelerated the development of new leadership in many ways, which is a positive thing in many ways.
Where many leaders and companies might have seen over the past years that their leadership needed to change to adapt to the needs of the modern workforces, covid has forced them to start acting immediately.
As a result, more companies than ever try to adopt the concept of freedom and responsibility in their leadership styles.
For us, giving absolute freedom to professional people to do their work in the capacity they think will be the most beneficial for the company and themselves is the basis for our philosophy.
Professional people know what to do to thrive, and they are intrinsically motivated to get the best out of their professional lives, as long as you trust them to do this in their own way.
That counts for:
- Where they work
- How many hours they work
- How many holidays they take
- Which device they use
- Many other aspects that define the work methodology
Past leaders tend to fill this in for their employees instead of giving them the freedom to design this themselves. I believe that concept does not lead to the highest outcome and satisfaction.
Modern leadership can create an optimal way of working together
While companies and employees cope with the new reality after covid, it also gives challenges. The pandemic has taught us that giving freedom and responsibility to your employees is, more than ever, an essential part of modern leadership.
But I also think it requires strong leadership and vision to execute properly on it.
Not every company is the same, and not every team is the same, and the way of working in companies should be heavily connected to a company’s culture and its goals.
Therefore, it’s too simplistic to say “all companies should be remote-first” or “all companies should have a hybrid working method.”
Modern leadership is based on trust, responsibility, and freedom, all relating to culture and values.
And based on those elements, modern leaders and their companies can create an optimal way of working together as a co-created way of doing things.
- For some companies, that means that a remote-first or fully remote way of working is the way to go
- For others, a combination
- For others, an office-first or full-office way of working
But you can’t see your office location as an isolated element, there’s more than that, and modern leaders get that it requires vision and communication to find the right approach here.
It molds and shapes the future
Now markets after covid are fully opening up again, competition in the workforce is higher than ever, and people can choose more than ever where they work and what they request in a job.
The war on talent is heavy, but I believe that companies should focus on their identity and differentiated culture.
Young professionals are very picky about where they want to work and how they want to work, and they choose their working life carefully.
Therefore, companies should use their identity to attract the talent that fits the company and be open and transparent about what they look for in someone.
I believe that with a strong and transparent culture, attracting and retaining talent is an organic thing. People want to work for a company that fits their values, and they value transparency and communication. And more than ever, that’s what modern leaders should bring to mold and shape the future.
Founder, Brand Builder University
Without leadership in business, too much will fall on too few
Here are 3 C’s on why I believe leadership is important in business:
Without leadership in business, too much will fall on too few. The only way to grow the impact and the income of a business is by allowing leaders to develop systems and people to create the capacity for that growth.
Many businesses are held back because they are led by operators or practitioners who become their own bottleneck. By developing sound leadership skills, business owners and senior staff can create the capacity to do more than they ever could on their own.
Our rule at our company is that if someone on your team can do a job 80% as well as you, it’s time to hand it over. We constantly remind ourselves that perfection is the enemy of progress, and we have to be willing to allow a slight imperfection to create capacity for growth.
Leaders know what it takes to create a good culture within an organization. An engaging, empowering, and exciting culture within an organization is a significant factor in attracting and retaining high-caliber people, which form the foundations of any successful business.
Attracting and retaining team members is great—getting the best out of them even better.
By developing strong leadership within an organization, businesses can proactively create an environment that team members enjoy and, as a result, produce their best work.
This kind of environment doesn’t happen by accident, only due to good leadership.
Managing Director, Tiger Financial
Leadership has a direct impact on a company’s success or failure
The process of planning and establishing a business is one. But, above all, the most crucial step is to develop strong leadership.
This is critical since strong leadership aids in the expansion of a company’s potential and profits.
On the other hand, weak leadership has an impact on business productivity. They end up losing track of things and weaken their internal system.
Leadership isn’t about ruling the company; it’s about working carefully on all aspects of the business and working for the company’s betterment.
Good leadership determines a company’s tone and how it conducts business. Also, several leadership styles exist; therefore, one style does not fit all businesses.
For various types of businesses, different styles are effective. What matters is that the leaders are constantly monitoring all business activities and keeping all departments on the same sage.
Below are some advantages of having strong and real leadership in a company:
Executes the vision and mission
Businesses must have a clear vision and set goals for themselves right from the start. They must see their company’s future, including how they plan to attract new stakeholders, add new offerings, and where its performance graph is headed.
Also, it’s critical to check in regularly to see if you’re on track to meet your business objectives and, if not, to get back on track.
The real leader ensures that the company is working toward its mission—once it is achieved, it is being sustained.
Actions begin with the initiation of actions
Leaders must develop effective business strategies and implement them immediately. It also means that if their business operations have any flaws, they must take corrective action right once to eliminate any risks or concerns for their company.
Provides direction and guidance
Managers and leaders must be a source of guidance for their subordinates. They must provide them with helpful advice on how to improve their work.
If necessary, they can demonstrate to employees how to do their jobs by providing a practical demonstration. Employees will value and improve their work if they see this kind of leadership support.
Boosts employee self-belief
A group of employees working in various departments managing all work is behind every successful business.
Good leaders ensure that their employees are valued for their hard work and commitment to the company. They want to create a positive working environment where employees feel at ease.
Furthermore, they boost employees’ confidence when faced with challenges, allowing them to maintain their focus.
Provides the needs of the organization
It’s critical to provide employees with the right tools and resources. Leaders ensure that all organizational needs are met to produce high-quality work and keep the business running smoothly.
All of their efforts will be reflected in their business performance in the end.
Content and Marketing Manager, SpeakingNerd
Organizations will be paralyzed without effective leadership
For any business organization, its success and advancement largely depend on the effectiveness of its leadership. From Amazon to Tesla, if we look around, the success of the largest corporations in the world is quite synonymous with the success of their leaders.
How Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, and Mark Zuckerberg have led their businesses to new horizons of success very well explains the importance of effective leadership in business.
These examples of incredibly successful and visionary leaders explain why organizations are ultimately as good as their leadership.
Furthermore, different leaders embrace different leadership styles ranging from transformational leadership to transactional leadership. These different styles of leadership have different implications in terms of the success of the organization.
Clearly, all kinds of leadership styles are not tailored to suit all kinds of business organizations.
Besides, in the contemporary business world, the dynamics of excellent leadership are evolving at a fast pace.
In the modern workplace, leadership traits like:
- Emotional intelligence
- Conflict resolution
have become the key to successful leadership.
As iterated above, successful leadership has an invaluable imperativeness in terms of an organization’s success.
There are quite a few examples of how some ineffective leaders have doomed the most successful businesses. Likewise, there are some incredible success stories of how some extraordinary leaders have revived businesses from the verge of bankruptcy.
To further delve into the significance of efficient leadership, the following points explain how critical leadership is for businesses:
Leadership provides vision
In any organization, the leaders’ vision eventually gives purpose, mission, and direction to a business organization.
This vision is further reflected in the organization’s strategic planning and plays a crucial role in the success of a business. The stronger the vision, the greater will be the success.
Organizations thrive when the leadership excels in:
- Strategic planning
- Establishing key performance indicators
- Finding ways to engage employees
On the contrary, when leaders fail to do so, organizations witness downfalls.
Leaders are role models
Successful leaders lead by example and set conduct, discipline, innovation, and excellence standards. Leaders are often viewed as role models, and diligent employees idolize them and consistently learn from them.
Leadership is the epicenter of problem-solving
The contemporary business world has different unprecedented challenges to navigate. One of the greatest challenges for businesses recently has been to manage the COVID crisis effectively to minimize the negative impacts of the pandemic.
In such situations, leadership plays a crucial role in problem-solving and framing strategies that can help in getting rid of challenges effectively.
Leadership sets accountability
Accountability is one of the most salient work ethics in business, and it needs to be fixed at all levels. What is essential here to understand is that it is the company’s leadership that sets accountability at levels and exhibits the ideal standards of accountability.
Effective leaders are also great mentors
Another critical aspect of business leadership is mentoring. When leaders mentor their team members, it leads to effective learning and development of employees’ capabilities.
Subsequently, not only do employees hone crucial professional skills, but also mentor-mentee relationships promote high trust in the organizations.
Besides, when leaders act as mentors, it leads to high retention and engagement among employees as it promotes a greater sense of belonging.
Also another crucial aspect of leadership is feedback sharing. Great leaders ensure that they share regular and constructive feedback with their employees to optimize overall efficiency.
Leadership is synonymous with experience
In business organizations, leadership brings a great experience onboard. Leaders are seasoned with ample expertise and have great situational awareness that helps organizations thrive in all kinds of business environments.
In all verticals of business operations, the experience of leadership is the key to:
- Setting performance goals
- Reviewing performance
- Optimizing performance for greater success
Leadership is a competitive advantage
It would be absolutely sensible to say that leadership in itself is a core competency or competitive advantage of a company.
For instance, as I mentioned above, Tesla and SpaceX have a tremendous competitive advantage in terms of having a leader like Elon Musk, who has extraordinary leadership qualities.
Not all organizations have leaders like Elon Musk, and subsequently, not all businesses make it as big as Tesla or SpaceX. In fact, besides Elon Musk, there are other great examples of leaders who have been a core competency for their organizations.
The list includes Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, Ratan Tata, Shai Weiss, etc.
Leadership is the fulcrum of an organization
Last but not least, the leadership of an organization is the power center or the pivot of all processes and operations. People in an organization associate more with the leadership than the organization.
Processes in an organization stay mainly streamlined because the leadership acts as a strong power center and ensures coordination and smooth functioning at all levels.
Organizations will be paralyzed without effective leadership as there would be no sense of direction and coordination between operations and procedures.
Just like it is essential for nations to have strong political leaders for prosperity and advancement, business organizations need strong corporate leadership to excel.
Founder, Daily Profit Cycle
It boosts output and assists a business in achieving its goals
I believe leadership is a critical managerial job. It boosts output and assists a business in achieving its goals.
Good leadership is characterized by:
- The ability to influence others
Leaders need to be able to glimpse into the future and motivate their staff to work toward that goal.
First and foremost, leaders aid in the development of their staff.
Learning new talents in the job is becoming more common. Teams are often encouraged to participate in team-building activities to improve their relationships with coworkers in their departments and around the company.
Encouragement, recognition, and participation in key decision-making processes are all ways leaders may motivate their employees. Leaders can recognize and encourage the efforts of their subordinates to enhance their work.
Open lines of communication and constant dialogue are hallmarks of great leaders.
- It’s beneficial for employees to have good working relationships because they build trust and drive them to do their best work.
- Customers become loyal to companies whose executives foster a culture of customer satisfaction.
- When it comes to customer service, a good manager knows how to find and train the proper people. They do their job well.
Due to a problematic leader’s poor behavior and consequently lesser profitability, employees will have terrible customer interactions.
Customers’ expectations must be met or exceeded only if leaders give their frontline employees the authority and resources they need. It’s essential to keep in mind that a strong leader is always willing to help their team members out.
President, Summer Friday
It empowers others
Humble leaders do more than defer credit; they give permission for others to run free and earn rewards independently. They are inclusive in their ownership of significant decisions and relationships, which, in turn, builds loyalty and connectivity.
Ego-driven leaders often have a hard time recognizing their own vulnerability and have generally been taught, by legacy corporate cultures, to be disingenuous to project authority. To always project power and control as if others will buy into a myth of professional omniscience.
It isn’t necessarily malicious. In fact, there is ample research on how our own insecurities are not in sync with the expectations of others.
For example, many feel that in meeting settings, when asked a difficult question, it is incredibly negative not to have the instant, correct answer on hand.
People race to respond and inadvertently become flustered or corner themselves in misinformation. Research shows that taking a beat and acting with poise, even if your response is “I’m not entirely sure, but I know how to find out.”
This response is a simple example of positive vulnerability. It reverberates through a culture and creates a safe, trust-based environment when demonstrated from the top.
Toxic cultures repress this as the ego takes over, and they can be blinded by it. They often think that humility comes through simply employing people. They provide jobs and livings for many, and that may equate in their mind to generosity.
What is overwhelmingly clear to me is that when people find themselves in positions of leadership but may not be qualified or prepared to succeed, they often pretend or overcompensate to preserve their reputation, which can have incredibly toxic consequences for the individual and the team at large.
I believe that you can recognize an authentically humble leader because their primary concern is empowering others. And yes, empowering others also have selfish motives.
Having a more independent, loyal, and content team means that leaders have more:
- Clients are happier
- New team members are homegrown more efficiently
That often translates directly to the bottom line. I can see no reason to be dishonest about this or any other aspect of management practice. And that honesty is refreshing to everyone who experiences it.
Vice President of Growth, AdQuick
Effective leadership ensures that organizational objectives are carried out
As the late General Colin Powell once said, “As a leader, you set the tone for your entire team.” And in business, leaders set the tone for the whole company and how customers perceive your brand.
More and more consumers are looking to engage with brands online before they buy, as a brand’s ethical values and authenticity often drive their purchasing decisions.
And effective leadership ensures that organizational objectives are carried out in accordance with its vision and mission. For this reason, it’s increasingly important that what your business stands for is transparent.
A leader with integrity seeks success by:
- Being honest
- Maintaining high standards
- Committing to a purpose that benefits the greater good
It’s leading by your sense of true north to propel your business forward.
This behavior creates an ethical culture within an organization. And it develops a healthy relationship between employers and employees, enabling all team members to flourish and be more productive in their roles.
Integrity in business aligns your principles with the company’s values. And it’s that authenticity that:
- Builds trust with customers
- Increases sales
- Boosts customer advocacy
Digital Marketing Director, Royal Cleaning
Leadership is important because no business can run effectively on auto-pilot
It is often the organization’s leadership skills that make or break a business. And understandably so, given that the leaders set the direction for employees to follow:
- They keep the team together
- Inspire them to be more productive
- Manage conflicts
- Stimulate people to help grow the business
Famous author, John Maxwell wrote that “the single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development.”
We only have to look at the effects of the recent global pandemic to see this in action. All businesses were hit unprepared by the COVID-19 crisis, but organizations with good leaders dealt with it better than others.
Good leadership enabled organizations to keep their talents from leaving their doors at the height of the Great Resignation. Good leaders helped their employees stay productive despite the challenges of transitioning to hybrid work.
They managed to mitigate the mental health issues of their workers and helped make return-to-office more convenient for their workforce. It is apt to say that companies lose out on their human capital without good leadership.
Marketing Director, Diggity Marketing
It eliminates conflicts and helps employees work harmoniously
It is inevitable to have conflicts when working together. There will be multiple people with different visions, different ideas, and different approaches in a team.
Of course, it’s typical for them to try convincing everyone why theirs is better. Some people might not be accepting of the fact that their ideas are not prioritized.
To not have a conflict in such situations would be rare. Such conflicts often lead to teams falling apart or not being efficient at their work.
A lot of times, it ends with employees blaming each other if the final result isn’t what they wanted. It also affects all future tasks that some employees might need to work on together.
Such a work environment is toxic even for those not involved in the conflicts but have to work with those who are.
There has to be someone who would look at such situations without any bias. Reaching a conclusion that everyone agrees with is difficult and quite impossible if it’s done by the ones involved in the conflict.
Eliminating conflicts and helping employees work harmoniously is one of the essential aspects of leadership. Harmonious functioning is necessary for a business to reach its goals, and this is why leadership is vital in business.
Leadership provide a sense of direction and purpose
It is essential to have leaders in any business. Leadership provides a sense of direction and purpose in the workplace by providing clear instructions on what needs to be done.
Leaders guide the employees on what they should do and provide the necessary tools, such as the equipment required to get the job done.
It makes sure quality work is done
By delegating tasks and responsibilities, leaders can track the progress of the work being done and make the necessary modifications to ensure that there is quality work.
Leaders are also a source of motivation for the employees, which is very important. The more motivated the employees feel through being appreciated and mentored, the more quality work they will be willing to give.
Leaders are also significant in ensuring teamwork at the workplace by leading by example. A leader who is more willing to listen to the employees’ opinions and encourages them to work as a team sets a good pace of teamwork spirit that everyone then embraces.
Related: Real Life Examples of Teamwork
Therefore, investing in good leadership skills at the workplace is crucial since it reflects on the quality of work that is done.
Solid leadership withstands the internal and external obstacles
Collaborative leaders will be in high demand in 2022. To recruit top talent, CEOs and business leaders should shift from dictatorial leadership to community thought processes in 2022.
People need to feel like they are more than just dollars to their boss when they feel they contribute to something larger than themselves. Workplace policies and procedures are critical to employees, and they want to be heard.
I do not mean to imply that employees are trying to dominate the work environment. Quite the opposite, many employees are not interested in leadership positions; they simply want to be involved in the discussion.
Another key aspect of a successful leadership approach in business is “situational leadership.” This is predicated upon the notion that each individual and task deserves a unique approach.
In short, micro-management may work well within an office setting. Yet, in today’s ever-increasing hybrid world, giving enough latitude to build trust and develop is necessary and involves delegating from a macro perspective.
Great leaders are:
- Strongly suited to adaptability
- Well-versed in coaxing any conversation
- Stable enough to remain authentic while upholding an authoritative tone at all times
A manager can learn to develop these traits by:
- Being a listener as much as a speaker
- Evaluating the temperaments of their team members as much as the quality of the work assigned
Ultimately, any business that wants to grow and scale accordingly needs solid leadership to withstand the internal and external obstacles each day.
Managing Director, The Navio Group
Strong leadership is the greatest differentiator to building businesses that stand the test of time
Leadership is the biggest difference between any business over the long run. It is often underestimated, though, because it is so complicated to measure the impact of strong leadership.
How do you measure the impact of hundreds of small (and some large decisions) over the course of the year? How do you measure the value of building strong teams throughout a large organization?
Given how fast business is changing and technology upending many businesses, strong leadership is the greatest differentiator to building businesses that stand the test of time.
Great leaders know how to keep their employees happy, engaged, and productive by demonstrating empathy.
The pandemic and working from home created new worries and concerns for employees. Balancing work and life became even more challenging.
Great leaders not only recognize this but also show employees they care about their health and welfare outside the workday. This can be done by scheduling:
- Fewer Zoom meetings
- Instituting no e-mails after 6 pm
- Creating new benefits programs that address the needs of their employees, particularly child and eldercare
Great leaders understand the needs of their employees to keep them engaged, productive, and healthy and prevent them from joining the Great Resignation and seeking to work at companies that are more responsive to their needs.
National Independent Life Insurance Agent, Insurance For Burial
Leadership builds the overall morale in the workplace
Leaders get their hands dirty. A strong leader leads by example, walks the walk, and gets into the work while leading. This creates an atmosphere of strong work ethic, grit, and the leader’s vision for the company is shared among all who work with and for them.
Another reason leadership is so important in business is the overall morale in the workplace.
A strong leader leads with enthusiasm, positive affirmations, and team meetings to start the day. A strong leader reminds everyone what the goals are and the visions for the future.
A good and strong leader will communicate with all to ensure that everyone in their company is:
- Doing what they need to do
- Asking them what they need to do their job effectively
- Ensuring everyone is on the same page daily
Leadership handles efficiency and human need in the workplace
Leadership can sometimes be more difficult than management because it frequently involves a combination of personal and impersonal problems.
Most leaders manage their employees; they don’t lead, which often leads to not being after the satisfaction and well-being of their employees.
Ask yourself this question: “Do my employees enjoy working with me?“
Leadership entails accomplishing desired objectives through others while also imitating the path for employees to follow for them to be effective contributors, leaders, and brand ambassadors for the business.
Leaders can achieve this by:
- Setting explicit behavioral and success expectations.
- Connecting the team to the mission on a regular basis.
- Recognize and reward your employees for every small win.
- Providing regular feedback and training on career development.
For a business to be successful, leadership development is key to creating leadership that can handle both efficiency and human need in the workplace.
Co-Founder, Authority Hacker
Leadership brings great ideas together
As individuals and even as part of departmental teams, most businesses generally have talented employees. The problem is that without great leadership, the ideas and work of these individuals and teams rarely come together in one cohesive form.
For example, let’s imagine you have the best graphic design team in the industry. They can work autonomously without much leadership input and consistently produce great work.
But what’s the point in that if their work doesn’t match your brand’s product? Or maybe it can’t be used in marketing because they’ve failed to meet the requirements of the ad platform you’re using. You get the picture.
Great leadership takes all these individual things and turns them into a fantastic cohesive result. Without it, you end up with one big mess that just doesn’t go together well at all.
CEO and Founder, Public Rec
Leadership can make or break workspace operations
An effective team leader recognizes the independent talents of each member of their team. Pair your team members to complement one another’s strengths, weaknesses, and experience levels to optimize the team’s effectiveness.
Play to your team’s individual strengths. If one staff member is an excellent communicator, they should inhabit a role that facilitates those skills.
This way, you are always empowering your team members to bring their assets to your business.
Too often, managerial initiatives get lost in the chain of communication. To have the best-performing employees, you need to explain the strategy behind the tactics of executive leadership down to the foundational staff.
Management needs to balance the directives of their supervisors with their bandwidth to best manage and direct the team under their care.
That said, leadership can make or break workspace operations. Cohesive leaders share the strategy behind the tactics of everyday work so that every employee is on the same page about what everyone is working towards.
It ensures a business maintains its culture and core values
It is the role of a business leader to steer the company in a way that ensures it maintains its vision, values, and culture. If a leader supports and acts according to the company culture, the employees are naturally compelled to emulate them.
A business leader also provides a sense of purpose, vision, and inspiration. They have a tremendous influence on the company culture, and their leadership abilities can make or break it.
Leadership acts as a guide toward embracing diversity
The willingness of an organization to embrace diversity is dependent on the leadership offered by the company’s management.
Diversity is important because it enriches a company’s culture and can attract top talent, making it crucial for any organization. The company leadership is in charge of implementing an inclusion policy to help the company reap the potential benefits of diversity.
Good leaders can even demonstrate diversity by implementing it within their ranks.
Co-Founder, Academia Labs LLC
Leadership makes businesses stay in the industry for a long time
A good leader has a long-term vision and attention to detail. While most leaders will just work with minute inefficiencies in their workflow, an intelligent entrepreneur will look at the details and ensure that their process is at its optimum and highly efficient.
A successful business leader ensures that their workflow produces the maximum output with their energy input.
Leaders who understand how small inefficiencies can become exponentially compounded as the company continues to grow is a skill that is needed in the business. Too much tearing down and rebuilding the business model may lead to its collapse.
A business owner should also be highly organized and willing to invest in the process, especially at the start.
Investing heavily in optimizing the process will do away with any inefficiencies that are sometimes only evident as the company is growing. Hence, investing heavily during the start of the company will solve this problem.
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