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Why is Strong Leadership Important to Run a Successful Business?

Published: March 5, 2024

Published: March 5, 2024

a strong male corporate leader

In the business world, strong leadership is not a mere luxury; it is an absolute necessity. A good leader provides a guiding vision, embodies the goals and aspirations of the organization, and charts a course toward success. Their vision should serve as a rallying point for the entire company, creating a sense of shared purpose that can unify the workforce.

Being a strong leader can be challenging, but also very rewarding. Below, we look at the hallmarks of good leadership and how you can become a visionary leader yourself.

a corporate leader seated in a conference room

What is the Definition of Leadership?

Leadership is the process by which an individual guides or influences a group toward the achievement of goals. It involves establishing a clear vision; sharing that vision with others so they follow willingly; providing the information, knowledge, and methods to realize that vision; and coordinating and balancing the conflicting interests of all members and stakeholders.

Besides being a visionary, a leader must also have solid management skills. They will guide organizations through turbulent times with decisive action and strategic foresight; set the tone for corporate culture; nurture their employees while creating a pipeline for new talent; build relationships with customers, suppliers, and investors; and ensure that the company is achieving its goals. 

At the apex of a business organization’s hierarchy stands the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or the business owner. This individual bears the crucial responsibility of charting the company’s strategic direction. In smaller organizations, the CEO may be the only leader, but in larger organizations, they are aided by a variety of others. 

Top-level managers can hold titles like Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Marketing, or Vice President of Research and Development. These leaders are responsible for setting strategic goals for the functional areas they oversee and ensuring that their groups’ operations align with the company’s overarching vision.

Middle Managers also hold a crucial role in organizational productivity. Comprised of titles like General Manager, Plant Manager, Regional Manager, and Division Manager, these leaders are responsible for executing the strategies set by top-level management. They oversee first-line workers and report results up the hierarchy. They play a key role in planning, resource allocation, and implementing organizational policies.

What Skills Do Great Leaders Use?

No matter the leader’s title, the role requires a diverse set of soft and hard skills that enable them to manage people, resources, and strategies to effectively guide their team toward success. Some of the most important skills aspiring leaders should master include the following:

  • Visionary Thinking: Leaders must have the ability to create and communicate a clear vision for the future of the organization. 
  • Strategic Planning: Effective leaders need to develop strategies that move the organization toward its goals. This involves understanding market dynamics, setting objectives, and outlining actionable plans.
  • Problem-Solving: Leaders are often faced with challenges that require quick and effective resolutions. They need to be analytical and creative in their approach to solving problems.
  • Emotional Intelligence: The capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically, is crucial for leadership.
  • Communication: Effective leaders must be able to clearly articulate ideas, listen actively, and engage in meaningful conversations with stakeholders at all levels.
  • Delegation: Effective delegation involves assigning the right tasks to the right people and trusting them to complete the job. This allows leaders to focus on critical issues and empowers team members.
  • Adaptability: The business environment is constantly changing, and leaders must be flexible and adaptable to navigate these changes successfully.
  • Integrity: Trust is the foundation of leadership. Leaders must be honest, ethical, and reliable in all their dealings to earn the respect and trust of their team.
  • Financial Acumen: Understanding financial metrics and how to use them for strategic decision-making is important, especially for those in the highest levels of leadership.
  • Mentorship and Development: A strong leader invests in the development of their team members, providing guidance and opportunities to grow professionally.

These skills are not innate, but they can be developed over time with experience, education, and self-reflection. Great leaders often engage in continual learning and self-improvement to hone these skills throughout their careers.

How to Become a Better Leader?

Education plays a critical role in skill development. This can include leadership training programs, workshops, seminars, and conferences that focus on key competencies like strategic thinking, communication, and change management. Additionally, pursuing higher education, such as an MBA or industry-specific qualifications, can provide valuable knowledge and a broader perspective on business leadership.

UoPeople offers a variety of educational options for aspiring leaders. Both the Associate and Bachelor’s degrees in business administration focus on the core competencies of leadership, while our Master’s of Business Administration is well-known to help advance your career. If you don’t want to undertake a degree program, UoPeople also offers convenient certificate programs that are perfect for adult workers looking to upskill. In particular, our Certificate in Strategy gives students a solid foundation in strategic business methods, business management, accounting, marketing, and economic theory in as little as four months.

Aside from education, experience is also an effective teacher. Managers can take on new projects, accept challenging assignments, or lead cross-functional teams to stretch their capabilities and apply their learning in practical settings. These experiences can be within your current role, through lateral moves, or by seeking out stretch assignments that require you to step out of your comfort zone.

Feedback is essential for growth, and managers should seek it regularly from superiors, peers, and direct reports. Constructive feedback provides insight into how others perceive their leadership and offers guidance on how to improve. Moreover, mentoring relationships, whether acting as a mentor or having one, can provide valuable insights and advice that contribute to leadership development.

a group of corporate leaders

What Impact can Solid Leadership Have on a Business?

Companies with strong leadership at their core often experience a multitude of business benefits that contribute to their success and longevity. 

A leader who sets a clear, compelling vision for the future can ensure every decision made is aligned with the company’s objectives. Moreover, strong leadership fosters an organizational culture that is conducive to high performance. Leaders who exhibit integrity and transparency cultivate trust within the workforce, leading to a more committed and satisfied team. 

The ripple effect of strong leadership extends beyond the internal workings of a company to its external stakeholders as well. Companies with strong leaders often enjoy better reputations, which can attract top talent, loyal customers, and discerning investors. A leader’s ability to communicate effectively and forge meaningful relationships can lead to fruitful partnerships and expanded business opportunities. 

Furthermore, in times of crisis, strong leaders are invaluable, as they can provide the steadiness and direction needed to steer the company through turbulent times. Such resilience not only preserves the company’s current standing but can also position it to capitalize on the post-crisis landscape, turning potential threats into new avenues for growth.

Strong leadership catalyzes an organization’s success, fostering a culture of excellence, steering it through challenges, and positioning it for future growth. It is the cornerstone of a resilient, dynamic, and prosperous business.

When you choose to embrace the challenge of leadership, you can make a significant impact not just within your organization but in the wider business landscape. Through education and experience, you can become a leader who not only dreams of a better future but who also has the skills and determination to make it a reality.