Hello and welcome back to the Skills 360 podcast. I’m you’re host, Tim Simmons, and today we’re going to continue our look at the 10 key characteristics of the successful business leader. And just like last time, we’re going to match these qualities to useful words or phrases that you can use in your everyday work life.
To begin, I want you to imagine you’re called to an emergency meeting to talk about a crisis. Like there’s a big project to finish and you’re short-staffed. One person says “oh no, this is never going to get done.” Another person says “This happens all the time and it drives me nuts.” But this is not what the good business leader says. The good business leader starts by saying “how about…” As in: “how about bringing staff over from another department for a couple of weeks.” And what does this show? It shows that you are solution-minded. When problems arise, and problems always arise, you can’t moan and complain. You have to think of solutions.
Being solution-minded is related to another quality of a good businessperson: optimism. A great man once said “if you plant potatoes, don’t be surprised if you get potatoes.” Now, you might not be in the farming business, but what this means is that if you think and talk negatively, you get negative results. But if you think and talk positively, then you get positive results. And the key expression here is “I believe.” So when your colleague says “is this going to work?” You say “Yes. I believe it will work.” Others might not believe. They may be filled with doubt and pessimism. But optimism will see you over many hurdles that will force the pessimist to give up.
Of course, thinking positively means keeping your eye on the prize, even when the prize isn’t right in front of you. A wise business leader can see that prize miles away. He says, “in the future…” to help people overcome the present. This is what we call “vision,” or the ability to imagine what success looks like down the road. In fact, how can you know which road to take if you don’t even know what the ultimate destination is? Well, we ask the people with vision, the people who say “in the future…”
Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about overcoming problems, and how optimism, vision and being solution-minded can help us do that. But there are a couple of other qualities that you may need. One of them is the ability to say “no.” Not “maybe”, or “maybe not”, or “let’s think about that”, or “well, I’m not sure.” I mean just a plain and direct “no.” Sometimes people come up with bad ideas, ideas that clearly won’t get you to where you need to go. And while sometimes you need to be diplomatic about things, at other times you need decisiveness. And that means saying “no” when you think “no”.
The road to success can be bumpy, as we all know. And if you ask successful entrepreneurs and business leaders how they got where they are, they will have a lot of different answers. And they’ll show the qualities we’ve mentioned in different amounts. Jack might be more diplomatic than Helen. But Helen might be more visionary than Jack. However, there is one quality that absolutely every successful business person displays. And this quality relates to a phrase that these people think and use all the time. That phrase is “yes, we can.” And what it shows is determination. You can’t be on the fence about success. You have to be all-in and 100% determined to make it. And every organization is led by people like this, who can persuade everyone through the strength of their determination that “yes, we can.”
So, can you? Do you have what it takes to be a successful business leader? Are you solution-minded, optimistic, visionary, decisive, and determined?
That’s all for today. So long. And see you again soon.