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10 Key Leadership Qualities for Today's Entrepreneur

David Javitch |

5. The successful leader creates the atmosphere that encourages others to grow and thrive:

Know that no one individual possesses all of the answers. By appreciating the role that motivational techniques can play in improving employee performance, you can work with others to increase organizational productivity and improve individual job satisfaction. Here are some tips on how to create a motivational atmosphere:

• Ask people their opinion rather than telling them yours.

• When people ask you for solutions, have them come up with answers or options rather than telling them the best way to resolve a situation. Discuss the merits of their views and how to make them successful.

• Provide positive feedback when employees voice their opinions. Offer suggestions or try to resolve challenges. Reinforcing behavior on your part will encourage more spontaneity, thinking and innovation on their part.

• Ask questions, even when you don’t know the answer. Ask employees challenging questions that encourage them to think, plan and react. Above all, encourage employees to challenge themselves.

• Encourage employees to take appropriate risks. Support them when they do and also when the outcome of risk-taking isn’t positive. In those cases, evaluate what went wrong and encourage other, more appropriate risks.

6. The successful leader manages by walking around:
By getting out of the office and walking around the department, plant or building to interact with other employees, you get an opportunity to see people on the line doing daily tasks. Create an opportunity to informally chat with employees and learn something more about their work challenges and lives.

7. The successful leader acts and reacts in an honest manner:
Authors and creators of The Leadership Challenge program Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner report that honesty is the No. 1 characteristic of superior leaders. Honest leaders easily build trust and confidence. Their employees are more apt to work harder, ask questions and respect leaders who come across as honest. Employees will also accept critiques, whether positive or negative, from leaders they trust and believe.

8. The successful leader creates and fosters a learning environment:
Recognize that increased knowledge, more job experience and challenging different mind-sets increases worker satisfaction, motivation and productivity. Frequently encourage others to think outside-the-box and see issues from alternate perspectives.

9. The successful leader perseveres:
Don’t deflect from achieving goals simply because obstacles exist or no answer is readily available. Continue in your pursuit of excellence despite barriers and criticism, and encourage the same attitude in others.

10. The successful leader shares successes:
Know that positive outcomes are rarely the result of only one person’s attempts or input. A self-confident entrepreneur shares the limelight and accolades with others who contributed to the final product or service.