What makes a GREAT business leader?

Unlocking the Secrets: What Makes a Great Business Leader?

The success of any business relies heavily on effective leadership. If you’re wondering what makes a great business leader, look no further. In this blog, we’ll explore the key qualities and strategies commonly associated with successful leaders in today’s business world. Whether you’re a seasoned executive or an aspiring leader, our tips can help you develop your own leadership skills and become an effective and influential business leader.

The primary purpose of M2MD, our group for Managing Directors, CEOs, General Managers,  Managing Partners and now a limited number of third sector leaders, is to help our members to be inspiring leaders on the basis the inspiring leadership leads to improved business performance.

I was therefore interested to come across a well written paper by Whitehead Mann, the executive headhunting firm.  Although their focus is clearly the Chief Executive of the listed company, I believe the comments they make apply to all business leaders, and with the exception of a couple of financial aspects to the leader of any organisation, including third sector leaders such as the Head Teacher of a large school, the Chief Executive of a Housing Association or the Chief Executive of a Charity.

Three factors that I believe contribute to a leader being a great leader are having a clear and inspiring vision, always behaving with integrity and recruiting, retaining and developing other great people. In my ten years as a Managing Director and Chief Executive of Medium sized businesses and longer period as a SME Managing Director and General Manager I’ve tried to behave in this way, and the Whitehead Mann paper says much the same.  They list ten ‘X Factors’ competencies that their research suggests are needed to go ‘from Good to Great’ and I’ve summarised them below for your benefit:

A great business leader …

has a vision of where the company is going, not just of the next year’s financials

delivers financial performance, appreciating this is always necessary – but alone is not sufficient

recruits, retains and motivates other talented people

is smart

has an eye for detail without losing sight of the bigger picture

has a realistic view concerning time-frames

has integrity

is not afraid to stamp their own style on an organisation

has energy and resilience

understands that there is no single model

Written by Bob Bradley, founder of MD2MD