7 Characteristics of a Good Business Leader

In life, many of us are born to follow and take orders, while others are born to lead. If you fall into the latter category, you’ll likely want a career that allows you to take charge and guide others towards success. For those in the business sector, there are certain traits and values that business leaders must possess in order to perform their roles sufficiently. 

Whether it’s being an excellent communicator or considering other people’s viewpoints, here are some of the key characteristics that all business leaders should have in their skillset.

Effective Communication

If you’ve been tasked with leading others in your team, it’s vital that you’re able to communicate effectively. No matter how big or small the project or task is, each member of the team needs to know where they stand within the situation from start to finish, allowing them to do their job to the best of their ability. As a business leader, you must know how to get your message across so that your team doesn’t make any mistakes.

Effective communication is critical for building relationships within the team, meaning you can all work seamlessly together. Once employees get to know you and trust what you say, this will ensure the project stays on track.

Active Listening

While business leaders should trust their own judgment, you must listen to what your team has to say. If an employee comes to you with any concerns or ideas, you must consider their views and try and see the situation from another angle.

Active listening skills help to build rapport and trust between employer and employee, so showing respect and appreciation towards your team can go a long way. If an employee sees that you’re listening to them, they’re far less likely to leave the job and go elsewhere. 

Time Management

Business leaders must be experts when it comes to time management. When set a deadline, it’s your responsibility to deliver the work on time and to an acceptable standard. Clients won’t be happy if the project isn’t finished on time, so you must be organised from the beginning which will heavily reduce the risk of anything going wrong.

When leading a team, it’s vital that you instil the importance of working to a strict deadline. Employees need to stay productive and on the ball at all times, otherwise things can spiral out of control and result in delays. Another reason why time management is so important is that it allows you to prioritise your work tasks better. If you’re in charge, there will be all kinds of duties you’ll be expected to perform simultaneously. It may be worth looking into an Aston University MBA that can teach you the importance of time management. 


Many business leaders of today had to climb the career ladder to get to where they wanted to be. If this rings true to your situation, you will be able to sympathise with your team, especially as you will have been in their shoes and understand what they’re going through. Some business leaders begin to lose touch and a sense of reality which causes breakdowns in communication and will affect the way you perform your job. 

Having compassion and empathy for your team can make all the difference. Showing that you care about your team’s emotional wellbeing will help them feel more comfortable in your presence. Should there be a problem, your employees will be more likely to come to you for help.


Before any project or task gets underway, all business leaders must delegate roles responsibly. There is no room for mistakes, so it’s your duty to ensure every member of the team is happy and satisfied with what is expected of them. Effective delegation takes time and skill, so you must get to know your employees’ strengths and weaknesses so you can determine who will excel in what field.

In some instances, it can be worth loosening the reins a little and handing over more responsibility to some members of the team. The last thing business leaders should do is take on too much work themselves. No matter what, you need to trust your employees and be confident in their abilities.


As well as being confident in your team, you need to be confident in yourself. To be taken seriously in the business world, you need to show employees that you’re prepared for any eventuality and know how to hold your own. If you don’t portray a confident demeanour, your team may not feel you’re right for the job. However, be warned that there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance.

Confidence allows you to speak more concisely and will make people take notice, so whether you’re engaging with employees, clients, or customers, being able to convey your message clearly and with clarity is essential. 


All business leaders need to be passionate about what they do. If you wake up in the morning and dread going to work, this will show in your way of thinking and behaviour. Most leaders thrive from being in their role, giving them the chance to motivate and guide their team through the good and the bad. 

Having passion shows that you’re dedicated to your craft and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. In business, there are obstacles that can present themselves with little to no notice, so it’s your job to persevere through any challenge and come out the other side. When you’re passionate about your job, you will work tirelessly to ensure the business stays a success. If there ever comes a point where you’re not happy in your role, it may be time to look for something else. 

Before entering any business leadership role, learning and developing all the skills above will increase your chances of securing your dream role. Whether you plan to work for an existing business or prefer to work for yourself, there are tons of transferable skills that you must obtain which will create a great first impression for employees, customers, and clients.