Leadership is a topic often spoken about but rarely perfected. Anyone at the helm of a business wants to be a great leader, but often the day-to-day challenges, fears and intricacies of running a business can distract from what it means to really lead a team.
Micromanaging, failure to make your team feel appreciated and valued, and damaging your business culture by hiring the wrong talent are some of the most common areas where leadership falls down.
Being a CEO doesn’t necessarily equate to being a leader – it doesn’t come automatically with the title. Great leadership takes vision, courage, integrity, humility, focus and the ability to plan strategically, communicate it well and the ability to motivate and inspire your team.
As the founder of 8 wine businesses and CEO of ASX listed Digital Wine Ventures, I’ve spent many years learning, through trial and error, what it takes to be the kind of leader that drives a business into the next stage of growth, bringing ideas into reality and preparing for industry disruption and change. Great CEO’s find and maintain the best talent, take calculated risks, network and ultimately remain passionate about the next phase of growth.
Here are my 5 top qualities of a successful CEO:
1. Take responsibility
It is always important to take full responsibility for your business and team. Never blame anyone or anything, just accept what has happened, apologise and do your best to make good.
2. Present with confidence and lead by example
While there is something to be said for transparency and certainly authenticity – there will always be ups and downs in any business. Keeping a brave face when things aren’t so good behind the scenes is essential to maintaining motivation and positive energy with your team.
The moment your staff sense fear, panic or even concern in the CEO, it spreads like wildfire through a business and can cause irreparable damage. Lead by example, project a positive attitude and always look into the future (not dwell in the past).
3. Make space for the right talent
To be a great CEO you need to have an amazing team to support you. This also means letting go team members who aren’t the right fit, to make way for the ones who are.
4. Take calculated risks
Having a vision and being unafraid of taking the steps to make it a reality, sets great leaders apart.
5. Build and maintain relationships
All business requires relationship building and trust. Communicate clearly, consistently and with conviction. Understand and address your stakeholders needs and deliver on your promises to build lasting relationships. Look at what value you can add to those around you and keep showing up!
Dean Taylor is the CEO of Digital Wine Ventures (ASX:DW8) and founder of WINEDEPOT