Characteristics of a Great Business Leader – The most important resource for any company is its people. From the temporary interns all the way up to the CEO, it is the people that determine whether or not a business can be successful. But the entire culture of a company comes down to its leadership.

Great leaders can drive a business toward success, though success can be defined in a lot of ways. Is it all about profitability? Is it about maximizing resources? Is employee retention the goal? If a great culture has been built within a business, does that define success? If the business can expand its services or buy out a competitor, is that proof of success?

When you are a key decision-maker at your company, how you choose to lead will be a strong indicator of the brand’s potential for growth. While every individual is unique, there are some characteristics that can make a great business leader.


Being a consistent leader with well-defined principles is one of the most positive characteristics that an individual can have. When the people who work for you have an idea of what to expect based on who you are as a person, they will have more trust in your direction. Even simple things like understanding the company’s procedural policies can make it easy to trust you when what you say and how you act aligns with the company’s policies and cultural intentions.

Being Open to Learning

The greatest leaders are people who are open-minded and willing to accept that they are not at the peak of human intelligence. This is why a team can be so much more effective than an individual. A team is made up of individuals with different strengths and skill sets that can complement the others. There is always more that each person can learn. As a leader at your company, being open to learning is a positive trait that will serve you going forward. First, it shows your employees that you will not have a dictatorial presence where it is your way or the highway. If you can accept the thoughts and opinions of others, and even admit when they have a better solution, then you are operating with an open mind.

Having a Personal Stake in the Company

Caring about the company is not the same thing as leading it. Not every executive has a personal stake in the company that they are leading. When you truly care about the business growing and thriving, you will invest in its success in ways that others may not. You could work with a business leadership development group that helps with operational planning to improve the culture of the company and maximize its resources. Investing in the company by building up your skills and developing the skills of your team members can propel the company forward as a whole.

Focus on Employee Retention Over Recruitment

High turnover is a recipe for inconsistency within a company. Plus, it is far more expensive to hire new employees rather than keep old ones. You will lose a lot of time in training and onboarding processes for new employees which can result in lost resources. Instead, if you build a company culture that is attractive and makes people love to work there, then you can have a far more productive workforce. When employees feel valued for their contributions and their individuality, they are more inclined to stay. You can create this atmosphere by having a clear structure for advancement, regular celebrations of your employees, and encouraging personal development. The stronger your company culture is, the more likely you will be to retain employees and improve the strength of this crucial resource.


Another characteristic of a great business leader is approachability. This does not mean that you need to be best buddies with every employee at the company. What it DOES mean is that people are not afraid to come to you with ideas. It goes back to being open-minded. Are you open to seeing things from the perspective of someone else and deciding that they are right, especially if they are under your authority? When people do not feel too intimidated to approach management, then ideas and innovation can flow freely.

What is Your Leadership Style?

These characteristics are open to many personalities and leadership styles. You do not have to fit into this perfect box of one style of leadership in order to exhibit these traits. Being a great leader in business is all about understanding your role within the company and how you can improve while carrying out the responsibilities on your shoulders. If you can be consistent, open to learning, invested in the company’s success, focused on employee retention, and approachable, then you have all the characteristics that can make a great leader.