Essential Skills and Attributes for Business Leaders – As a business owner, there are various skills and attributes that you will need in order to succeed. This is a unique role quite unlike any other, and it is vital that you possess the right skills and attributes; otherwise, it will be extremely challenging no matter how great your business idea is. While some people seem to naturally possess these skills and attributes and take to business leadership like a duck to water, many do not, but the good news is that many of these can be developed over time or with the best online MBA programs. With this in mind, here are a few of the main skills and attributes that you will need in order to succeed.

Business Intelligence

Obviously, you must possess business intelligence to develop strategy, manage teams, overcome problems, and corporate growth. An MBA program is the best way to develop business intelligence and will teach you all that you need to know to start and run a successful modern company. You will want to research the best online MBA programs to find an MBA program that will be a good fit for you and teach you all that you need to know to succeed. The best online MBA programs will also provide great flexibility with your studies, which could allow you to juggle study with work and/or building your company.

Vision and Passion

Vision is incredibly important as a business owner as you must be able to look ahead and see exactly what you want for the business. Otherwise, it can be hard to develop strategy and keep the ship sailing in the right direction even with a qualification from the best online MBA programs. On top of this, passion is incredibly important not only for keeping yourself motivated but also for motivating stakeholders and helping them to “buy-in” to your vision – no business owner can do it alone, so you need to be able to bring others on board and get them to share your vision.

Ability to Build Teams

Following on from this, you must also possess the ability to build the right team for your business operation. Every successful business is driven by a team that is hardworking, passionate, and driven, and the key to achieving this is making sure that you are bringing in people that will be a good fit and with complementary skillsets. It is helpful if you are able to bring in both experience and youth and formulate teams that will work well together.

Ability to Develop Teams

In addition to building teams, a good business leader will also understand the importance and value of developing teams. Not only will this help to improve the abilities of your team and take the business forward, but it will also help to keep staff happy and engaged. Without this, you could lose your most driven staff that want to progress their career, so you need to allow them to grow within your company with training, role variation, extra responsibilities, and promoting from within.

Create an Enjoyable Culture

The workplace culture will also have an enormous impact on your team and, in turn, the success of the company. When employees enjoy coming to work each day, get along with their coworkers, and get job satisfaction, it will always help the company and create a productive atmosphere in the workplace. This can be achieved by creating a comfortable and productive office space, encouraging communication, positive feedback, team-building events, and perks.

Ability to Delegate

When you have a great team at your disposal, you need to be able to take advantage of this and trust them with the work. Many business owners make the mistake of trying to retain too much control and take on too much work themselves, which could both slow the operation down as well as frustrate staff. Instead, you need to learn how to delegate, avoid micromanaging and place trust in your team. While you should certainly trust and encourage autonomy, it is also important that you make yourself available for support if needed and provide regular feedback.

Leadership Skills

Obviously, you need leadership skills if you are to find success as a business owner. There is a great leader at the helm of all successful businesses as this is how you guide the business, inspire others, keep everyone happy and keep the business constantly moving forward. It seems that some people are naturally better leaders than others, but it is a skill that can be developed with the best online MBA programs. Research is one of the best ways to do this, and there is certainly a lot of good information out there and people to learn from, but it also comes through practice, so it is something that you will develop over time.

Financial Intelligence

It is very hard to succeed with a business if you are not intelligent with money. It could be possible for a business with a small customer base to be more successful than one with a much larger base if the former was more intelligent with money, so this needs to be a priority area for any business owner. In addition to being intelligent with company finances, it is also important that you are good with your own personal finances and always keep the two separate. You should also never start a business needing to bring in money quickly, so many people continue to earn while they build or build up savings prior to getting started.

Commitment to Self-Improvement

While you certainly need to consider the best online MBA programs, you also need to find other ways to improve as a business leader. The best business leaders will constantly be looking to improve their own abilities and turn weaknesses into strengths, so you need to be self-aware and willing to work on yourself to be the best possible business leader and take your company forward. Self-improvement can be challenging, but it is also immensely rewarding and can often help in other areas of your life too.

Communication Skills

There are many important skills required as a business leader, many of which will be developed on the best online MBA programs. Perhaps most important, though, is communication, as you will need to be able to clearly and succinctly communicate your ideas, engage with stakeholders and develop trust. There are many resources available to improve communication skills, some of which can include TED Talk coaching to help you craft a viral-worthy signature talk. Spoken communication skills are only one half of the equation, though, as you must also possess excellent listening skills and encourage your team members to come forward with ideas. When ideas are put forward, it is important to value their input. This is the sign of a great leader as it allows you to collect different viewpoints as well as help your staff to feel valued and an important part of the team. Consider reaching out to the Throughline Group for executive coaching and custom workshops to improve your communication skills.


It is important that you have a vision and are able to develop corporate strategy, which the best online MBA programs will teach you, but flexibility is also an incredibly valuable trait when it comes to being a business owner. You must be willing and able to make changes on the fly as things can change – the pandemic is the perfect example of this. It is the businesses that were flexible and light on their feet that have managed to survive during this challenging period.


Following on from this, problems are inevitable in the business world, and you will encounter both big and small problems seemingly on a daily basis. A good business leader will have the confidence to take action and be able to strategize and communicate with others to identify the best course of action.


These days, you must also be tech-friendly as a business leader and have a strong knowledge of the latest technologies and how they can help your business to succeed. Technology has always played a major role in business, but in today’s day and age; there are all kinds of incredible technologies that can be used in many innovative ways, whether this is automating processes, making work easier for staff, providing key insights, improving communication or reducing costs. It is important to stay up to date with the latest developments and be willing to implement new technologies.

Willing to Take Risks

You will never get anywhere in business if you are not willing to take a risk. Risks are how you take the company forward and innovate, but of course, this can be daunting, and things do not always pan out as you envision. It is essential that you try to mitigate risk as much as possible, which you can often do with research and data, plus you should also try to plan for different outcomes which will allow you to react in the right way. Even with all of this, mistakes will be made, and you need to be able to take these in your stride and see them as a chance to learn. This is the sign of a great business leader as they will learn from their mistakes but not dwell on them or let them affect their confidence.

Strong Work Ethic

Many people have great business ideas but lack the work ethic to follow through. If you are really serious about starting a business, you need to have a strong work ethic and be self-motivated; otherwise, it will be very hard to succeed, and you may fall at the first hurdle. While work ethic is something that some people seem to have more than others, it is something that can be developed, so if you often struggle with your work ethic, then you may want to work on this before getting started. When you have a strong work ethic and are able to motivate yourself, it will not only help you to manage during the challenging periods, but it will also inspire your team and help to create the right mentality in the workplace.

Ability to Step Away

Leading on from this point, a strong work ethic is certainly important, but there is a fine line, and you need to be able to step away, enjoy your time off work and create a division between your work and personal life. Many business owners end up burning out because they put so much into the business and work to the point of extreme, which is not only bad for the business but also bad for your health. This is why you need to prioritize self-care, know the value and importance of breaks and time-off, and know the signs of stress and burnout.


Patience is also incredibly important as a business owner. When you have a great business idea and a vision, it is easy to get carried away, and you will want to start finding success straight away. It is very rare that a business is a huge hit straight out of the gate, so instead, you need to exercise caution, temper your expectations and take a long-term view. It is incredibly rewarding building a business from the ground up and seeing it go on to succeed, but there is no guarantee for this, and it often takes many years.


Following this point, you need to be resilient in order to succeed, as there are sure to be bumps in the road and challenging periods (especially early on). Suppose you are the type of person to give up or shy away at the first challenge or confrontation. In that case, you will find it very hard to succeed, so you need to develop the resilience that will involve having confidence in yourself and the project, having patience, and staying calm in difficult situations.

As you can see, there are many skills and attributes that are required if you are to find success as a business owner. Many of these can be developed with the best online MBA programs, but there are also a few others that you may need to work on if they are currently not skills or attributes that you possess.