30 Entrepreneurs Describe Their Leadership Styles

Every leading position in business requires a demonstration of diverse skills and leadership styles. Working environments differ and thus require the leader to master the best style that works in that business. For instance, an authoritative style may not suit a business in its initial stages of development.

Here’s how entrepreneurs and business owners lead their teams;

#1- Team-first mindset

Photo Credit: John Murdock

I believe deeply that a team is greater than the sum of its parts. A leader is to ensure the team contains smart, intellectually curious, and talented people that value communication, collaboration, and innovation. There is room for individuals to find recognition and career advancement, as well as an overarching view that together we can achieve even bigger outcomes as a well-oiled team. My role as a leader is to inspire, enable & empower everyone to do their best work.

Thanks to John Murdock, Centage Corporation!

#2- Achievement-oriented & transformational

Photo Credit: Sardor Umrdinov

We can always perform better as a team, and I am constantly encouraging my team to achieve greater heights. As a goal-setter, I like to set long-term objectives that challenge me and encourage people to improve. In addition, I think it is important to empower and allow my colleagues to work at their best by giving them autonomy. Put your faith in individual people and teams. Transformative leadership is also important. Always keep an open mind.

Thanks to Sardor Umrdinov, Home Alliance!

#3- Adaptability

Photo Credit: Stephen Light

The nature of both humans and business is that things are always shifting, changing, and growing, so as a leader, it’s incredibly important to me that I never get stuck in old habits that might not serve the future of my company or my team. Especially over the last few years, I’ve focused on making my leadership style more flexible so that my team feels their needs are being met, that they’re being listened to, and so that I can pivot my business in the strongest direction possible.

Thanks to Stephen Light, Nolah Mattress!

#4- Encouragement and empowerment

Photo Credit: Edward Clyne

People genuinely want to be good at their job and enjoy doing so with some level of independence. If I see room for growth in performance within my team, I’m quick to analyze myself before asking more of them. As a leader, am I equipping my team with the tools they need? Am I clear on expectations? Am I supportive and setting a good example? When giving feedback, focus on our big-picture goals, instead of giving a step-by-step critique.

Thanks to Jade Flogerzi, Clever Punch Co.!

#5- Supportive

Photo Credit: Maria McDowell

In this position, a leader must be able to wear many hats. My leadership style is best described as benevolent in that I feel that the best leader is the one who is most supportive of the people below them. I've learned through my own experience as a leader that it's important to be just as approachable as everyone else. Also, a leader needs to be willing to learn from everyone as well. Leadership is ultimately a two-way street. Everyone has something to teach you and to listen to what they have to say!

Thanks to Maria McDowell, EasySearchPeople!

#6- No-nonsense and direct

Photo Credit: Shane McEvoy

I suspect if you asked my staff they might have a different opinion from me, but I think my leadership style is no-nonsense and direct. I often spring things on the team that I thought of that day, and a lot of the time I leave the detail to everyone else. I suspect I should hone in on it to be a bit more empathetic, but digital marketing as industry moves fast and I have to keep up on my reading to make sure we don’t miss anything new that can help a client.

Thanks to Shane McEvoy, Flycast Media!

#7- Innovations

Photo Credit: Tomek Mlodzki

The fact that we can switch between them to adapt to the situations is very valuable. Innovations drive my leadership. My work goal is to develop the company and, thanks to this, help grow the people who create it. I constantly look at how to improve our company or ignite others with my ideas. What I envision for our company is what I'd like to share with employees to encourage them to develop new ideas. I'm a leader of a fast-growing startup, so my approach helps fuel its growth and handle all the rapid changes.

Thanks to Tomek Mlodzki, PhotoAiD!

#8- Attentive and empathetic leading style

Photo Credit: Ray Leon

The combined perspectives and intricacies of these individuals help shape a culture of acceptance and comradery in the workplace. That said, I lead with a keen sense of detail and attentiveness to help my employees grow as professionals. In doing this, I analyze their personalities, tendencies, and skills to put them in the best positions to succeed. I also strive to lead with empathy by accepting and actively listening to the thoughts, questions,  concerns, and suggestions of my employees.

Thanks to Ray Leon, Pet Insurance Review!

#9- Transactional leadership

Photo Credit: Sara Graves

I reward my employees for what they do through a structured, rigid environment where I use clear rewards and punishment to drive employee performance. For instance, I might require each sales team member to speak with six prospective customers at the end of the day and offer a scheduled bonus at the end of the week. It’s an efficient way to reach short-term goals with a streamlined, efficient chain of command. Confusion and guesswork are eliminated because I map out tasks and expectations.

Thanks to Sara Graves, USTitleLoans!

#10- Relaxed yet firm

Photo Credit: Thomas Yuan

I consider my leadership style relaxed yet firm. Maintaining composure through the highs and lows of business is critical for team stability. However, understanding when to show strength and take charge of a situation is equally important to lead and overcome challenges. I like my team to have open communication that is based on mutual respect and understanding of one another's strengths and weaknesses. Good work deserves a good reward, but poor quality cannot be tolerated.

thanks to Thomas Yuan, SaneBox!

#11- Good decision making

Photo Credit: Harriet Chan

Leaders should be able to make decisions that will positively affect their followers. They must also be able to delegate tasks and give clear instructions. Without good decision-making skills, a leader will not be effective. Their team needs to trust their leader and believe that they are competent. This faith allows them to have confidence in the leader's decisions. If the leader is constantly second-guessing themselves, the team members will lose faith and look for someone else to follow.

Thanks to Harriet Chan, CocoFinder!

#12- Welcoming obstacles as opportunities

Photo Credit: Demi Yilmaz

Cultivating a mindset that's resilient and open to challenges is the only way that a leader can really grow and level up in their industry. Rather than being resistant to change, both leaders and CEOs to be accepting of their setbacks and recognize areas for improvement that will propel them in the right direction. The best part is that this attitude will eventually make its way into all your interactions, setting a great example for employees to follow.

Thanks to Demi Yilmaz, Colonist.io!

#13- Being flexible and open-minded

Photo Credit: Harry Morton

The entrepreneurial ecosystem is often unpredictable and challenging and without flexibility, leaders simply won't be able to pivot their strategy and keep up with the changing times. Efficient leaders know that in order to reach their goals, they need to be adaptable, flexible, and open-minded in their approach. Moreover, by keeping an open mind to unique ideas and strategies, they can innovate a new way forward and lead their teams towards success.

Thanks to Harry Morton, Lower Street!

#14- Risk-taking

Photo Credit: Charles Cridland

An effective leader encourages calculated risks; after all, you will never know unless you try. They understand that innovation does not happen without risk, so they nurture their employees to question the status quo, test theories and propose new ideas. This trait in a leader brings opportunities for their company. Consumer demands are constantly evolving, and the astute leader makes decisions to prioritize taking evolving solutions to the market.

Thanks to Charles Cridland, YourParkingSpace!

#15- Self-motivation

Photo Credit: Stefan Smulders

Being able to motivate oneself is a crucial trait for leaders since, when you're in this position, that means there won't be anybody above you following every step you give and making sure you stay motivated. You will have no one but yourself to help you keep pushing forward during difficult times, and if you aren't able to motivate yourself, you won't be able to motivate others either, which is a key aspect of an effective leader. This is arguably one of the most difficult traits to acquire for a leader as it's something that cannot be taught.

Thanks to Stefan Smulders, Expandi!

#16-  Emotional stability

Photo Credit: Michael Kim

This means being able to control one's emotions, stay calm under pressure, and maintain a positive outlook even in difficult situations. Emotional stability is important because it allows leaders to make clear-headed decisions, remain inspiring & motivational to others, and project confidence even when the going gets tough. Leaders who are not emotionally stable may crumble under pressure, become easily frazzled or frustrated, and lose the trust and respect of those they lead.

Thanks to Michael Kim, EVchargerReviews!

#17- Empathy

Photo Credit: Ben Lamarche

This can be a difficult trait to demonstrate, especially when you are running a business and you need your people to get the work done. But, when you understand what empathy in leadership is all about, it can truly change your team dynamics. Put simply, empathy is about being responsive to the needs of those you are leading. You are responsible for working with your team to come up with sustainable solutions that can create a better workplace for all.

Thanks to Ben Lamarche, Lock Search Group!

#18- Selflessness

Photo Credit: R. Garrett Ham

My time in the military taught me that selflessness is the most important leadership trait. By their actions, they communicate to their teams that the organization’s mission and values are more important than any one person’s glory or personal gain. They sacrifice their time to develop the skills necessary to ensure success, breeding competence, and commitment in the process. A selfless leader has no time for the distractions of self-aggrandizement, creating instead an environment of trust and mutual respect.

Thanks to R. Garrett Ham, Weekender Management!

#19- Understanding

Photo Credit: Rahul Vij

A leader doesn't always lead but trains their followers to accomplish their goals and dreams. Leaders must know how to connect to the emotions of their teams. That’s how one can determine the strengths and weaknesses of employees in the business world and pave the way for them to improve. In addition, feelings of gratitude, friendliness, and respect towards employees are a must for a leader to promote a positive work culture, which is the ultimate solution to increase organizational efficiency.

Thanks to Rahul Vij, Webspero Solutions!

#20- A Love of Learning

Photo Credit: Anjela Mangrum

There are plenty of know-it-alls out there, and rarely do such people make it big professionally. From my observation, being humble enough to know that you can't possibly know everything and having a thirst for discovering new methods and techniques are key traits of most effective leaders. Those who stay undaunted by their failures and treat each mistake as a learning opportunity usually go farther than the rest advancing their professional careers while grooming their personalities alongside.

Thanks to Anjela Mangrum, Mangrum Career Solutions!

#21- Accountability

Photo Credit: Steven Walker

The best leaders accept complete responsibility for their team's performance, regardless of the outcome. As a leader, you should strive to compliment your team on their accomplishments while providing constructive feedback to help them grow. It's also critical that you accept responsibility when you make a poor judgment or do something wrong. We are all human and prone to making mistakes, but good leaders identify and discuss their areas for development with their team.

Thanks to Steven Walker, Spylix!

#22- Recognize Success

Photo Credit: Julian Goldie

One of the most important practices of inspirational leaders is to recognize success frequently and persistently. People need to know that their work will be respected and appreciated in order to push themselves and provide their best efforts. Find methods to acknowledge your employees' accomplishments, even if it's only a simple well done. It will improve their incentive to continue providing their best, as well as their morale.

Thanks to Julian Goldie, Julian Goldie!

#23- Demonstrate Integrity

Photo Credit: Josh Nelson

Leader with integrity bases their decisions, conduct, and interactions with others on their principles. They are admired for being honest, principled, ethical, and consistent in their beliefs about what is right and wrong. They have a strong sense of character, follow through on their promises, and connect with people in an open, honest, and straightforward manner. Employees will reward you with loyalty, confidence, and respect if you demonstrate integrity in your everyday actions.

Thanks to Josh Nelson, Seven Figure Agency!

#24- Mobility, adjustability, and flexibility

Photo Credit: Shane Liuw

In today's digital world, great leaders are well aware of digital dangers and opportunities, but they must exhibit the capacity to be adaptable, agile, and capable of responding successfully to these changing surroundings. They are able to quickly change course, both expected and unforeseen, while still working with and encouraging the teams and individuals they lead. They're flexible and adaptable, and they welcome new experiences and challenges.

Thanks to Shane Liuw, First Page Digital!

#25- Courage

Photo Credit: Kate Zhang

As long as a leader is fearless, people will follow his or her example. Leaders must possess courage if they want to inspire their followers. They require a leader who is capable of making tough choices while still looking out for the group's best interests. When the going gets rough, they need a leader who will stick to their guns. Courage is significantly more likely to be emulated when it is displayed by those in authority figures. Courageous leaders are strengthened in their strategic orientation by adversity.

Thanks to Kate Zhang, katebackdrop!

#26- Stress management

Photo Credit: Kimberly Silva

As a business leader, stress management is an efficient leader must learn to manage the stress and pressure related to work deadlines and quality deliverables. The best initiative is to know how to manage oneself by scheduling regular tasks and meeting the daily goals without excuses. Managing time and planning priorities adds value to leadership skills. This approach helps balance the stress level and adapt to the challenging environment despite the competitive grounds.

Thanks to Kimberly Silva, FindPeopleFirst!

#27- Power of self-acceptance

Photo Credit: Steffo Shambo

Self-acceptance is the first step toward acknowledging one's true potential. Individuals are never perfect. A person has certain overwhelming and underwhelming aspects about their character that often makes them stand out or assist them in blending well with the crowd. Human nature is to strive for competition. But an effective leader is one who wholeheartedly accepts his merits and demerits while skillfully stewarding through the highs and lows of life to emerge as a dependable leader.

Thanks to Steffo Shambo, Tantric Academy!

#28-  Be a good listener

Photo Credit: Emilia Flores

Not only should a leader be able to listen to their people, but they should be able to listen to their surroundings. If you're in a leadership position, this will help you make better decisions for your team and improve morale overall. It's important to listen to everyone equally and take everyone's concerns and considerations into account. However, it's also important to be able to think for yourself and know how to make a decision that's best for your team and the organization as a whole.

Thanks to Emilia Flores, UK Bad Credit Loans!

#29- Ability to inspire others

Photo Credit: Asako Ito

Effective leaders have the ability to inspire others, manage people, and resources effectively, and make sound decisions. Some of the best traits for becoming an effective leader include charisma, strong communication skills, strong leadership skills, Initiative and risk-taking ability, and a good understanding of people and their motivations. While not all leaders are born with these qualities, those who develop them can be very successful in leading a team or organization.

Thanks to Asako Ito, Divine Lashes!

#30- Leading as an example

Photo Credit: Lucia Jensen

Being a model for people to follow has increased my company's productivity. Leading as an example entails not only delegating projects to fellow employees but also involving yourself in those projects as a leader and showing your employees how to make it happen. Employees always look for a lead in a path that they will follow. You can form an attractive company culture by pushing people for excellence and, most importantly, demonstrating what excellence is and the reward for it.

Thanks to Lucia Jensen, WeLoans!

How would you describe your leadership style? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

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