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5 secrets to becoming a successful business leader
25 December 2014
I’m fortunate that my role allows me to engage with some of Australia’s most inspirational business leaders. At the beginning of each year, I like to take a moment to consider what is separating the good leaders from the great, and how that will play out over the next 12 months.
With that in mind, here is the insider perspective on what Australia’s top leaders are focusing on to build their business in 2015:
1. The best business leaders harness innovation
… rather than stifle it. Brave leaders allow their team to explore new ideas and experiment with the status quo. Embracing progress and introducing fresh thinking allows businesses to open up new revenue streams. In many cases, innovative ideas can become mainstream ideas and underpin a new direction for an organisation.
2. The best leaders look for new business opportunities
The strongest Australian business leaders understand how important it is to energetically pursue new business partnerships and customer bases. Those within a traditionally gatherer-oriented workplace have really pushed the button on behavioural change in the past 12 months to drive a business culture that supports the active pursuit of new commercial opportunities.
3. The best leaders set aside time to network – every single week
Great leaders know that they are never too busy to network. They stay aware of who’s ahead in their market sector in order to understand their competitors, but also look to draw inspiration from leaders across other market sectors.
This includes social media, of course. The best business leaders have put the time into understanding how to effectively drive social media profiles, such as those on LinkedIn, and include the right content to ensure 100% coverage in their sector. This has proven critical for many seeking thought leadership, networking opportunities and new business partners.
Balancing this, however, is a focus on attending the right networking events and using them properly – which means approaching each event with a game plan in place. A fairly common one is to introduce yourself to three people you have never met. Building a wide and varied network is invaluable – you never know how these new connections can benefit your business.
Learn more about the benefits of networking.
Those within a traditionally gatherer-oriented workplace have really pushed the button on behavioural change in the past 12 months to drive a business culture that supports the active pursuit of new commercial opportunities.
4. The best Australian leaders are increasingly internationally aware
And by that, I mean that they are aware of trends and thought leadership within the US and UK, but also have a firm eye on emerging markets – particularly China, which is pursuing aggressive talent management strategies and playing an increasing role within the Australian employment market via investment activity. They also understand and are up to date with regard to how the Australian market is viewed internationally.
5. Finally, the best leaders are prepared to hand over their role
The strongest leaders I speak to have worked hard on staff development to ensure there are no talent gaps in their organisational structure. They know who the next generation of business leaders are and work closely with these individuals to produce success. In turn, this ensures a proactive succession plan with often more than one strong option. Having a sound succession plan proves that leaders are ready to do more and move on to the next challenge in their careers. Learn more about the value of succession planning.
To become a strong leader, you need to build the right team and develop strong networks both locally and internationally. This allows business leaders to proactively build business opportunities and push their team to continually innovate.
Ultimately, you’ll need the be prepared to continue advancing, which will mean handing over some or all of your role to your successor. This can be difficult, but it’s the best way to keep your career and reputation soaring.