CEO Corner

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What Makes a Strong Business Leader?

By: Graham Weihmiller
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    CEO Corner

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    Graham Weihmiller

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Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I identify a great leader to join my organization?” or perhaps you’ve wondered, “What makes an effective leader?” It’s an excellent question, and one I’ve been asked throughout my career time and time again. 

In my opinion, there’s no one way to run a business – and similarly, I’ve seen first-hand individuals who exhibit different strengths, and are from all walks of life, be successful leaders. What I can tell you is that all great business leaders possess many of the same qualities – they are passionate, they look at the big picture and have a vision for the future, and perhaps most importantly, they can identify where there is an opportunity.

At BNI®, as we look to hire and expand our footprint into new countries, we seek thoughtful leaders that share BNI’s mission of Changing the Way the World Does Business®. Equally, we look for individuals who embody our Core Value, Givers Gain® – meaning the more you give, the more you receive.

Outlined below are five additional elements of strong leadership, which I encourage you to think about as you navigate your professional journey.

  • Leaders can take criticism – In fact, leaders welcome other viewpoints. No matter what, at some point in your career you will be criticized. But it’s what you do with that criticism that will define you. Will you listen? Will you try to understand varying perspectives? True leaders can take criticism, and turn their setbacks into success.
  • Leaders maintain a positive attitude – Your attitude is infectious. Both in and out of the workplace, leaders speak with compassion and kindness no matter the circumstances.
  • Leaders praise others’ achievements – Equally important to your success is the success of those around you. Effective leaders understand this, and truly enjoy celebrating the accomplishments of their peers and teams.  
  • Leaders treat others the way they’d like to be treated – By this I mean they are flexible and adaptable. Think about what motivates others around you, and the varying working styles your team may have. True leaders can identify these preferences, and adapt their leadership style accordingly.
  • Leaders learn from their mistakes – You will make mistakes, and that’s okay. But accountability is essential. Take responsibility. Identify what you could do differently next time. Share what you learned with others, so they too can learn from your mistakes.

In recap, there’s no one quality that defines a strong leader – it’s a unique combination of skills and habits that cultivate strong leadership.

For more tips on business success in 2017, please click here to register for or to download one of our monthly Business Builders Webinar Series. These impactful webinars, led by varying BNI subject matter, experts are complementary and will help maximize your impact as a business leader.