Business Operations

5 Corporate Leaders: What Makes a Great Leader?

You are not born a CEO, and there will be loads of hurdles and learning curves to overcome before reaching this point in your career. The corporate world is highly competitive. Everyone is fighting to succeed.

It takes hard work and dedication to climb the corporate ladder. Some have to overcome personal issues, such as shyness and anxiety. While it may seem impossible, all things are possible when you put your heart and soul into the work that you love. 

Let’s explore how 5 corporate leaders made it to the top of the ladder. 

Jean Cook, a business coach – Be Approachable 

A business leader becomes a prominent figure in the corporate world. Being on top comes with a price and a tight schedule. According to Jean Cook, “You should always be aware of how your attitude may be perceived.” What does this mean? Be aware of the tone of your voice, your body language, and your actions. All these things may play a negative effect on your employees. Therefore, you must learn how to approach all things with a positive outcome. 

Make yourself available to your employees, and they will not be afraid to ask questions when they have them. You will see a huge difference between your staff and the efficiency of their work. Jean feels it is so important to give your employees your undivided attention. This will not only improve their work ethics but also the impression that they have of you. When you disregard your team members, you miss out on a lot of opportunities. 

“Be approachable. Business leaders are busy people in important positions. If you give the appearance of being ‘too busy’ or ‘too important’ to make time for your staff, then you will miss out on vital knowledge about your business. Make sure–in your words and your actions–that your staff knows you want to hear from them. And when they come to you, listen.” – Jean Cook


Rich Khan, the CEO of eZanga – Be An Example

Leading a company can mean many different things, but you must be invested in the company to hold a leadership role. If the business fails, it should affect you. It should push you to want to do more and improve performance. Think of it this way, if you are not working hard for the company to succeed your employees will follow in your footsteps. 

Lead by example. Rich Khan recommends that you set an example of a solid work ethic. This will enhance efforts and in return, the company will be a success. Put your heart into what you do, and your team will do the same. 

“Work harder than everybody else. You set the pace for your employees, so what example do you want them to follow? If you work hard, everybody follows.” – Rich Kha

Anna Olson, AMO Consulting CEO – Be Clear on Your Mission

Be upfront with your team and ensure they understand why the end goal matters. Purpose can serve as a huge motivation for your employees. In return, they will work towards sharing a successful future with the company.

Make your vision clear and be sure that all key players on your team share that vision. Every employee plays an important role in the success of your company. Therefore, you may have to help less influential employees see their role and why it is vital to the team. This will help motivate them to work hard, and possibly play a larger role in the company in the future. People love being treated as an asset and need to understand why their actions are essential to the end goal.

“My leadership philosophy is this: whether you are leading yourself or leading others, a little bit of ‘why’ goes a long way! This means good leaders are clear on the vision, mission, purpose, values for themselves and their business.” – Ann Olson

Arman Sadeghi, a business coach – Be A Strong Influencer

To lead and inspire, you must possess a calm authority over your employees. You must be able to remain competent, confident, strong and capable at all times. You cannot allow emotions to overcome you. 

When in front of your employees, always take care to remain respectful even when facing difficulties. This will make you an authoritative leader in the workplace, and one that your employees will want to be around. According to Arman Sadeghi, “Your actions make your team stronger.”

Another critical thing to remember is that a leader deals with issues from their root as they arise, instead of mitigating the effects. Stay on the top of the planning and execution of all business operations of your company. Only then will your leadership make a difference.

This piece of advice is one of the most difficult to implement, as it requires a lot of knowledge, self-confidence, and people skills. 

Check out for more leadership guidance on how to become a strong influencer for your team. 

“When I work, I work. When I’m with my wife, I’m a husband. When I’m with my kids, I’m a father. When I’m on stage, I’m a speaker. I don’t mix those things up and I don’t take from one area to take care of another.” – Arman Sadeghi

Matt Heller, Performance Optimist Consultant founder – Be True To Yourself

Dare to be authentic. You do not have to be a textbook leader. Your employees will respect you more for being true to the person that you are, rather than turning into a corporate robot. It allows your employees to see that you are more than just a leader. 

Be a person who is invested in their job, but also has a heart. It will bring meaning to the workplace. You have to be strong and confident, but also caring. According to Matt Heller, “Being authentic, means admitting mistakes, admitting that you might not have all the answers, and being open and willing to learn from others. Having the courage to show your authentic self endears you to others and allows them to care even more about the work you are asking them to do.”

Your work relationships will flourish if you let people see who is behind the big leather chair.

“Don’t be afraid to be a little different from the pack. As an authentic leader, you can connect with people on a more genuine level. You can build more trusting relationships because you are simply being you, and not trying to portray someone you think other people want to see.” – Matt Heller

The Bottom Line

You may naturally possess some of these traits. Others may take a lot of effort to develop. However, success comes in being a hard-working individual, who cares about their job and wants to make it the best place it can be for both customers and employees. Being a good leader comes with many traits. You must be confident, capable, understanding, caring, strong, and a good listener. Work on developing yourself, and you will become more capable of leading your business into a bright future. Become the role model your team needs.

We Want To Hear From You

What business traits do you have? What makes you a good leader? Comment below and tell us your story.