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7 Habits of Incredibly Successful Business Leaders

BySesan Kareem,
business.com writer
|
Nov 19, 2019
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Discover which leadership habits you need in order to become a successful business leader

Business is quite risky, but very rewarding if we know what it takes to succeed. In order to reach that level of success, it is important to know what separates incredibly successful business owners and chief executives from others and what habits highly successful entrepreneurs have developed and mastered.

When considering this, here are some key factors to remember:

  1. Successful business leaders have developed certain habits that distinguished them from the rest of the pack. These habits can be learned, developed and mastered. 
  2. Business is pretty risky but can be quite rewarding for those who are visionaries, disciplined, lifetime learners, hunters for human excellence, great team players, system and process builders and hungry for more success. 
  3. Becoming an incredibly successful business leader may take years and sometimes decades but developing the habits will guarantee you success in the long run. 

Successful business owners and managers have developed certain habits that separate them from others. The good news is habits can be learned and unlearned.

Here are seven habits of incredibly successful business leaders and how you can develop these habits.  

Visionaries

Successful business leaders think big and are interested in solving the problems of thousands, if not millions, of people. They have a road map of where they want their business to be in the next 10, 20 or 40 years. They set SMART goals that are challenging but achievable. They picture the future in their minds and work to turn their pictures into reality. They constantly share their vision with their team members. They have can-do attitudes and impossibility does not exist in their dictionary.

To achieve this trait you want to think Big. Set Smart goals. Add the most value to the most people. Have a clear road map. Communicate your vision to your team and work hard every day to turn your vision into reality. 

Lifetime learners

Highly successful entrepreneurs and business managers have a growth mindset. They are open to new information, new insights and new ideas that will help them to make informed business decisions and choices so that they can fast track their success in their entrepreneurial journey. Therefore, they keep finding ways to improve themselves and their team members. They study books, attend seminars, work with a coach, learn from mentors and act on their learning.

To become one of these successful business leaders, you must keep learning and improving on a daily basis. You must subscribe to CANI (Continuous And Never-ending Improvement) in who you are and what you can be. Invest in your growth on a daily basis. Develop the habit of learning daily. Study books. Subscribe to relevant business journals. Listen to audio messages in your car. Attend online classes. Schedule seminars for yourself. Always lookout for opportunities to improve your KSA (Knowledge, Skills and Attitude). Be sure to set aside money for your own education. Most importantly, take action on your learning. Action is the bridge between where you are and where you want to be. 

Hunter for human excellence

Building a successful business requires you working with the best people you can find. As a human capital development professional, I strongly believe that the greatest asset of a business is the people. Smart business leaders, like Jeff Bezos, Strive Masiyiwa and Aliko Dangote have reiterated this truth again and again. They hire the best people to work with them and reward them handsomely. What makes you a successful business owner is to have competent hands that can handle your business successfully without your presence.

Your recruitment process must be thorough. Hire the best hands to work for you. Have a robust compensation plan. Have plans for learning and development. Reward performance. Celebrate excellence and results. Build a strong HR. Develop an organizational culture that will help great talents flourish and excel. 

Team players

Highly successful business leaders understand that teams win championships, not individual talent. They develop and maintain an organizational culture where everyone on the team is carried along, no one is left behind. Everyone on the team has a sense of belonging and responsibility to contribute their quota to the growth of the organization. They believe each of us needs all of us and all of us need each of us. Their philosophy is everyone is important. So they treat everyone with dignity and respect.

In order to become successful, you want to be a great team builder. Develop a culture of mutual respect and accountability. Give room for constructive criticism at all levels of the organization and operate open door policy. Make sure everyone on your team knows their voice matters and they are appreciated. Be a leader, not a boss.

Systems and processes

Successful business leaders believe in the efficiency of their systems and the effectiveness of their people. Therefore, they build necessary processes and systems to get things done quicker, better and cheaper. They don't just build systems and processes, they also document them so anyone can plug into the system, know what to do and achieve the required results.

Be sure to simplify your business procedure. Document your processes and have Standard Operating Procedures for each unit. Try to build a culture where everyone on your team believes in your systems and processes.

Discipline

Being an incredibly successful business leader requires a high dose of personal discipline. Great entrepreneurs and business executives have developed the discipline to concentrate at work, be highly results-oriented and consistently meet deadlines. They are known for honesty, probity and high standards. They have developed the discipline to not give excuses, but focus on results. They complain less and work more. They constantly lookout for opportunities to grow, improve and innovate. They don’t waste their time on frivolities. They are disciplined enough to keep striving until they achieve their set goals.

To achieve this level of discipline you should create time on a daily basis to learn, stay fit and relevant in your industry. Be known for taking your business and career serious. Be disciplined with your time by avoiding productivity killers and time wasters. Be known for excellence and getting results.

Hungry for more success

Incredibly successful business owners and chief executives are hungry for more success out of life. They are hungry to solve more problems for more people, create more solutions to societal needs, build new products and services, break into new markets and industries, and acquire new companies.

One example of this is Mark Zuckerberg. When Zuckerberg started Facebook it was a simple social media platform to connect people across the world. Gradually, Zuckerberg and his team started building new tools, new solutions and new business models that enhance the user experience of the platform and made Facebook a very successful 21st-century company. Zuckerberg has since acquired Instagram and Whatsapp to consolidate his market share and leadership in the social media platform.

Out of the seven habits of incredibly successful business leaders, this habit of hunger for more success is the master key to achieve massive success. Be hungry to learn more, create more, build more, achieve more, contribute more and live more because there is more out of life for you. Be content with your life but never be satisfied with who you can become and what you can build because the room for improvement and massive success is never filled.

If you are in business, you are a gladiator. You must always be on top of your game because you are in a volatile, unpredictable, chaotic and ambiguous business world where things change with the speed of light and what worked yesterday may not necessarily get you results today. Therefore, the choke cord to your business is you. Your ability to develop the skill sets, mindset and the habits that will help you succeed.

Sesan Kareem
Sesan Kareem
See Sesan Kareem's Profile
Sesan Kareem is a distinguished Pharmacist, Wellness Expert, prolific Author, certified Trainer, public Administrator, management Consultant, master Motivator and social Entrepreneur.  Sesan is a catalyst for GROWTH and an inspiration for personal fulfilment. He is a UK-published, EU-copyrighted and Amazon-marketed Author who has written 7 life-transforming books. He is being regarded as one of the most provocative African speakers of contemporary age. Sesan Kareem is an EXPERT freelance Trainer of London Professional Training Centre (LPTC), Nigeria. A certified Leadership, Management and SME personnel by Global Leadership Training Institute, Nebraska, Omaha, and an alumnus of Daystar Leadership Academy (DLA), Lagos. He holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy from Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) and International Award in Delivering Training ( IADT) from Highfield Award Body for Compliance (HABC), United Kingdom and Master in Public Administration with bias for Human Resources Management from the University of Lagos.  Sesan serves as a board member of Haven Leadership Academy, Safe Medicines Foundation, Mareek Image Concepts  and EMQ Trials, Nigeria.  A wellness and healthy living facilitator of Industrial Training Fund (ITF). SK served as the personal assistant to Ahmed I. Yakasai, The President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (2015-2018). He is a columnist in pharmanews, the oldest health magazine in West Africa (Published since 1979). His articles have featured in many national and international tabloids.  He is the Founder of Mareek Image Concepts and the Co-founder of Zahra Lingerie. He is widely travelled within and outside the country. As a health and life strategist, he inspires over 1,000,000 people annually on radio, television, social media, conferences and corporate training. Sesan has trained multinationals, large and medium organizations in pharmaceutical, FMCG, banking, beauty, retail and telecommunication industries. He is the convener, Achievers Forum and “Motivating The Nigerian Youth” a movement that has trained over 4,000 young Nigerians for FREE.  Sesan is happily married to a pharmacist and blessed with a daughter.
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