5 Leadership Skills Every Business Owner Needs

Do you ever get the feeling you’re being watched? If you own a business, that’s not just in your imagination. Those under your supervision watch the way you manage the culture, develop individuals, build successful teams, and keep everyone motivated.

Developing these five essential leadership skills will help you shine in all those areas. Your business, your workers, and even your personal relationships will benefit.


The importance of good communication — the kind in which listening plays as vital a role as talking — can’t be overstated. It ensures transparency. It keeps everyone unified toward a common goal. Lastly, It prevents costly mistakes.

Employee communication sparks creativity, engagement, and team bonding, among other things. When people feel free to brainstorm and openly share their ideas, innovation booms.

Clear communication is also critical in every interaction with potential customers. More than ever, consumers want engaging relationships with their favorite companies. They expect reliable, real-time information and warm customer service.

Good relationships with suppliers and vendors are vital to smooth operation. They must know upfront what you expect and what’s most important to you. When it comes to getting quality products, prices, and delivery services, the art of negotiation is a must-have skill.

There are also investors to consider. Your speech should always convey competence, tenacity, and trustworthiness.


Short- and long-term goals are essential, but a strategic vision for your business goes beyond that.

It serves as a compass to help you navigate your dreams for the future. It’s a unifying focal point that inspires and energizes your workers.

Companies that lack a specific, well-communicated vision will drift aimlessly. Team members are never on the same page, and no one has a sense of purpose.

One project after another goes by the wayside as the leadership changes direction. Promising new products in the early stages of development collect dust in storage. Businesses that lack vision eventually stagnate and become irrelevant or go belly-up.

Make your vision statement clear, specific and easy to explain. Make it ambitious and realistic at the same time. Publish it prominently, and make sure that employees keep it foremost in their minds.

Let vision guide your strategy. Base your business model on it. See that every decision you make supports it. This is especially important where hiring is concerned.

Spotting and Retaining Talent

Hiring and keeping the best people is foundational to success.

However, spotting talent isn’t just a matter of reading a resume.

Someone who looks weak on paper may have a specialized skill that no one else on your staff possesses. A candidate who was terminated from a previous job might have just the kind of resilience you’re looking for.

The smartest, most experienced candidate, on the other hand, may be a terrible fit for your company culture.

Good leaders pick up on intangibles like intuition, self-reliance, and flexibility. They note attractive personal traits, such as frugality, that will carry over to the workplace. They can spot the candidates that will bring the most to the table and know exactly where they will best fit in.

In short, their gut instincts are pretty good.

There’s more to talent retention than paying a competitive salary. Modern job seekers expect generous health, retirement, and leave benefits. The ability to work from home now and then is a big draw.

Candidates also look for employers who continually invest in their careers.

Offer weekend seminars or microlearning sessions that fit into the workday. Provide personal growth strategies and resources. Be sure that your training covers both hard and soft skills.

Company growth is a direct result of employee growth.


Poor results make leaders look bad. That’s why so many of them are reluctant to delegate.

Strong leaders, though, know that they’re only human and can’t do it all. They don’t mind transferring duties to people who have the know-how and skill to do a bang-up job. In fact, they have future delegation in mind when they interview job candidates.

When leaders delegate, things get done faster and more efficiently. Workers who are empowered rather than micromanaged learn to make their own decisions. They see that you have a vested interest in their development. Businesses thrive when employees feel confident, trusted and valued.

Your job is to plan, delegate, and coach rather than always take the reins.


Finally, don’t let your ego get the best of you. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating personal success, but channel most of your ambition into your business.

Be quick to acknowledge good work and share credit. Be open to constructive criticism. Remain teachable. When lack of knowledge or expertise could keep you from meeting a strategic goal, don’t hesitate to ask for help or advice.

Humility fosters engagement and collaboration.

Never Stop Improving

Staying on top of these five skills will boost morale, increase productivity, and help you retain top talent. Your efforts to develop soft skills will pay off on the bottom line.