Do you want to be a better leader? Try these three things

- November 7, 2023 2 MIN READ


Leading a business is not easy. To inspire teams and grow in today’s volatile market, business leaders need to step outside the day-to-day motions of running a company and embrace out-of-the-box thinking, Scott Wiltshire, Vice President and General Manager, Oracle NetSuite, ANZ.

Not every entrepreneur starts a business to become a leader, and many are forced to acquire new leadership skills as the business grows. Backed by the right technology and business data, leaders can refine their leadership skills and develop traits that motivate teams and drive growth and expansion.

Three key traits business leaders can foster to drive success for their businesses

Leaders have a  talent for trust

Big businesses moved away from micromanaging for a more hands-off approach years ago, but many small business owners still find it hard to relinquish control. Throughout history, there have been glowing examples of leaders who took a laissez-faire approach to people management — Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, and Herbert Hoover to name a few. Yet, founders are often so invested in their business that they find it difficult to delegate tasks.  This quickly becomes a major barrier to growth. One person can’t do it all.

Great leaders tend to surround themselves with great people. The next step is to trust them enough to leverage their intelligence, knowledge, and skills to help drive company-wide success.

A little intellectual independence

While it’s important to trust others and consider different perspectives, leaders should also try to be aware of how they may be influenced and retain some level of independent thinking.

Paraphrasing an old saying — to a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. In other words, someone who has spent a long time working on a particular project may take their own perception to be the objective truth — a psychological response known as experience bias.

Leaders should instead look to the most up-to-date data to understand the realities of the business and make fully informed decisions. The first step is to disengage from others’ opinions, set aside biases, and focus on the facts at hand. From there, good financial and operational data is a must, as it can provide an opinion-free view of the business. By shedding outside influence and focusing on the raw information, business leaders can spot things others might not.

An appetite for action and respectful disdain for risk

A past study found that one in five Australian small business owners are afraid to take risks. A tendency to avoid risks can be a significant barrier to growth for small businesses. Naturally, business leaders need to be aware of risks, but being overly risk-focused can sometimes impede a growth mindset that might lead to new business opportunities.

Risk aversion often stems from a fear of the unknown. One way to detach from an overly risk-focused outlook is to leverage a business system that can provide real-time information and proactively flag risks when needed. Equipped with the right tools, business leaders can confidently monitor the health of their cash flow, while focusing on continued growth.

By trusting talent, while maintaining a level of intellectual independence, and embracing action in the face of risk, business leaders can find new ways to grow. With the right business information at their fingertips — from financial to operational data — business leaders can develop better habits and leadership skills to move beyond business-as-usual, capitalise on growth opportunities, and build a sustainable future.

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