We are finally in a new year, thank goodness, and a lot of business owners are still trying to find their footing. Leading your team has never been more important than in this past year and it has been challenging.

I was able to chat with Cindy Constable, strategist, international consultant, and speaker to discuss what being a leader looks like in the new year. Her goal is to elevate company culture and bring integration between leadership, vision, culture, and team members. Cindy has four key areas that leaders need to focus on to effectively lead their teams this year.

How To Show Up As A Leader In 2021 | Stephanie Burns

Ashley Nicole Johnson

Decisiveness

Leaders are required to consistently show up. Those who you lead look to you to take action that will move the company forward. If you are unable to make decisions that will benefit your team, department, or company, you will be unable to succeed in a leadership position. 

“Decisions will sometimes need to be made quickly, so you must practice your ability to make choices that require quick, on the spot decision-making skills,” says Constable. “Other decisions are based on a long-term plan and require collaboration, strategy and more thought to be successful.

“Leaders sometimes believe that to be a good decision maker they must do it independently, but often, making decisions will involve communicating with other stakeholders in the company from various levels.” 

Being able to communicate through the decision-making process and come to a conclusion that suits everyone involved is one of the signs of a real business leader.

Knowledge

“As the leader in business, you have to know what’s going on in your company and your field. You’re not required to be an expert on every topic within your business, but you should have a general understanding of most issues related to your niche,” reminds Constable. 

“In certain situations you won’t be able to provide the necessary resources or information, so it’s important to know where to quickly access information that’s required to move your company forward.” 

If you lack a strong knowledge base, people will see your deficiencies and recognize that you don’t know much about the area in which you call yourself a leader. 

Endurance

Endurance is the ability to keep going. As a leader in business, you must keep going because all eyes are on you. If you’re unable to maintain endurance as the leader, others will see that it’s okay for them to stop when things get hard. 

“It’s an excellent teachable moment for your team to let them sometimes know when you are feeling tired or stressed and what you do internally to keep yourself going so you don’t quit,” explains Constable. “They will see you as more relatable and hopefully learn from you instead of believing you’re a corporate robot who never has a bad day. 

“Also, when you lead others, they will turn to you as a shoulder to lean on when times get tough for them. Having to motivate them to keep going and keep yourself going can be taxing, that’s why having enough endurance to support yourself and those around you is crucial. 

“Building a supportive company culture is a great way to lift the burden off everyone’s shoulder and improve endurance all around.” 

Imagination

“When you hear the word imagination, you might envision crayons, glitter, painting and imaginary friends, but imagination is an authentic and crucial quality of a leader in business,” notes Constable. “Having imagination is the ability to develop an idea based on something that isn’t currently true and believe you have what it takes to make it come to life. Any leader without the ability to imagine a better future for the organization in which it leads will always be holding back the company. 

“When Oprah Winfrey started her career as a radio personality in Nashville, TN, she imagined that her career would grow beyond her then position. Now Oprah’s net worth is in the billions.

“Many successful people have had to imagine their success before they experienced it or imagine their business improvements, upgrades, significant changes and partnerships before they became real. You must do the same,” suggests Constable.

When you are a strong leader in business, those who you lead will recognize it and respect it. While many successful entrepreneurs traits vary from the four detailed above, be sure you have these established as a bare minimum set of qualities for you to concentrate on building a robust business. 

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Roland Millaner