When trying to determine why some company directors are successful while others have a hard time living up to their own expectations, a common argument that you may encounter is that “some people are just not cut out for it.” The problem with that is, we all have a starting point from which we begin our endeavor into the business world, and most directors with more than a year’s experience can testify that they’ve learned a lot and have changed a lot since their start.
Therefore, although one person may possess an advantage over another initially, there’s always room for improvement, and ultimately you are in control of the traits and characteristics you choose to develop or neglect.
According to Real Business Rescue, most successful company directors possess at least a few of the following 10 traits:
# 1. The Willingness to Do More
As the director of a company you must accept the fact that you’re responsible for any shortcomings made by your staff. After all, you are in charge of micromanaging, delegating tasks, ensuring adequate and satisfactory work output, and in the end the directors are the ones that will have to answer to the company owner(s)/shareholders, HMRC, or clients if things do not go as planned. For this reason successful directors know that they have an obligation to pick up the slack when their team is underperforming, and they’re not afraid to put in some hard work when it is called for.
# 2. The Ability to Adapt and Adjust
Everything doesn’t always go as planned. In fact, most of the time you can count on there being some deviation from the original blueprint, especially in the business world where there are so many variables to consider. A proficient company director should be able to adapt to changes in their industry and quickly make adjustments to operations if need be. Adversely, directors who are too stubborn to accept or facilitate change are usually the ones who face financial hardship in the long-term.
# 3. Diligence and Persistence
These are two traits that are so closely related we decided to classify them as one. Diligence is the drive to work hard at whatever you’re focusing on, and persistence is the drive to continue working when things get tough. Both of these traits are needed in tandem – diligence without persistence will not put you ahead of competitors, and persistence without diligence will have you working harder but not smarter.
# 4. Creativity and Innovation
Solutions to business problems are not always obvious, straightforward, or easy to implement, Sometimes you’ll have to think outside of the box and do some creative manoeuvring in order to escape the revolving door of debt and creditor pressures. Innovative directors are the leaders in their industries, formulating new product and service offerings and going above and beyond the efforts of the competition to impress and satisfy every client.
# 5. Adept Learning and Researching Skills
No one starts out knowing everything, which is why the ability to proficiently research and learn about new topics and concepts is such an important attribute for a successful company director to have. Running a company is much easier when you’re able to assimilate and retain information on a consistent basis.
# 6. Keen Observation
As the director of a business one of your jobs is to supervise the tasks and actions of employees. Furthermore, you need to be able to effectively analyse the results of employee actions and take notice of any shortcomings that could be detrimentally affecting overall productivity.
# 7. Competitive Drive
In every industry, there is competition to consider, and without a competitive drive, a director can lose sight of their goals and let their competitors capitalise unnecessarily. On the other hand, a director with a strong competitive drive will be more productive and will take their job more seriously, thereby leading to greater levels of success.
# 8. Communication Skills
When it comes to keeping clients happy and keeping employee morale high, communication may be the most important factor. People want to deal with individuals that are attentive, friendly, well-spoken, and easy to contact. In many cases good communication skills are the only trait that will retain a client or motivate an employee in times of hardship.
# 9. Effective Leadership Qualities
While this trait may seem like an obvious prerequisite for anyone in charge of running a business, you’d be surprised at how many directors fail to take their company by the reigns. An effective leader is assertive yet considerate, passionate yet logical, persuasive, and inspiring.
# 10. Kindness and Strong Ethics
A little bit of kindness goes a long way in the business world, especially when you’re dealing with disgruntled employees and/or clients. Having a strong sense of ethics enables a director to treat people with respect, and in turn that respect is given back. On the other hand, a director who is overly stern, inconsiderate of people’s feelings, and lacking basic morals and courtesy, will likely produce animosity and hostility in the workplace, both of which can greatly hinder collaborative efforts.