How To Become a Better Leader in Your Industry

presenter explaining thought leadership to coworkers

Do you want to learn how to advance in your field and help guide others? Do you have a passion for leadership and management? If so, you may be wondering what it takes to become a better leader. Although there is no single path to becoming a good leader in your field, there are some qualities that will help you as you develop your leadership style and grow in your knowledge.

7 Qualities of a Good Leader

1. Open-Minded

As a leader, it is important to keep an open mind when you are working with a team. Don’t be afraid to ask for input from others when approaching problems. Tell your thoughts and be open to advice. In accepting feedback, you not only learn something useful but also show that you are approachable and open to new ideas. It also shows that your point of view is not the only one of importance and that you are happy to embrace an opportunity to learn.

2. Understanding

Everyone makes mistakes every now and again. It is important for leaders to recognize this when working with others. If you are understanding when problems or mistakes do arise, people will be much more likely to follow your lead and look to you in these types of situations.

3. Decisive

Part of being a leader is being able to make decisions. You must be quick to think on your feet if time-sensitive choices arise. However, being decisive as a leader requires more than making swift calls. A good leader must understand the pros and cons of taking different routes and how to deal with any consequences that may result from their choice.

4. Innovative

If you want to become a better leader, consider the importance of innovation. Are there ways that strategies or procedures could be improved? Are there new ideas that can be brought to the table? Leaders should encourage their team to be innovative thinkers. You should be willing to try new things that can help your team and mission, even if you are unsuccessful.

5. Communicative

You must be willing to communicate clearly with other leaders and those outside of the team. Whether it be through written communication or verbal instruction, a good leader knows how to clearly make a point and communicate instructions. Being willing to give more information when needed or answer questions can help set a leader apart.

6. Confident

Confidence is another quality that can aid a leader. You may not always feel confident in a leadership role. However, having confidence in the choices being made and the way things are being run can help reassure others and give peace of mind.

7. Respectable

As a leader, it is important to display good traits, such as being respectable. It is difficult to get people to follow your lead and interested in what you have to say if you do not have their respect. In order to keep people’s respect, it is important to be honest and ethical and avoid anything that could jeopardize the integrity of your business or team.

Considering Thought Leadership

Thought leaders are professionals who are seen as authorities in their fields and as go-to resources when someone is seeking expertise. Being perceived as an authority on a topic is beneficial. Status as a thought leader brings increased popularity as individuals seek out advice and authoritative figures. Businesses can profit from being associated with a thought leader and may even leverage a thought leader's knowledge into courses, podcasts or speaking tours.

Becoming a thought leader requires having a message people want to hear and can relate to. However, the message must also be delivered at the right moment with the right medium. It requires loving your topic, putting your own spin on it and believing that you are telling the best story possible. It also requires experience with social media, video, networking and public speaking.

Becoming a thought leader requires experience and passion for their business. Of course, they need industry expertise, but it goes beyond that. They must also have other qualities.

Traits of Thought Leaders

  • Approachable: Being a thought leader means being willing to discuss the same topic time and time again and finding new ways to share the message. You will have to be comfortable answering the same questions as new people hear your message for the first time. You must want people to ask questions and use your methods. Thought leaders often depend on word-of-mouth recommendations. Taking pleasure in giving advice will serve you well.
  • Vulnerable: Leaders share the stories of their journeys so that others can see that success is possible. Transparency about personal issues, failures and roadblocks reminds the audience that thought leaders are human. You want the people in your audience to see your journey as one they can make, too. Otherwise, your message is not meaningful to them and you become just another voice.
  • Persistent: Thought leadership does not happen overnight. It takes years to become an expert in your field, to make the connections and to craft your platform and message so that it resonates with people. Thought leaders have personal drive and the willingness to devote time to their goals.

How an MSL Degree Can Help You Become a Better Leader

Whether you currently hold a leadership position or hope to one day, a Master of Science in Leadership (MSL) degree can help you gain important leadership skills to become an effective leader in your field. This degree is designed to help you discover your leadership style and your strengths and weaknesses. This degree will help you integrate into conscious capitalism, this will help you grow in the business field while still positively affecting humanity.  

The courses in the program cover topics such as Leadership and Innovation, Servant Leadership and Coaching, Mentoring and Leadership Development. If you are a working professional, modalities such as online or evening options make it easier for you to earn your leadership degree while working.

Becoming a great leader takes time and effort. If leadership is something you feel destined for, check out the Master of Science in Leadership at Grand Canyon University. To learn more about how Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business provides outstanding business students with the tools to become future leaders, click the Request Info button on this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.