It’s not easy to be in business and develop into a leader. Being both takes skill, talent and hard work. However, that’s not to say that you can’t become a successful business leader. All you need to know is how to get there and start taking action today. It’s a rewarding position to be in when you meet your goal, and it’s worth all the hard work. Don’t feel bad if you get frustrated or want to quit along the way. Stick with it and keep your objectives in mind to help motivate you. Once you get to where you’re going, be sure to use your power in uplifting ways and help others who are trying to become a business leader too.

Take on the Role & Challenge

Your first step to becoming a business leader is to decide that you want to be one. You have to want to work in the business world and focus your time and energy on finding success in the industry. Open your own business or find a company you enjoy being a part of and work your way to the top. You have to want to be a boss and deal with business matters each day for it to happen. Understand that it’s going to take a lot of hard work and time, but remain patient and keep pushing forward. Accept the challenge, document your goals and then get to work.

Know People

Start building up your network at an early stage in your career. You can never have too many professional contacts. You never know who will help you get your foot in the door or provide valuable advice. The more people you know in the business community, the more likely you are to experience positive happenings and move forward in the right direction. Keep your contacts organized and remember to reach out often to stay in touch, even if it’s simply to say hello. You should want people to know you if you desire to be a leader in the business world.

Read A Lot

Reading is the foundation for many people’s success in life. You need to be educated as a business leader and understand what’s going on in your industry and around the world. You should take the time to read publications like and learn more about other successful leaders, investment ideas and general news updates. You could make reading a part of your daily routine, so you never fall behind. It’s always good to be knowledgeable about a wide range of business topics so you can relate to whoever you’re speaking with at the time. Reading will only increase your knowledge and make you a more-rounded leader.

Learn how to Manage & Influence People

To be a leader is to know how to work with people and get them to act without being forceful. You have to be able to inspire others and manage employees seamlessly, both in the office and while you’re away on business. You do this by gaining experience, learning from your mentors and building confidence in yourself. Successful leaders have a natural way with people and can get them to perform highly without any pushback or complaining. It’s all about how you carry yourself, your tone of voice and how you say it versus what you’re saying. It’s important that you know how to take charge and get people to act, simply by having others find you appealing.

Make Smart Decisions

Business leaders don’t make decisions randomly or whenever the mood strikes. They plan, prepare and think about what they’re doing before they do it. It doesn’t mean they take a lot of time to decide, but that they have a plan and strategy behind all they do. This way you’re able to make choices on the spot still but are doing so methodically. It takes practice to make smart decisions continuously, so give yourself time to adapt to this way of processing information. Business leaders also don’t let others persuade or tell them what to do. They decide a certain way because it’s what they truly believe is right.

Participate in Speaking Engagements

Make a name for yourself by getting out there and participating in speaking engagements all over the country, and even the world. Use the platform as a chance to introduce yourself and your business to a lot of different people and build your network. You can show your expertise and provide knowledge to others to help boost your likability rating. Speaking engagements are a great tool for imparting information and getting the word out about who you are and what you do. You’ll quickly be known as someone who’s wise, clever and a good person to know.

Understand the Value or your Customers & Clients

A successful business leader knows that his or her customers and clients always come first. It’s how they operate and will always go out of their way to make sure they’re satisfied. They practice what they preach by being available for clients and finding solutions to their problems quickly. Not only does their staff look up to them, but their customers are loyal to them and the business as well. Business leaders aren’t afraid to deal with the tough issues and sit face-to-face with customers to hash out whatever’s going on.

Admit when You’re Wrong or Make Mistakes

You have to be able to admit when you’ve made a mistake or you’re wrong as a business leader. People won’t trust or respect you if you’re always lying and being deceitful. Your pride can’t get in the way of doing what’s right. Always tell the truth and be forthcoming with information that’s important for getting to the bottom of a particular situation. Otherwise, you’re doing a disservice to yourself, the company, your employees and your customers. You want to make a good name for yourself and your company by being viewed as authentic.

Have A Positive Attitude & Passion

You should smile and have fun with your job. Successful business leaders are passionate about what they do and love going to work each day. You have to truly want to be where you are and love your work to succeed. The position also requires having a positive attitude because there are a lot of tough situations and obstacles to overcome when working your way up the ladder. An optimistic outlook will take you far and allow you to keep going when you feel like a failure, or you make a mistake. Other people admire those who are upbeat and know how to problem solve.


Take care of yourself by delegating what work others can do for you. It’s vital you learn how to delegate if you want to make it to the top. You’re going to get busier and busier taking on more responsibilities, and you won’t have time to do it all. You have to know how to trust others and put your faith in them that they’ll complete the assignment correctly and on time. However, this is only successful when the person delegating does it right. It means understanding who is the best person for the job, explaining the instructions clearly and not micromanaging the project.

Seek Advice

Even business leaders seek advice from others. Have good friends from all sorts of industries like lawyers, doctors and financial advisors. You don’t have to know it all, but you do have to know where to get the right help. You’ll want people who you trust in these roles as you get more established and not just anyone off the street. It’s also smart to seek business advice from a trusted mentor or colleague when you aren’t sure what to do. There’s nothing wrong with bouncing ideas off of people and talking through a subject matter. It also allows you to get the thoughts that are floating around in your head understood easily.

Know What You Do Best

Being a successful business leader isn’t about doing and knowing it all. Understand what you do best and focus on that. You’ll get a lot further, and people will respect you more for it. You’ll also keep your loyal customers, instead of losing them with some new idea you have that has nothing to do with what they’re used to seeing from you. Be careful not to veer too far off the path, or you risk losing clients and business connections along the way. Do what you do best and challenge you and your team to do it even better.


Anyone can become a successful business leader with the right attitude, drive and experience. Use this guide to get you motivated and started working toward your goal. Remember not to let others tell you that you can’t, or it’s too difficult. Go with what your gut’s telling you and start believing in yourself. You have to have thick skin to be a business leader and not let the negative get to you. Enjoy the ride and make sure to celebrate once you reach what you set out to achieve. Let the leader in you shine when you arrive and then help someone else with their business leader aspirations.

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.