Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Two Key Traits of Great Leaders in Business

Whether you head up a home-based business or run a traditional business, leadership is paramount.

Two key traits identify a great leader, says Warren Bennis, professor at the University of Southern California, and author of "Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership".

In an interview with the Harvard Business Review, August 2, 2010, he pointed to two qualities that are absolutely essential for a successful organization.

1.  The capacity to build a great team.  Draw people together who are compatible, joined in their efforts and closely aligned.

During my 15 years with Usana, I have seen people actually "take the leadership" and be determined to build a strong team themselves.  From day one, they understood the mission: to create a strong team of Associates who also take the leadership for their own businesses. Yet, they are all committed to the common goal of enriching people's lives with the Usana products and the opportunity for ongoing financial independence.

From there, building a great team takes regular communication, listening, encouraging and empowering.  Each of those activities could have it's own blog post.

2.  Judgement.  Warren Bennis says you have to pick the right people, who "can play together in the sandbox".

In a traditional business, it is mega important who you hire in order to develop an atmosphere that generates loyalty and a determination to achieve excellence.  Happy employees make for happy customers.

Usana Health Sciences has been named "one of the best companies to work for" in Utah, plus nation wide.  How do they achieve that?  First, by hiring the right management team, scientists and staff.  And then they have a strategic plan for the entire team to work as a unit.

That's in essence a successful traditional business.

For those who have a home-based business with Usana, the goal is the same:  to choose your business partners wisely and then work together as a team to create happy customers and successful Associates.

How are you doing with these two leadership traits?  I'm constantly learning from others and striving to improve.

Deanna Waters 
I'd love to hear your comments and ideas...

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