IAW Business Forum: 5 Leadership Skills to Take Your Business to the Top


You’re in the lead. You’re a visionary. You’re ready to take your business to the top.

As a business owner, you make things happen. You inspire those around you to give it their all. You’re in charge, and you know being a leader is so much more than simply calling the shots. Understanding how to lead and manage a diverse team of individuals who seamlessly work together toward one common goal is key to driving your business forward.

Here are 5 leadership skills to take your business to the top:

  • Celebrate Collaboration – Use the talents of those around you. Welcome input from your staff and encourage them to voice their opinions and share their ideas so that everyone feels they are part of the team.
  • Seek Diversity – When hiring employees, look for individuals who have unique skill sets and varied backgrounds, experiences and strengths. A recent report by McKinsey & Company found that, among its other positive impacts, diversity increases employee satisfaction and improves decision making.
  • Pursue Professional Development – Keep your skill set at the highest level by continuing to learn. Attend seminars and take classes to stay on top of industry trends and encourage your employees to do the same. Join professional organizations such as IAW where you can tap into your network to learn from other business leaders.
  • Set Specific Goals – Having clear goals keeps everyone focused. It helps make sense of company strategies, and serves as an excellent way to measure success. Set new goals to continually challenge your employees and be sure to reward them when objectives are met.
  • Lead By Example – Roll up your sleeves and work hard alongside your staff to illustrate your commitment and dedication. Listen to what they have to say; show employees you respect them and they will do the same for you.

We want to hear from you! What skills do you think are important for a business leader? How do you sharpen your leadership skills?




  1. Sarah
    March 9, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    I was taken aback a little by the vote for “I am not a leader”. We are all of us leaders in some shape or form. Leading by example and walking our walk for those around us makes us all leaders. Whether we lead toward positive ends or negative ends is determined by the example that we share with all around us.

  2. Marcia
    March 12, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Sarah I agree with you. We, especially women, have been leaders their entire lives. I think it might have been better said “high-level administrative position.” There are many positions in the mid-level range where we have a tremendous impact. I feel that an important responsibility of any leader is to create an environment that engages their workforce and helps them develop the best they have to offer. This requires a fundamental identity shift, one where women are seen by others as leaders regardless of the administrative level.

    The other comment is regarding STEM. I am in the health sciences and STEM is a major initiative. Where I have concerns and speak to often is the A in STEM – that is to say STEAM and include the arts. In my opinion, we cannot be fully developed and well rounded without the arts.

  3. Lesley
    March 18, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    “Leadership is influence. Nothing more…nothing less.” A famous quote from the #1 Leadership guru…John C. Maxwell. We ALL influence someone!!

  4. Shannon Marsden
    April 8, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    “Be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else” – Judy Garland

  5. Beatriz I Mateo
    April 9, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Thank you for sharing this great segment in how to become a leader!
    I learn from many people including a child.
    Always taking in considerations changes and flexibility!
    But it is important to be firm in certain concepts that you believe.
    Thank you to the Lord for sharing many ideas with so many intellectual and professional people in our community and around the world!
    Thank you for the tips….It is a really an inspiration!
    Be there! do that!
    All the best for everyone! Happy Holidays!

  6. Nila Danza
    June 6, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Leadership is a gift that many women improves with resources and learning. In addition, the inconsistency in the command and communication decreases respect for leaders. Leaders in a working team with assertiveness in their ideas, works and leadership, and determination in their actions are respected and admired into a team work.