Tips for Business Leadership Development


All across the internet, people have been sharing their opinions on the job turnover surrounding Gen Z and how they “just don’t want to work.” But maybe the reason they keep quitting is because organizations are lacking decent leadership. 

According to a two-year study, companies have been neglecting leadership development, leading to significant negative impacts on performance. The study revealed that only a small percentage of companies believe their leadership development delivers high value, with declining maturity, investment and focus on leadership overall.

“There’s a famous saying that people join businesses and leave leaders. Poor leadership is one of the top reasons why people quit,” says Alex Brueckmann, executive thought partner and author of The Strategy Legacy: How To Future-Proof A Business And Leave Your Mark

“Better leadership, on the other hand, provides direction (vision) and clarity about what matters (strategy),” he continues. “This helps to focus resources and achieve business goals, for example, revenue growth. Better leadership attracts and grows talent by providing development and career opportunities, resulting in lower churn and reduced cost.”

Qualities of a Good Leader

Let’s start with the basics. To help ensure your management team is able to lead other employees, Dan Freschi, Leadership & Team Development Executive and Author, put together a list of qualities that leadership should have:

  • Self-awareness. Good leaders develop deep and strategic levels of self-awareness about their strengths, weaknesses and values.
  • Authenticity. Good leaders prioritize authenticity, integrity and transparency. They stay true to their core values and exhibit these qualities in their interactions with the outside world. 
  • Humility. Good leaders are humble leaders. They are both skilled and humble enough to recognize their strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Vulnerability. Good leaders are not afraid of being vulnerable. They prioritize building deep and meaningful relationships with their team through vulnerability. 
  • Courageousness. Good leaders practice courage every day. They step outside their comfort zone, taking appropriate risks, challenging the status quo and advocating for what they believe is right. 
  • Inspire a Shared Vision. Good leaders convey a common purpose and inspire a shared vision of the future. 
  • Communication. Good leaders understand how to communicate. They excel in communicating their thoughts and ideas, listening actively to others and ensuring the organization shares information transparently.
  • Accountability. Good leaders understand how to hold themselves and others accountable for their actions and the team’s outcomes, creating a culture of ownership and dependability.

Practice Good Communication

Probably one of the most important qualities of a good leader is the ability to communicate with employees. But you also have to do so in a way that doesn’t come across as condescending. 

“We are the most productive when we enjoy the work we do, and when we know how we contribute to success,” states Brueckmann. “Instead of demanding people to work harder, leaders achieve sustainable productivity increases through training, coaching and mentoring. In other words, train people and help them master their work, providing regular feedback.”

Brueckmann mentions that it’s also important to show appreciation along the way. Employees who feel appreciated, supported and connected to a business’s goals ultimately feel more motivated, and as a result, more productive.

Leadership No-No’s

Now that we know what makes a good leader, Karyn Ezell, Executive Leadership Coach at Karyn Ezell Leadership Coaching, suggests that management should steer clear from the following:

  • Don’t treat anyone poorly or use your role to punish or hold others down.
  • Don’t play favorites among teams or employees.
  • Don’t give unclear or incomplete direction, or assume employees will understand.
  • Don’t be inconsistent in how you approach work from day to day.
  • Don’t create unhealthy competition between employees or teams.
  • Don’t take successes and failures personally or allow either to affect your work or interactions with others.

All in all, just don’t be a jerk. “Be able to become approachable by being open to questions and problems,” advises Freschi. “Encourage your team members to communicate openly and honestly. Don’t be a jerk by being passive-aggressive or sarcastic when team members need to share a problem, question or issue.”

Strong Leaders Help Businesses Thrive

Karyn Ezell, Executive Leadership Coach at Karyn Ezell Leadership Coaching.

Better leadership across the board allows employees at every level in the company to perform at their best. It will also lead to better customer service, both internal and external, according to Ezell. Overall, better leadership improves bottom-line profitability. 

As a leadership coach, Ezell says this is the best piece of advice she always gives to her clients:

“Create a clear vision of the leader you want to be and start being that person now, regardless of the position you currently hold. Identify the things that stand between where you are now and where you want to be. Start working on those things, whether it’s a specific skill you want to acquire, or an unproductive habit you want to eliminate. Opportunities will come, not because you’ve done your time and it’s your turn, but because doing this work to be the leader and the person you want to be creates opportunity,” she says.