Having a successful business is much more than having the best products or the most amazing marketing strategies. It’s much more than having a ‘badass’ brand or a great customer service. Althogugh all these thngs matter, but what matters most is the qualities that the leader possess.

Whatever role you play in your business, or whatever position you occupy in another’s business, the qualities that you exhibit go a long way in determining whether or not you will succeed in that business or help the business succeed.

So what are the qualities that every leader must possess?

1. Emotional Intelligence: This isn’t only about making a pact with yourself to always check your emotions and never lose your temper. It’s also the ability to check the emotions of the people working under you. As much as you monitor and manage your emotions, you must be willing and able to do same for others. You can do these by paying attention to people, try to sense what they are feeling when they talk and when they carry out their tasks too. Pay attention to the intangibles.

2. Creativity: This is an extremely necessary qualitiy for every leader. Finding creative solutions to yesterday’s problems is the future of work. You must be able to come up with new ideas, improve on suggestions, retire old rules and come up with disruptive techniques to move the business forward. Creativity and innovation go hand in hand. An innovative leader will attain success much faster than an ordinary leader.

3. Persistence: Many times, things will not go your way. Your ability to persist is what makes you a great leader. If at every encounter of obstacles you back away, then you are close to extinction. Persistence is the key to ultimate success. You must keep at it, and not only that, you must let your subordinates see that they are going to achieve a glorious feat if they don’t back down. Be proactive and have a positive energy, don’t be timid.

4. Empathy: A leader who shows genuine empathy to others is a great leader. See your subordinates as you see yourself, because in actual fact, you are the same. The only thing that makes you a little bit different is your ‘title’ so don’t let it get into your head. Always empathise with your people, see things from their point of view and put yourself in their shoes.

5. Listening: Some leaders love to hear themselves speak so much so that they do not welcome any suggestions or take advice from their staff. Don’t let this be you. Leadership is all about listening to your people and giving them positive feedback. You are a leader to serve the people, not to create an autonomous governement. Listen to your staff, don’t always think they are complaining or giving excuses when they talk to you. They might have challenges that only you the leader can solve. So pay attention.