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10 Leadership Traits Every Successful Entrepreneur Must Have

Kristin Marquet

Managing a company in today's economic and technology-driven climate requires strong leadership skills. However, being a successful entrepreneur goes beyond the basics of leadership. Entrepreneurs need to have a vision for a product or service and be able to lead their team through uncertainty and risk. 

Here's our shortlist of traits we believe every entrepreneur needs to have to be successful: 

Pragmatic Thinkers - In today's digital age, everyone is a visionary - meaning that everyone has a creative idea that is going to change the world. While this is great in theory, that's not the way the world works. Oftentimes, these entrepreneurs come off as foolish and naive. Avoid that!  

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur and leader, you need to think clearly and critically. You need to look at your business objectively to develop a viable business model, attract the right team, meet deadlines, and create opportunities that breed success. Otherwise, you're just being self-centered and reckless. 

Flexibility - Entrepreneurs need to be flexible and willing to adapt as their businesses and industries change. 

Humility - As an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to admit when you're wrong and not let your ego/pride get in the way. But a strong leader and entrepreneur know when to admit when they were wrong and take responsibility for their mistakes. 

Focus - You need to know how to focus on the important tasks to meet deadlines. If you're scattered and distracted by every shiny thing and small detail, you'll never be able to achieve anything.  

Self-Awareness - Entrepreneurs need to be self-aware. They need to understand what is happening around them, how to adapt to those things, and more importantly, how their presence is perceived and can change the mood of the room. If you want to manage a team effectively, inspire innovation and creativity, and sign new customers/clients, then you need to be self-aware. There's just no way around it.  

Self-Confidence - If you want to lead to your team effectively, then you need to be self-confident you'll make the right decisions. Your team needs to know that they can trust you to guide them through the unpredictable times.  

Transparency and Honesty - As someone who has led teams in both a corporate environment and as an entrepreneur, I've always been transparent and honest even if my team didn't want to hear something. It's the only way to build trust and get their support. 

Innovative Thinking - We've heard it time and again - innovation is the key to success. Yes, it is in all aspects of business including being an entrepreneur and a leader. When you problem solve, you need to be able to look beyond the obvious and come up with new ways to solve complex issues, as abstract as it sounds.  

Patience - It's so easy to demand your team meet deadlines and achieve other goals you set. But there will be times when your team falls behind due to issues beyond their control (i.e., servers go down, a team member gets sick, etc.).  Nothing is foolproof. When these unfortunate things do happen, you'll have to be patient and trust that your team will be able to get back on track. 

Making Decisions - If you want to be an effective entrepreneur and leader, you need to be able to make decisions, and in most cases, very quickly. If it takes months for you to make a simple decision, then there's a pretty good chance your business will falter. 

Kristin Marquet

In 2017, Kristin Marquet launched the media company, FemFounder.co that helps creative female entrepreneurs plan, launch, and scale their businesses. FemFounder is a one-stop resource for everything on entrepreneurship, digital marketing, PR, and social media marketing. Now, Kristin runs Marquet-Media.com, a boutique creative consultancy that designs beautiful and feminine brands in the wedding, b...(Read More)

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