5 Qualities of Successful Business Leaders

5 Qualities of Successful Business Leaders

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) remains among the most respected degrees of business leaders in the corporate world. Why? Because the success of an organization often hinges on the competence of its leadership and earning your MBA proves that you had the dedication and capability to reach the top.

Unlike specialized advanced degrees, the MBA can transfer easily from industry to industry, offering an array of lucrative job options and establishing you as an expert in the areas you choose to pursue. At UC Online, our MBA courses are taught through the Carl H. Lindner College of Business, which has been helping graduates achieve success in business and service for over 115 years. Celebrated around the world for sparking innovation and fueling professional growth, our faculty and staff know what makes a successful business leader tick — and it all boils down to five qualities.

1. They Speak The Language of Business

When it comes to corporate progress, communication is key. Effective leaders have an advanced understanding of their organization’s economics and operations, making prudent financial decisions and then using that financial information to communicate clearly rather than masking it with business jargon. These leaders are intentional about how and when they speak since they are often inundated with constant interaction from customers, partners, employees, and stakeholders. Using the standard concepts and theories from each business discipline, effective leaders can work with any department function to solve problems and celebrate successes. They know firsthand that great communication starts with listening and that, in the end, it’s never enough to simply speak clearly — you need to know you’re being heard and understood when you share your information and ideas with an audience.

Fortunately, like any other skill, the language of business can be learned. At UC Online, we offer several interrelated courses to turn you into a master communicator that can interact at any organizational level within your company. Our corresponding courses include:

  • Accounting for Managerial Decisions, which will make you fluent in cost allocation, break-even analysis, and budgeting decisions.
  • Managerial Economics, which will make you fluent in profit and revenue maximization, consumer behavior and demand, and production and cost.
  • Financial Management, which will make you fluent in investment criteria, valuation techniques, asset pricing models, and risk management techniques.
  • Management of Operations, which will make you fluent in product and process design, management, supply chain management, and project management.
  • Foundations in Organizations, which will make you fluent in organizational strategy, structure, design, and context.
  • Foundations in Accounting, which will make you fluent in financial statements, management decisions, time-value of money techniques, and capital asset decisions.
  • Foundations in Economics, which will make you fluent in microeconomics, macroeconomics, supply and demand mechanisms, regulation and taxation, and the aggregate economy.
  • Foundations in Finance, which will make you fluent in time value of money techniques and capital asset decisions.

2. They are Entrepreneurial

To entrepreneurial leaders, problems are never ‘just problems’ — they are opportunities in which, with the right mindset, economic and social value can be produced. Through experimentation, listening, and learning, these professionals regularly mobilize their employees to solve problems collaboratively because they understand that true innovation comes from action, not hierarchy. To make strategic decisions, they understand the business world on an international scale, engaging the global marketplace with a flexible yet brand-consistent approach while simultaneously analyzing their company’s business activities to minimize any potential risks. In the end, they don’t simply believe things can be better — they make them better.

And since entrepreneurial leaders are made, not born, we offer a specialized curriculum to draw out your entrepreneurial spirit and teach you how to always look forward in the face of adversity. Our corresponding courses include:

  • Accounting for Managerial Decisions, which will teach you how to use accounting data to think strategically when making managerial decisions.
  • New Product Development, which will teach you to not only recognize the needs of the market, but to think creatively to meet these needs with related products.
  • Managing Organizational Change, which will teach you the challenging reality of implementing change, whether it be everyday work-life change or large-scale organizational change.
  • Quality and High-Performance Organizations, which will teach you to assess management approaches in order to develop better strategies for improving excellence in employee performance.

3. They Think Strategically

If you inhabit the business world, you’ve probably heard the term ‘think strategically’ used regularly in everyday communication, and it’s no wonder. Successful leaders of today need to think deliberately about where they want their organization to go so that they’re able to develop applicable strategies, sustain progress, and keep employees supported and informed. Why? Because effective leaders don’t only focus on their current successes or crises — they have the discipline to center their resources and energy on the priorities that will ensure future success.

At UC Online, we believe it’s always important to think strategically, no matter where you are in your academic or professional career. In fact, three of our MBA courses are specifically designed to jumpstart your long-term thinking abilities. Our corresponding courses include:

  • Strategic Management, which will teach you to develop and implement business- and corporate-level strategies.
  • Marketing Strategy for Managers, which will teach you to wrestle with the knotty problems and testing solutions common in strategic planning.
  • Management of Innovation, which will teach you to focus and deliberate in order to foster resourcefulness and insight among your employees.

4. They are Responsible and Accountable

True leaders are not now, nor have they ever been, leaders in name only. They are committed to their organization and its people, and that commitment causes them to take their roles seriously and work to build true trust among employees. One of the ways in which this is accomplished is by implementing accountability, responsibility, and focus throughout their team. Setting this tone early on leads others to follow it: these leaders accept responsibility when things go wrong and give credit for success where it’s due. They understand that a lack of accountability damages the entire company culture, which in turn affects the morale and motivation of individual workers.

Prioritizing accountability and responsibility as a leader can sound overwhelming, but with the proper education and training you can begin leading ethically and establishing trust. To cultivate this attitude, our expert faculty will teach you how to establish a culture of accountability. Our corresponding courses include:

  • Corporate Legal and Social Responsibility, which will teach you to exercise informed judgment with regard to the ethical and legal issues that arise in domestic and global business.
  • Marketing Ethics, which will teach you that good decisions are informed by a thorough understanding of the subjective biases to which individual human judgments and group decisions are prone.
  • Managing Across Cultures, which will teach you to understand management in the global business context of the 21st century by examining the concept of national culture as it applies to management practice.
  • Financial Management, which will teach you to develop intuition on financial issues so that you’re able to analyze a variety of standard finance problems and report frankly to your organization’s people.
  • Foundations in Accounting, which will teach you the accounting process that results in the preparation of financial statements so that you’re capable of analyzing financial statements and reporting them to external and internal users.

5. They Manage the Complex

Accomplished leaders begin their success as soon as they’re hired by providing a structure that ensures their processes and team work efficiently, even if that means radically changing an organization. By taking the time to meet with staff and customers, gain valuable input about products or individuals, and investigate any practical performance metrics that are available to them, they’re able to streamline procedures and policies in order to achieve their organization’s mission. Because in the world of business, successful leaders don’t just manage the complex — they simplify it.

At UC Online, we know that true leadership is all about setting clear standards and expectations — and we’ll prepare you for this ever-changing responsibility by teaching you to provide clarity among employees, reduce risk, and drive new efficiencies at an organizational level. Our corresponding courses include:

  • Management of Operations, which will teach you the decisions and activities to cope with major operations problems.
  • Leadership and Organizations, which will teach you to recognize and understand micro-level issues (individual differences and motivation), mid-level issues (leadership, groups, and teams), and macro-level issues (organizational culture and structure).

Build Your Leadership Skills

When you earn your MBA at UC Online, you gain more than a business degree — you gain a big-picture perspective in corporate decision-making that will inspire your employees to perform their best every day, leading to not just success for yourself, but for your organization. Through our distinctive combination of hands-on experiences, cooperative education, and flexible pathways, you’ll become an expert in leadership, analytical thinking, creativity, communication, and so much more.

So — are you ready to learn more? Discover how you can achieve your goals with an MBA from the University of Cincinnati Online; or take the first step in advancing your career by beginning your application today.

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