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5 Essential Skills of Business Leaders: Insights from an Executive Coach

5 Essential Skills of Business Leaders: Insights from an Executive Coach

Running a business is special. It’s a calling from God. And when things are running smoothly, the benefits are extraordinary—to you and all of those your business touches.

However, being an entrepreneur can also be challenging. There are a lot of uncertainties. Changing markets, financial insecurity, conflicts among staff and customers, not having enough time at the end of the day to relax and regroup—let alone think about the big picture of your business—along with a whole slew of little fires to put out each day.

Unfortunately, these challenges can lead to burnout—the fate of many small business owners. That burnout takes its toll not only on the business leader, but also on the people that leader is meant to serve. But it doesn’t have to.

In fact, you can run a successful business in the modern world without the stress. And doing so starts with you. Who you are as a leader. The skills you develop to fill that role. And then, as you grow, that inner transformation makes affecting the outer world much more seamless.

So to that end, here are five essential skills of business leaders. As you read through this list, take stock of your weaknesses and areas for growth. Then, as you take steps to develop those lacking skills, you’ll fortify your business and have the greatest positive impact on your community and God’s Kingdom.

The Bottom Line: Mastering Your Finances

In the Christian community, speaking of profits can feel a bit taboo, and many business owners feel focusing on money is selfish and ungodly.

However, the fact is your business must be profitable. And what’s more than that is that God wants you to succeed. Because when your business is profitable, you can take better care of yourself, your family and employees, and your community at large. 

For these reasons mastering the financial side of your business is of the utmost importance. And to do that, you need to do two things: 

Developing a positive mindset toward money means recognizing that your Christianity and making a healthy return are not at odds. The key is to focus on stewardship—realizing all resources ultimately belong to the Father and you are simply stewarding those gifts.

For a Biblical example, look to Matthew 25:14-30 where Jesus tells the parable of the talents. In this story, the master—representing God—praises his servants for making a profit with his money and chastises the one who simply saved the money for fear of losing.

Therefore, your job is to take your revenues and use them to grow your company and your ability to earn. To do this—to make profitable returns with the resources granted to you—there are a few practical skills needed. 

These include:

  • Creating accurate financial reports (or hiring a bookkeeper)
  • Understanding how to read those reports
  • Having effective methods for pricing your products and services
  • Calculating cost per billable hour (tied to making appropriate job bids)

Ultimately, mastering these basics gives you a big-picture view of your business’s financial health—helping you make wiser choices with God’s resources. 

Mastering Time Through The Art of Delegation

One of the main sources of stress for a business owner is lack of margin—typically with regard to money and time. 

The time aspect is a big deal,  and the problem most entrepreneurs run into is being too involved with the business. 

Essentially, after building the company from the ground up, they have trouble letting go. For these owners, letting go of the reins and developing trust is paramount to their future success. 

One reason for this is constant burnout deteriorates communication between staff and customers, creating a toxic workplace. Additionally, business owners need time and space to zoom out and look at the big picture to solve efficiency problems and put more sustainable measures into practice. 

Because of this, learning to delegate is an absolute must. But again, that can be hard to do on your own, which is one reason why business coaching is so helpful for stressed out leaders. So if you could use a guiding hand in learning how to delegate more effectively, book a free call with an Integro coach today.

But in the meantime, let’s keep going to point number three…

Building Your Greatest Business Asset: Relationships

Along with time and money, a successful business leader must master their people. 

Without solid interpersonal skills, the workplace may become strife with conflict. Not only does this deteriorate relationships, but it also adversely affects your business, productivity and products. 

Therefore, it is essential that business leaders become just that: leaders. So see if any of the following points could use some work within your business. Time spent developing any weak points will pay handsomely in increased production, a better work atmosphere and more fun on the job.

  • Communication skills: active listening, empathy, friendliness, respect, giving and accepting constructive feedback
  • Recognizing you already have a work culture—and striving to improve it 
  • Knowing effective ways for resolving conflict among staff and customers
  • Learning about different personality types and how to communicate best with each
  • Finding a person’s gifts and putting them in the correct position to thrive
  • Having strategies for building strong teams that work together and get things done

Defining and Living out Your Personal Values

One of the most helpful things a business owner can do is define their values—both for themselves and their business.

Common business values in the Christian community are things like honesty, integrity and a commitment to excellence. By taking the time to list these values—and clearly articulate what each means to you—you’ll find your role as a business leader much more clear.

That’s because defined values help you execute. When you know what you and your business stand for, decision-making becomes much easier. Those values act as a guide and usually make the choice clear.

Plus, the longer you act in line with these values, the deeper an impact they have on your company. In time, they begin to shape your work culture, creating a self-fulfilling loop where you both attract the right people to your business and they then deepen those values within your organization.

All-in, defined values shape your success, so list yours today if you have not done so already. You can start with an online list like this one and then whittle it down to two or three that most resonate with you.

Serving the Kingdom Through Entrepreneurship

The final skill of business leadership is mastering the Kingdom influence in your company. 

Simply put, that means recognizing that God’s in charge. This is His business and you are simply a steward of that gift—doing your best to manage the Lord’s resources and blessings in the physical world.

Seeking God in your business leads to many wonderful things. You become more motivated to excel. Your people are positioned to best serve with their God-given gifts. Ultimately, God’s involvement will motivate you to fortify a strong business that leaves a lasting impact on your community.

Developing this Kingdom focus takes attention—and reminders. And by implementing any of the following tips on a daily basis you’ll experience God’s influence in your work and live a life filled with His love.

  • Seek time every day for prayer and contemplation
  • Give your worries up to the Lord
  • Ask for guidance in directing your business decisions
  • Learn about your employee’s unique gifts and talents and help them thrive
  • Let the Holy Spirit guide you

Running Your Business—God’s Way

It’s true that running a business can be hard, but by mastering these points—finances, time, your people, value and the Kingdom—you stand to build a healthy, vibrant company that serves the Lord and makes the world a better place.

That said, it can still be tough going—especially if you walk alone. Because of that, Integro offers a free Discovery Call to any business owner that’s interested in discussing a potential partnership with a Christian business coach.

Integro coaches have been helping business owners like you thrive in the modern market, often doubling revenues (or more) while creating a positive culture that blesses the lives of all it touches. So if you’re curious about what business coaching can do for you—and would like to join forces with fellow Christian entrepreneurs excited to fulfill the Great Commission—book your free call now.

It sure beats staying in the same old ruts year after year.

Book your free call.