20 Entrepreneurs Define What Being a Leader Means To Them

There’s more to leadership than the mere responsibility. It takes self-awareness, great communication and a number of traits to be an effective leader.

So what does being a leader mean?

We asked entrepreneurs and business owners what being a leader means to them and here are the responses.

#1- Having a vision and sharing it

Photo Credit: Ryan Dalal

Having a vision and sharing it with others is what it means to lead. It is only when you are able to inspire people that you will be able to share a shared objective to which you can drive your complete team's efforts and dedication. What is your vision for the future? Your vision must be audacious and bold. You must set your sights high. Creating a vision is difficult, and it will require you to gather your team and define your firm for the next ten years. Will you be able to rule your industry? Will you be able to build a successful business in your field? Creating a vision as a
leader takes time.

Thanks to Ryan Dalal, JPG to PDF!

#2- Creativity

Photo Credit: Dr. Pooneh Ramezani

The notion of leadership includes the ability to be creative as well. Successful business leaders are able to establish an environment that will allow all members of their team to develop their abilities and inventiveness in order to contribute to the company's overall goal and goal. If you want to be a good leader, you must respect the inventiveness of others and learn from those around you their ideas will almost always be beneficial to you.

Thanks to Dr. Pooneh Ramezani, Dr. Brite!

#3- Source of inspiration

Photo Credit: Phillip Lewi

A leader is someone who not only directs his team's actions, but inspires his team to act beyond instruction. A leader is someone who's not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty alongside his ground men, but is also always ready to straighten his tie and crush it in the conference room with the members of the C-suite. A leader looks beyond the company's profits and also considers the welfare of the employees. A leader understands that if he leads his team properly, his team will take care of the company for him.

Thanks to Phillip Lewi, C9 Staff!

#4- Patience

Photo Credit: Navarre Trousselot

To me, leaders are people who are able to support others and help them achieve their own purpose. A leader’s job is not to model certain behaviors so that others can copy. It’s much harder than that – leaders must identify what approaches and strategies individuals may have and provide space for them to express. That’s why leadership is so difficult – it takes a very open-minded, patient person who is able to hear everyone out and help them achieve their full potential. Also, leaders must be able to put all of these diverse approaches into one system that works well. Otherwise, it will just be a bunch of random people doing things their way, without contributing to the big picture.

Thanks to Navarre Trousselot, Navexa!

#5- The ultimate expression

Photo Credit: Dr. Livingood

To me, being a leader in business is the ultimate expression of skills, creativity, and creating something special that leaves an impact on the world and helps people be better people. It is achieved by leading a business that employs and empowers people and allows them to make a living and be a part of something special along with it.

Thanks to Dr. Livingood

#6- Well-Networked

Photo Credit: Veronica Miller

A great leader understands his strengths and weaknesses; when he networks with people who are better than him in various fields, he learns more than his competitors; he regularly attends events that help him network and connect, and he is unafraid to seek assistance when necessary. He constantly builds relational capital rather than focusing exclusively on financial capital. He also goes about sharing his knowledge with others, which results in tasks being accomplished more quickly.

Thanks to Veronica Miller, VPNoverview!

#7- Ship steerer

Photo Credit: Christen Costa

To me, a leader is the person most capable of steering the ship through the choppiest waters. Anyone can hand down orders and guide the course of a business when things are going well. It's when times get truly tough that the qualities of a good leader really shine. I think the pandemic has really separated the okay leaders from the truly great ones.

Thanks to Christen Costa, Gadget Review!

#8- Resilient

Photo Credit: Timothy Robinson

Resilience is a quality that a highly effective leader possesses. Resilience is the ability of certain materials to revert to their original position upon application of stress. A successful leader, like every other mortal, experiences numerous difficult situations. He must decide which position to take on those occasions. He may even have to detour from his dream on occasion. However, the individual finds a way out of each of these situations or swiftly recovers from the blow and fights for them again. Then he is a tough individual. A critical trait of resilient people is that they are not readily swayed by their minds' trickery or emotionalism. He is aware that his journey may deviate off course, but that he can always return to it.

Thanks to Timothy Robinson, InVPN!

#9- Maintaining one's state of mind

Photo Credit: John Bertino

To me, leadership is the art of maintaining one's heart and mind when everyone else appears to be losing theirs and focusing on immediate gratification rather than on the original purpose or on what the circumstances require for the better welfare of everybody. Leadership is less about others than it is about one's ability to maintain one's state of mind, stay focused, do the right thing, and even risk one's own position for the greater good.

Thanks to John Bertino, The Agency Guy!

#10- Doing what you say you will

Photo Credit: Katie Lyon

Following through and leading by example motivates others to maximize their efforts. A leader must be trustworthy, trust their employees, and act on their promises. Nobody will follow someone who doesn’t keep their word. Perhaps most importantly, a leader should establish a clear vision that others can buy into. By defining what the vision is and how it impacts your workforce, customers, and the market as a whole, you create a larger purpose for each employee. Lastly, leaders need to be empathetic and able to connect to others. This notion has helped shape how I approach my company and employees on a consistent basis. Having high emotional intelligence is an essential trait to obtain and achieve long-term success in today’s climate.

Thanks to Katie Lyon, Allegiance Flag Supply!

#11- Coach and a team builder

Photo Credit: Lynda Le

A leader is a coach and a team builder seeking to achieve a common vision. For a team to improve, a leader must understand what team dynamics is. A leader makes sure that the team members are equipped with the abilities and skills to perform the job, thus achieving the vision. A leader sees potential leaders within his or her team. Improving leadership skills within the team helps create an environment where success is continuous. That’s how I measure and define a leader.

Thanks to Lynda Le, Polish Perfect!

#12- A problem solver and role model

Photo Credit: Jack Altmen

A leader is the one with so many skills including he is the one who can solve the team problems and serve as a role model, he is the one who should encourage creativity so that the team members will not afraid with the A/B testing thing or implementing new things in terms of experiments, A leader is the one who can listen and communicate effectively, A leader should be positive as well as realistic as the same time, he always encourages people to make contributions, offers rewards and recognition in front of people to boost the motivation level and always keep trying new things.

Thanks to Jack Altmen, Think Orion!

#13- One who brings out their team members’ potential

Photo Credit: Stephen Light

A true leader not only assigns tasks but also hones their people’s futures and helps them achieve them. Most people see leaders as people who organize a team to achieve goals efficiently. However, people fail to realize that leaders have the core responsibility of letting their people shine brighter. This could either be by encouraging them to continue their current path, leading them to a different direction, or teaching them how to get to their goals quicker.

Thanks to Stephen Light, Nolah Mattress!

#14- Bar setter

Because they desire to achieve their goals and pull the best out of their teams, a good leader sets the bar high for their people. Only a tenacious leader can accomplish outstanding achievements. In addition to thoroughness, the leader must be able to listen in order to understand the needs of the employees, and then provide the time and resources necessary for them to accomplish their jobs correctly and meet the expectations.

Thanks to Teo Vanyo, Stealth Agents!

#15- Several things

Photo Credit: Jaclyn Strauss

The definition of a perfect leader is one that you do not have to earn their trust over time but rather is given upfront. It is up to you to lose it. A transparent, authentic, and leader that you know will have your best interest and back as long as you are delivering as expected in the most ethical ways. These qualities lend to a team built on a culture of trust and accountability to each other. With a leader and culture build in this way, the team would be willing to hold hands and jump off a cliff if the leader gave it the all-clear for survival is the ultimate place a leader should strive to be the team every employee would desire to be a part of.

Thanks to Jaclyn Strauss, My Macro Memoir!

#16- Respect

Photo Credit: Katie Ziskind

A leader is someone who can respect others even when they feel disrespected. A leader is someone that does not keep secrets or hides things in a deceitful way. A good leader will always make themselves available within reason when supervision is needed for those below them. A good leader offers both coaching, positive encouragement, inspiration, and direction when appropriate. When it comes to leading, oftentimes a good leader will encourage collaboration and except the influence and perspective of another person despite their rank or status. A good leader allows for other viewpoints to be integrated and structural influences as needed. A good leader also implements a good team that has qualities the leader may not yet possess.

Thanks to Katie Ziskind, Wisdom Within Counseling!

#17- Honesty & Inquisitivenes

Photo Credit: Will Cannon

If a CEO, Chairman, or President of a company is promoting these two noble qualities with his/her actions excessively, that business is a lucky one for sure. Because honesty, as the golden principle, is the first and foremost quality of any leader. If he/she is not honest with themselves, their principles, and etc., they can never be honest with the business and their team. Likewise, a leader who asks a question, and promotes this culture of innovative inquisitiveness, the business will become a hub of great ideas; new problems with novel solutions to facilitate significant growth.

Thanks to Will Cannon, Uplead!

#18- Empathy

Photo Credit: Ahsanat Chaudhary

Being in a leadership role for more than five years have taught me that it's not just about a job role or a position. It's more about actions, efforts, strategies and the most important aspect -Empathy. Every day I wake up with a feeling that I need to do more to be a perfect fit for this role. I leave my ego at the doorstep and enter the organisation with a perspective to give more than what I offered yesterday. A leader is never credit-hungry. Leadership is learning every day how to affect the lives of the people around us positively to create a ripple effect and give back to the community. I believe everybody has something exceptional to offer and a true leader is the one who has the zeal to find what it is and nurture it to the best of his ability.

Thanks to Ahsanat Chaudhary, InkTrust!

#19- A leader is an innovator

Photo Credit: Nate Tsang

When you’re a leader, you try to solve problems that arise in your organization. This is why leaders are innovators, doing things differently and solving problems in a manner that has never been done before. As an innovator, leaders create environments where employees are given resources and tools that challenge the status quo, pushing boundaries to achieve growth. Innovators are leaders committed to creating a dynamic, effective, productive, and values-based organization. When a leader is innovative, they can influence employees to produce creative ideas, products, and services, benefiting the entire organization.

Thanks to Nate Tsang, WallStreetZen!

#20- Difference maker

Photo Credit: Tyler Garns

A leader is someone who people look up to not because he is famous but because he made a difference in their lives. He rallies with people and brings them to a better direction because he believes in their capabilities as an employee and person. Whenever he achieves something, he commends everyone for their contribution. He never forgets to value his people because he believes that he can not do it all alone.

Thanks to Tyler Garns, Box Out Marketing!

How would you define leader? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

Mercy - CBNation

This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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