How can you be an inspirational leader?

There’s no one-size-fits-all model for being a successful business leader, but my experience has taught me that there are certain qualities entrepreneurs must have if they’re to really inspire the people around them. Here are just some of the traits that I consider to be especially important when it comes to motivating and enthusing colleagues.

A bold vision

The most inspirational leaders tend to have a bold vision. Whether this is outselling competitors, developing groundbreaking products or services that advance industry standards or meeting ambitious growth targets, being able to think big and articulate their goals clearly and convincingly helps to set the best businesspeople apart. By establishing a brave and ambitious agenda – and consistently reinforcing this – entrepreneurs can create excitement and inspire admiration and loyalty in those around them.

A positive attitude

Positivity is another essential characteristic. Being able to remain upbeat even when addressing potentially significant problems enables leaders to maintain high levels of morale among their colleagues and it contributes to a more positive company culture overall. This can help leaders to steer their companies through the bad times as well as the good and it makes it easier to recruit and retain the top personnel.

A focus on your people

The most skillful entrepreneurs also realise that lasting success doesn’t come from being selfish. They spend time and energy cultivating and nurturing the talents of the people around them, enabling them to fulfil their potential and harnessing their abilities in the best possible ways. This helps to maximise job satisfaction among staff members and, because it takes full advantage of people’s skills, it can boost the long-term success of businesses.

An ability to share your motivations

Many of the most skilled leaders take the time to explain to the people around them exactly what motivates them to strive for the top. By providing personal anecdotes and giving insights into their history and what they are seeking to achieve in the future, entrepreneurs can establish a closer connection with their colleagues. In my own case, I have made the concept ‘Be something more’ a corporate slogan within Appco Group. I first came across the idea as a young kid when I got a poster from my mum displaying this phrase. The concept reflected my late parents’ outlook on life – striving to achieve excellence in whatever you choose to do and helping those around you – and I think it perfectly encapsulates what our company and people do.

Sharing insights and personal motivations like this can promote cohesion and understanding within companies and it can play an important role in inspiring others.

Chris Niarchos is the founder and chairman of the Cobra Group of Companies and is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the many businesses within the group. He began his career as an entrepreneur at the age of just 22, when he established his first direct sales business, and has since gone on to achieve international success. You can find out more about Chris Niarchos’ background and business achievements online.

3 important lessons I’ve learned in business

To be successful in business, you have to be able to adapt and to pick up knowledge and skills as you go.

You learn from mentors, colleagues and competitors, and you take lessons from both your achievements and your mistakes.

Absorbing all of this information helps you to grow not only as an entrepreneur, but also as a person. Here are three important lessons I’ve learned during my career.

1. It’s impossible to control everything

No matter how much of a perfectionist you are and how tight a grip you want to keep on your company, the simple fact is you can’t control everything.

Trying to micromanage every aspect of your business can spell disaster for your strategic planning and it will cause your stress levels to soar. As a leader, you have to be able to take a step back and delegate tasks to the appropriate people.

There will also be a range of variables outside of your business that you have little or no control over, including the prevailing market conditions. This means you have to be flexible in your approach and ready to tailor your strategy to suit changing circumstances.

2. Patience is an important virtue

It’s true that a small number of businesspeople seem to propel themselves to instant fame and fortune, but the vast majority of entrepreneurs have to work hard over a sustained period of time to achieve their goals.

This means that patience is vital asset among business leaders. You need to have foresight and dedication to stick to your path and realise your ambitions. Anyone who has made it to the top thanks to hard work and perseverance – and that’s most people – will tell you that this makes the eventual rewards all the more satisfying.

3. Keeping your focus is crucial

You must also be able to keep your focus at all times. After reaching a particular target or milestone, there is a risk that entrepreneurs – who tend to always be juggling multiple things – will turn their attention elsewhere and lose their momentum. If you want to achieve sustained success and company growth, you’ll need to avoid this pitfall.

One of the things that has helped me to remain motivated throughout my career is my desire to ‘Be Something More’. This phrase was printed on a poster that I put up on my bedroom wall as a youngster living at home and it has helped me to shape my approach to work and to life more generally.

‘Be Something More’ reminds me to continuously strive to achieve the most for my businesses, myself and, just as importantly, for the people around me. This guiding principle is so important to me that I decided to make it the catchphrase for the entire Appco Group.

As chairman and founder of the Cobra Group, Chris Niarchos has achieved global success as an entrepreneur. His journey began at the age of just 22 when he started his first direct sales company in Sydney. He had a vision of growing the business into an international organisation and, through hard work and skill, he has succeeded in his ambition.