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  • Clare Bryant

Harnessing leadership skills for business growth

In the quest for business growth, we believe that leadership plays a pivotal role, blending skills that propel organisations toward their objectives. Crucial to this journey are specific leadership skills such as emotional intelligence, decisiveness, adaptability, and the ability to inspire and motivate - a blend of traits that foster innovation, creativity, and a willingness to take calculated risks within teams. Cultivating an environment that embraces these values is not just beneficial but essential for businesses aiming to scale new heights. 

We discussed this topic with Senior Partner, Clare Bryant, and asked her a handful of questions focused on harnessing leadership skills for business growth. Intrigued to hear what she has to say? Read on!

What specific leadership skills are most closely linked to driving business growth? 

Business growth is the role of every leader and there are several key skills that will be important for achieving this: 

  • Communication - the ability to articulate a compelling vision and foster effective and motivating working relationships with team members and peers is the cornerstone of effective leadership 

  • Emotional Intelligence - this is closely linked to communication and is the ability to manage your own state and understand the emotions of others.  This skill helps to create a healthy work environment and resolve conflict. 

  • Strategic Thinking - this is the ability to anticipate the emerging and future needs of the business and find opportunities for growth by looking at data and horizon scanning in the wider marketplace 

  • Decision Making - effective leaders need to make well informed and timely decisions but also not be afraid of making mistakes as these create opportunities for learning 

  • Delegation - leaders need to know the strengths of their team members and empower them to act and make decisions, also helping to develop their skills 

  • Resilience - an essential skill in today's ever changing and uncertain world - the ability to manage energy, bounce back from setbacks, pivot and adapt to changes is essential for growth. 

In what ways can leaders cultivate an environment that encourages innovation, creativity and risk taking amongst their teams? And why is this necessary for businesses that want to grow? 

A culture that encourages innovation, creativity and risk taking is essential, otherwise businesses will become irrelevant to the market and lose opportunities for commercial growth.  Effective businesses do not become complacent but rather are always looking for opportunities to 'stay ahead of the curve'. 

To foster this environment leaders would need to look at multiple factors including hiring for diversity rather than 'recruiting in their own likeness'.  They would also need to foster an environment for innovation and creativity and a culture where failure is seen as a learning and growth opportunity.  To do this it is also important to focus on the personal development of teams as well as empowering, challenging and supporting colleagues.  The culture that a leader creates has a huge impact on the performance of their teams and the leader will need to lead by example in this.  An environment where colleagues are valued for their individual gifts, feel supported and engaged will help to cultivate innovation. 

How important is the commitment to continuous learning and agility for leaders aiming to keep their businesses competitive and growing? 

Having a growth mindset is important for a competitive business as it encourages a culture of continuous learning and adaptability and helps colleagues to find a sense of meaning in their work.  When colleagues see their work as part of a supported journey of learning they will feel more engaged and this in turn will enhance their job satisfaction.  To have a competitive edge, businesses need respond quickly to the changing needs of customers and to achieve this, their colleagues need to be developed to be flexible, adaptable and resilient.  Responding quickly to the changing needs of customers is essential and to achieve this, colleagues need to be supported to be flexible, adaptable and resilient. 

How does emotional intelligence in leadership enhance decision making, conflict resolution and relationship building, contributing to business expansion? 

Emotional intelligence plays a pivotal role in leadership and done well can significantly impact business expansion. 

An emotionally intelligent leader will be better equipped to create a supportive culture and research shows colleagues who are highly engaged are also much more productive at work. 

  • Self-Awareness: Leaders with high Emotional Intelligence understand their own emotions, biases, and triggers as well as their motivators. This self-awareness enables them to make decisions based on rational analysis rather than impulsive reactions. 

  • Self-Regulation:  This enables leaders to regulate their emotions and choose their responses in challenging and complex situations. 

  • Motivation: Leader with high EQ will understand what motivates them and others and will be able to use this to create the right goals, habits and rewards to reinforce positive behaviour 

  • Empathy: EQ allows leaders to consider the impact of decisions on others.  EQ leaders build strong relationships by empathising with team members. Trust is essential for collaboration and loyalty. 

  • Social Skills: EQ enhances communication, persuasion, and networking. Leaders who connect authentically inspire loyalty and commitment. 

In summary, Leaders have a huge impact and responsibility for the performance of their teams and business growth. There are many skills required to be an impactful leader - have your leaders got what it takes? 

As an Institute of Leadership approved development partner, we have developed a suite of practical and high-impact leadership and management development programmes that will revolutionise the performance of your teams. If your leaders need a helping hand, we’d love to connect! Drop us an email on or visit our website.


Article written by Senior Partner, Clare Bryant - April 2024.


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