30 Entrepreneurs Define What Being a Leader Means To Them

There’s more to leadership than mere responsibility. It takes self-awareness, great communication, and many 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- Must possess certain attributes

Photo Credit: Hannah Dworkin

I think that a leader must possess certain attributes to guide a company toward success. A leader must be a lifelong learner. His knowledge of current business practices is essential. Both the traditional and the cutting-edge approaches to running a company's strategy are necessary for a successful leader. Someone who can effectively lead both a young & an older workforce is what I consider to be a strong leader in today's business climate. The traditional methods of doing business will not work if we don't understand the new business concepts & connect them for more productive outcomes.

Thanks to Hannah Dworkin, USScrapYard!

#2- Someone who leads by example

Photo Credit: Jessica Anvar

Effective leadership is crucial for business development and overall success. A leader is someone who leads by example and inspires others rather than by barking orders. No task is beneath them – effective leaders are willing to step up whenever necessary. They embrace challenges and successfully lead their team to achieve goals day after day. A great leader understands that the accomplishment of goals is the result of the team rather than any one individual person.

Thanks to Jessica Anvar, Lemon Law Experts!

#3- Who helps others move forward

Photo Credit: Simon Elkjær

The best leaders inspire people and help others move forward. I believe that being able to motivate the people you work with is a necessary quality to have especially in the world of business. As a team, you’ll most probably encounter many changes and challenges in achieving your goals and though this will be difficult, having a leader that encourages you to grow and be the best version of yourself will definitely keep you passionate and more than willing to overcome the obstacles you’ll face.

Thanks to Simon Elkjær, avXperten!

#4- True leaders lead

Photo Credit: Emma Gordon

Leaders are really special people but even as we have lots of people who wear the crown of leadership, it is said that not all of them are leaders. True leaders lead. They understand that they have a responsibility and not only understand that but also accept it. Leaders are those that understand what is good for the flock; needs not petty wants. A leader is like a bridge between one people and another! Not any kind of bridge but one that agrees that the weight of their people is theirs too.

Thanks to Emma Gordon, USSalvageYards!

#5- Who makes positive changes in the workplace

Photo Credit: Jenna Carson

A leader is someone who makes positive changes in the workplace through inspiration, as opposed to someone who manages a workplace through micromanagement. A great leader is someone who not only inspires but also connects with the people they are leading on a level that creates positive connections and therefore, improves productivity. I'm lucky to have been described as a good leader and boss because I lead with staff morale and feelings at the forefront of everything I do.

Thanks to Jenna Carson, Money Lucid!

#6- A leader should  have empathy

Photo Credit: Will Cannon

Leaders have empathy for their subordinates. It's how they motivate individuals to go above and beyond their obligations to achieve a common goal. Leaders instill a sense of worth in their staff by listening and communicating their gratitude. When leaders value empathy and acknowledge their employees' efforts, they may inspire employees to see the vision for themselves and take steps to realize it. Putting yourself in their team members' shoes also assists leaders in addressing crucial problems & providing answers.

Thanks to Will Cannon, Uplead!

#7- Leaders should be motivating

Photo Credit: Adam Korbl

Leaders are excellent motivators who set value-aligned goals that drive team members to strive toward the company's mission. Leaders motivate their team members to work passionately beyond their roles toward a shared goal by providing constant outreach. Motivation is more than a word. Great leaders communicate with their people and pay attention to their ideas and concerns. Being a leader is about listening, supporting, and encouraging the best in people, not about issuing orders and monitoring outcomes.

Thanks to Adam Korbl, Ifaxapp!

#8- Having the power to make decisions

Photo Credit: Aaron Rice

A leader can guide and motivate people to achieve their goals. They are also someone who has the power to make decisions and take charge in order to achieve a goal. Leaders have an important role in any organization, whether they are CEOs or members of a team. They play a crucial role in making sure that the team is following the right path, that they are getting what they need, and that everyone is on board with their vision for the future of the company.

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Thanks to Aaron Rice, Stayyy!

#9- A leader should manage the people

Photo Credit: Thomas Niemczewski

A leader is someone who has a vision and manages the people under their leadership to achieve that vision. Leaders are people with a vision, the ability to communicate their vision, and the ability to motivate others. They are the catalysts for change in society. A great leader knows how to inspire, motivate, and lead others in order to get them on board with their ideas. Leaders are the people who have a vision and bring it to life. They
know what they want and how to get there. Leaders are also able to inspire others with their words, actions, and deeds

Thanks to Thomas Niemczewski, Dream Chasers!

#10- Leaders are transformers

Photo Credit: Tim Hill

Leaders assume power in a company or society and transform people’s lives in many ways. They develop unique, innovative, and practical strategies that can move people to take action and make their lives better. A great leader is a transformer, ready to face any challenge, such as economic crisis, social rumors, digital revolution, and drastic technology and business changes. He knows when to fight, pause, and pave the way to attain triumph, ready to make personal sacrifices for his people.

Thanks to Tim Hill, Social Status!

#11- Being powerful, supportive, and kind

Photo Credit: Radhika Gupta

Everyone has their idea of what a leader is, so I don't believe leaders can be defined. Some dictionaries define leadership. However, your idea of leadership is based on your perception. A leader, in my opinion, is someone powerful, supportive, and kind. In addition, a leader is someone who directly engages the help of others to guide them down the lane. Finally, a leader is someone who possesses unique features that push us to make positive changes in our lives.

Thanks to Radhika Gupta, One Digital Land!

#12- A leader should be responsible

Photo Credit: Matt Carter

A leader is someone with the responsibility to educate their team and optimize performance. The first goal can't be overlooked, because unless you train your people properly, they can't do a good job. Once you've laid the foundation, you can provide guidance and mentorship to help your team do the best job it can possibly do. One other thing: leaders must be able to take responsibility for their teams. That means that, when something goes wrong, you cannot point the finger and blame a team member.

Thanks to Matt Carter, Inc and Go!

#13- Inspiring others to work together

Photo Credit: Matt Shirley

A leader is someone who possesses the ability to inspire others to work together towards a common goal. The ability to motivate and organize a group of people is innate in every leader. They have a vision & the drive to see it through, and they are able to motivate & empower their team members to achieve great things. Leaders are also great communicators. They are strategic thinkers & problem-solvers, and they always think ahead about what needs to be done in order to reach their goals.

Thanks to Matt Shirley, Splinter Economics!

#14- Balancing individual and organizational requirements

Photo Credit: Stefan F. Dieffenbacher

As an effective leader, you have to be able to balance the individual's requirements with the organization's needs. In order to be an effective leader, one must show real concern for the people they lead & develop a mutually trusting and understanding relationship. The trust built between the leader and their subordinates is then used to influence others, rather than relying on status or title. The people who are following the leader realize that he or she cares about them as well as the organization's objective.

Thanks to Stefan F. Dieffenbacher, Digital Leadership Inc!

#15- Leaders take responsibility for the weaknesses

Photo Credit: Lauren Johnson

A leader is someone who can nurture and amplify the strengths of a team, take responsibility for the weaknesses, and be brave enough to innovate for the future. A real leader is someone who puts their ego aside to create an environment of honesty and free-thinking. They set the example, not just the expectations. And they’re humble enough to know their successes reflect on the whole, not on themselves. They’re the guide.

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Thanks to Lauren Johnson, BerryLemon!

#16- Ability to make others feel they can do anything

Photo Credit: Dmitriy Bobriakov

I believe a leader is someone who has the ability to make others feel like they can do anything. A leader will not only empower you to believe in yourself, but also in your ability to help others achieve their goals and dreams. A leader is someone who makes you want to be better than you were yesterday. They lift you up and inspire you by example, showing you how to be more than just a cog in the machine. . A leader is someone who is always looking for ways to help those around them improve their lives, whether through financial assistance or emotional support.

Thanks to Dmitriy Bobriakov, Virto Commerce!

#17- A leader must have a strong vision

Photo Credit: Ricky Liu

To me, a leader is someone who has a strong vision and gives direction on where the team or organization needs to grow to thrive. The same vision needs to be communicated to the team in an inspirational manner by the leader. A leader needs to provide encouragement and guidance to implement the vision. Leaders are able to listen to their teams and improve their vision as a result of their feedback. In the same way, a leader must manage risk and opportunity for a team or organization.

Thanks to Ricky Liu, Yoyipet!

#18- Leaders are model employees

Photo Credit: Dave McCurdy

Leaders are model employees who didn't stop trying to grow with the values of the company. They are basically the embodiment of the organization and what it stands for. They also inspire thru passion and motivation and are equipped in making the company vision come true with the ability to support and provide the necessary tools in achieving goals and targets. A leader also encourages subordinates to be themselves and makes you see long-term progress and growth with your unique abilities and capabilities.

Thanks to Dave McCurdy, Eco Driving USA!

#19- A leader dares to be different

Photo Credit: Mila Garcia

A leader is someone who dares to be different by creating a vision, articulating it, passionately owning it, and relentlessly pushing it to its completion. They also know how to effectively empower those around them with their vision of the future in a manner that not only grabs their attention but their commitment as well. It is also for this reason that being a leader can often be considered an art form, as there is no one right way to go about influencing others and sharing a vision.

Thanks to Mila Garcia, iPaydayLoans!

#20- A leader is like a conductor

Photo Credit: Granger McCollough

I would describe a leader as a conductor, someone who uses the different skills and strengths of individuals and merges them together to make a group that is greater than the sum of their parts. Much like an orchestra conductor will take the melodies of trumpets, violins, drums, etc. to make a symphony that sounds much better than the individual musicians. Because of this, the leader has to be constantly looking at the bigger picture and tweaking each individual process in their team to suit that bigger picture.

Thanks to Granger McCollough, Elite Patio Direct!

#21- A leader is like a lighthouse

Photo Credit: Max Wesman

The leader's role is not to micromanage or chastise others in order to realize their vision. A true leader exists to uplift others, offer guidance, and impart direction to their team. They must be the example that others follow and the single source of truth for their team to trust. In other words, a leader is a lighthouse – the light in the distance, holding strong and guiding the way. The perfect marriage between leadership and management gives the team everything they need to achieve success.

Thanks to Max Wesman, GoodHire!

#22- A leader seeks to serve others

Photo Credit: Evelyn Ott

A leader to me is a person who seeks to serve others by leading them and showing them the right path. They correct their team and help them out when they get stuck doing anything. They research solutions for them and make sure that all their needs are met. A leader should not sit around waiting for the team to serve them in all kinds of ways they can come up with. With leadership comes great responsibility. A leader must always have the heart of a servant. This is the only way the team grows.

Thanks to Evelyn Ott, Soul Canvas Ink!

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#23-A leader should have influence

Photo Credit: Kelvin Stewart

Influence; a good leader should have influence among his team members. This means that the team members identify them as their leaders, respect them, and know to approach them if they have any problems. Ability to delegate; a leader should know when to delegate roles and the right person. A leader may be in charge of the team, but they should not be afraid to delegate some activities to others to improve efficiency. They should also delegate to the right person with the skills matching the task.

Thanks to Kelvin Stewart, USBadCreditLoans!

#24- Who identifies creative talents

Photo Credit: Chelsea Richardson

A good leader identifies the creative talents within each individual and then properly places those individuals on a given project in a way that they each uniquely thrive. As a result, the company benefits from capitalizing on its thriving output. Furthermore, as a leader, I find it my personal responsibility to challenge my team members to become better in areas that I foresee greater potential within them. When they thrive in their work as individuals, their output radiates greater creativity which helps our bottom line.

Thanks to Chelsea Richardson, Goodmama!

#25- A leader is anyone that people can look up to

Photo Credit: David Attard

These are people of phenomenal willpower, determination, and discipline. Leaders seek solutions when most people crib about problems. There is no one road that all leaders follow. The characteristics and methods of every leader are unique and effective in their own ways. However, there are certain traits and qualities that they all must try to inculcate. Leaders don't just dictate those below them in a hierarchy but rather set an example.

Thanks to David Attard, CollectiveRay!

#26- A leader should have thoroughness

Photo Credit: Daniel Carter

As per my observations, my definition of A good leader is that a good leader raises the bar for their employees since they want to achieve their objectives and bring out the best in their teams. Only a demanding leadership can produce outstanding outcomes. In addition to the completeness, the leader must be able to listen 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 Daniel Carter, Loanx!

#27- Leadership is contagious

Photo Credit: Aviad Faruz

If you hang out with a great leader, you'll become a leader. Great leaders don't lead, they inspire people to become leaders with their actions. Actions speak louder than words. I was fortunate enough to work closely with some great leaders. I learned a lot from them – just by observing them. I know others that learned from me again, just by observing. So, leadership spreads.

Thanks to Aviad Faruz, Faruzo!

#28- Leaders should be strategic thinkers and actors

Photo Credit: Linda G Thompson

Leadership is more often about planning and creating a strategic future. Not everyone who sits at the corner office, or supervises people qualifies as a leader. A leader is someone who thinks forwards and strategic actor. Leaders must always be aware of changes in their environment, and how those changes affect their work. They must also be open to new ideas. Strategic forward thinking goes hand in hand with the ability to be flexible, & a willingness to switch things up when things don't seem to go as planned

Thanks to Linda G Thompson,!

#29- A leader sets the pace for others

Photo Credit: Maria A. McDowell

A leader is someone that sets the pace for others to follow. A leader exhibits reputable and exemplary character and lifestyle that forms a standard for others to emulate. Leading is an art that involves being at the forefront and becoming a reference to others. A leader has integrity, unquestionable character, and is unbiased on issues of equity and integrity. A leader is empathic to the struggles of others and prioritizes their well-being.

Thanks to Maria A. McDowell, EasySearchPeople!

#30- Leaders leave ego and collaborate

Photo Credit: Alley Jean

Great leaders leave their egos and competition behind. They lock arms with others in their industry and collaborate at high levels. People gravitate towards leaders who are down-to-earth and show a strong connection with their team and audience. It’s someone who will do what others will not and show through inspired action all the possibilities that others can’t see. A great leader shows their heart and grows in front of the world.

Thanks to Alley Jean, AlleyJean!

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

Ashok - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information 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 Blue16 Media.

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