4 Traits Business Owners Can Learn From Successful Generals

Owning a business is more than chasing a promising idea. For years, most business owners are knee deep in daily processes, working in the trenches alongside their employees to ensure the right groundwork is laid for their businesses. However, business owners, also, must often retreat to their bunkers to draft plans that ensure their business moves in the right directions. Far from chasing fun entrepreneurial concepts, being a business owner is much like trying to win a war.

Therefore, like generals, business leaders will only be successful if they boast valuable, applicable traits. If you want any hope of victory in your upcoming business battles, like a military general, you must be:

1. Commanding

A general doesn’t beg or simper; a general doesn’t whine or complain. A general expects obedience from his or her troops, and the troops comply. However, soldiers do not submit merely because they are told to. Rather, generals must earn their regiment’s trust by displaying those qualities that show they are in command.

Business leaders, too, must constantly prove their station by acting commanding. Yet, it is important to note that being commanding isn’t synonymous with being angry; in fact, furiousness is perhaps the worst possible leadership trait, alongside fearfulness and distrustfulness. Instead, you can command your employees by communicating effectively, showing confidence, and being committed to success. Being a commander takes practice, so you might consider enrolling in one of the top MBA online programs for this invaluable experience.

2. Cooperative

On training grounds, officers might stand head-and-shoulders over recruits, but in the trenches, generals, lieutenants, and privates all struggle equally to survive. If just one member of a regiment shows weakness, the entire group suffers increased risk.

The same is true of a business, especially in its early stages. Though you might draft the plans and policies of your business, making the big decisions that guide its path, you must also help your employees manage the everyday tasks that keep the business running. You are just as responsible for your business’s success as your employees ― if not more-so ― and knowing their daily grind is a smart way to be more engaged and informed about your business.

Even when your business is large enough that you can focus entirely on the big picture, you should continue to be cooperative with your employees. Alienating your core workers with aggressive business tactics and policies is just as selfish as sending battalions into a situation without the proper intel for success. Your business is a team, and you must act like a team player.

3. Plugged In

Outside legend, no single general has won a war on his or her own. Armies require military allies, mercenaries, and more to succeed in taking even small steps toward victory. Connections to diplomats, foreign leaders, and even native civilians is vital to understanding military situations and accomplishing military goals.

Similarly, you won’t find much success without the aid of a strong, stable network of business experts and leaders. Your network will guide you through developing your business idea, finding funding opportunities, attracting top talent, and cultivating an audience. You must remain plugged into your network at all times; from the first business contact you make to the connections you make after ensuring your business success, you must constantly remain in touch with those who can give you aid. Otherwise, you likely won’t have enough manpower to complete your business goals.

4. Ethical

For centuries, battle leaders and war scholars wrote of laws and credos that govern military conflicts. Today, there are international limitations on what kind of military actions are justifiable, and what is certainly unethical. Generals must understand these rules ― but they must also have a foundational morality that prevents them from needlessly risking the lives of their soldiers.

You have the same responsibility to your employees, who will suffer greatly without the income from their employment at your business.  At the very least, you must review and adhere to employment laws and established business ethics to prevent your business from being forcibly shut down. However, you should also consider optional ethics, such as environmental awareness, community focus, risk management, and more. By being an ethical business leader, you can become beloved by your employees and audience alike.



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