In this dog eat dog world it is nice to meet business owners who put their passion before profit and work towards a greater good rather than short term gain. It got me thinking about the traits and characteristics these individuals share that make working with them so much easier, so much more rewarding and fruitful. Here are some I've observed.
They are humble.
Any successful business is both admired and despised. Being humble in the midst of acclaim and criticism is the hallmark of great leadership in a business. It is an attitude that underpins all decisions, actions within a business. It is a recognition that success comes from serving with grace and humility. The best leaders are humble leaders. It is one of the four critical leadership traits required to reap the benefits of an inclusive and diverse work environment. In any case, no one likes working with arrogant and boastful leaders.
They are generous.
Chances are the business that you’ve successfully built would not have been possible without the hard work and support of your surrounding community. This includes government support, your friends and family, your employees, their family, child care centres and so on and so on. There is a largely unnoticed (as we take it for granted) support network in our community that allows each and every business to succeed. Giving back also benefits your business with better employee morale, great public relations and more business opportunities.
They have integrity and honour.
Back in the day, deals and trades were done with the shake of hands and a simple phrase “my word is my bond”. Fast forward a few centuries and countless broken promises, we now only do business after water tight legal documents are signed. Recently I attended an event where Mr Lim Siong Guan spoke of the importance of honour in his book Winning with Honour In Relationships, Family, Organisations, Leadership and Life. He points out that Singapore’s success is because of trustworthiness, reliability, dependability, and commitment to quality and success, built upon a foundation of honour.
I'll be looking out for these defining characteristics when working with our customers, suppliers, vendors and partners. Would love to know what other traits you would look for.