What qualities does it take to go from business manager to business leader?

What qualities does it take to go from being a successful and efficient business manager to a powerful and inspiring business leader? We ask entrepreneurs and experts for their views.

Bob Holt, chairman of Mears Group (housing maintenance)
“If someone in my position didn’t have leadership and vision, it would be very difficult to grow the business. I don’t necessarily sit behind a desk, though there are times when I have to do that. My attitude is: let’s get out there, see the troops and get things done.”

Michael Howard, chairman of Maris Interiors (office design)
“It doesn’t matter how many staff you have, you have got to make sure everyone’s on side. Good leadership means making sure everyone is working together for the same goal, and knows how what they’re doing fits into the bigger picture.”

Todd Hannula, founding partner at Camberwell (social enterprise)
“After you’ve made a decent amount of money, what is there to do after that? Make more money? There comes a point when you’ve got to start saying, ‘I’m going to do something amazing here.”

Matt Riley, CEO of Daisy Communications (telecoms)
“I like to empower people, give people a chance to get on with it, rather than micromanage them. I’m not very good at detail – I’m not good at documenting and making sure things are filed away properly. So I get good people in to do that for me.”

Nick Glynne, CEO of Easycom (IT services)
“My whole approach to business has been this sort of childlike, instinctive attitude, and that has been partly responsible for some of the mistakes I’ve made on the way. But I know if I had gone to business school, I would have been too intimidated to take the kind of risks I have.”

Margaret Wood, founder at ICW (manufacturer)
“In the early days I wasn’t hard enough with staff. It’s important that you shouldn’t get too close to the people you work with. You need to be objective and make sure the person is doing their job.”

Richard Denny, founder at The Denny Group (training)

“Everything I learnt about how to be successful in business was through my own mistakes, and by asking people cleverer and wiser than myself.”

Nick Britton

Nick Britton

Nick was the Managing Editor for growthbusiness.co.uk when it was owned by Vitesse Media, before moving on to become Head of Investment Group and Editor at What Investment and thence to Head of Intermediary...

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