A woman coffee shop worker and owner review the daily lunch menu for the day.
In addition to running your business, you're a role model to your employees. Key leadership skills that benefit your team and you are flexibility, resilience, and decisiveness. — Getty Images/pixdeluxe

A strong leader can identify new opportunities and rally their employees around a common goal. Many people assume that leadership is an innate skill some people are born with, but it’s an ability you can develop over time. Here are seven leadership skills that benefit your employees and business.

[Read more: 5 Simple Ways to Become a More Engaging Leader]


The following quote is attributed to Theodore Roosevelt: “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

This quote demonstrates the importance of decisiveness in leadership. Decisiveness matters because it shows others that you trust your instincts and experience. Decisive leaders make decisions quickly, commit to them, and see them through to execution.


The best leaders don’t try to do everything themselves. They look for opportunities to delegate tasks to others. They understand that delegating frees them up to focus on higher-level work.

But delegating doesn’t just benefit you — it also empowers your employees to take on new challenges and demonstrate their value to the team. You’re also teaching your team leaders how to delegate in a way that makes the entire team more effective.

Change is inevitable, so strong leaders must be flexible and willing to adapt.


Resilient leaders can deal with setbacks, adapt to change, and withstand a great deal of pressure. Running a business involves a lot of stress, and strong leaders need to be able to deal with that stress while maintaining high energy levels.

As a leader, you can develop resilience by recognizing that every challenge comes with new opportunities. And like John Maxwell says in his book “How Successful People Win,” "Adversity is a better teacher than success if we want to learn from adversity."


Leaders who demonstrate integrity are honest and always act according to their values. They also own up to their mistakes and never try to shift the blame to other people. Research has shown that higher levels of integrity are linked to better workplace performance.

If you have high levels of integrity, your employees are more likely to demonstrate positive workplace behaviors. Your employees will also trust you more and have a stronger sense of loyalty to the business.

[Read more: 5 Leadership Skills to Learn: Train Yourself to Lead]


Change is inevitable, so strong leaders must be flexible and willing to adapt. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, leaders must utilize three types of flexibility when dealing with change — cognitive, emotional, and dispositional.

If you have cognitive flexibility, you can use different thinking strategies in your planning and day-to-day work. Emotional flexibility means you can vary your approach when dealing with your emotions and the emotions of others.

And dispositional flexibility means you see the situation realistically but still are optimistic about a better future. You don’t ignore problems, but you don’t become consumed by them either.


Another hallmark of successful leaders is the ability to influence the people around them. As a leader, you must be able to persuade your employees and shareholders to see and believe in your vision.

For example, Steve Jobs was known for his persuasive leadership style and excellent public speaking skills. This trait helped him effectively share his innovative ideas with his employees and customers.

[Read more: Evaluate Your Effectiveness as a Leader With Storytelling]


Empathy allows you to develop meaningful relationships with others and build stronger relationships in the workplace. Empathetic leaders anticipate the needs of their employees and step in when they need extra support.

Empathetic leaders are approachable and actively listen when team members are speaking. This creates an environment where everyone feels safe to speak up and share their ideas without fear of ridicule.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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