Since the launch of Facebook over 10 years ago, Mark Zuckerberg has made billions of dollars. He, one of the youngest entrepreneurs in the world, remains an inspiration for many. Who hasn’t wished for a moment to have had the Facebook idea before Zuckerberg? Nevertheless, the lesson that everyone can learn from Zuckerberg is that you should sometimes act on a brainwave. Not all ideas are bad ideas, and some might not only be good but also extremely profitable.

However, there’s something important that most people forget about a great business idea: it doesn’t always turn into a great business. In fact, without appropriate leadership talent, it will never turn into a success. Having a good idea is the first step. But you need to understand what a good leader is made of. In other words, if Mark Zuckerberg inspired you to find a brilliant idea, then Richard Branson could teach you how to be a great leader.


You need business intelligence

An entrepreneur needs to have a certain business flair, which means that he or she needs to be trained to the skill-set of strategic leadership — preferably through business studies. The reason for this is that as a leader, you will need to have an understanding of the elements of your company and to understand how departments and responsibilities interact within the same structure. Additionally, it’s important to master the art of communication with your team efficiently and positively so that you can build credibility as you share your vision. Finally, the leader is the first person of contact when it comes to solving problems, so you need to have sufficient analytical abilities to find your way through business dilemmas and organisational crises.

You need to think outside the box

A leader needs to be out of the ordinary. Thinking outside of the box provides you with the ability to see through misty clichés and focus on what matters in your business sector. For Richard Branson, it’s about going down to the core of a candidate when he sets a job interview. While he believes that a good CV is important, he prefers to ask candidates what they couldn’t include on their résumé. His reasoning? If the CV was enough, then why waste time on an interview that repeats what he’s already read? Tony Hsieh, from Zappos, values weirdness, and consequently asks every single applicant how they would rate their weirdness from a scale of 1 to 10. As he puts it, you need to think a little differently to be successful.

Be kind to your team

Strict and fearsome leaders are a thing of the past. One of the main qualities of modern leaders is their kindness. Being able to get a team to trust you will get you to achieve better results than creating a climate of fear. However, kindness doesn’t mean that employees can relax. A kind leader looks after his or her employees’ and customers’ interests. Consequently, if an employee is not able to deliver a quality end product, they should know that they are not the right fit for the company. A kind leader is fair to everyone, employees, and customers.  

In conclusion, having a great business idea is only the beginning. You need acute business knowledge, creative thinking, and kindness to make it work.