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The Importance of Leadership in Business Administration

Imagine working for an organization that pays well, offers attractive benefits, and provides a great work-life balance. You get along well with your team and your day-to-day duties keep you on your toes. Everything seems great, except for one thing: your manager. They don’t communicate important information well. They struggle to convey a vision for your department. They also set a less-than-ideal example.

In other words, they’re not a good leader.

Over time, your attitude toward work may begin to diminish due to your manager’s lack of strong leadership. A good leader positively affects the growth, development, and trajectory of the organization where they work. An outstanding leader can make a tough job enjoyable and a great job even better. A truly excellent leader can leave a lasting impact for good on their workplace and their employees.

Read on to learn about the importance of leadership in a business administration setting, as well as how you can prepare to thrive as an effective leader.

What Is Leadership in Business Administration?

Leadership in business administration refers to the collective effort of each level of company management to provide structure and specific corporate direction, foster productivity and efficiency, exercise emotional intelligence, assess key performance indicators (KPIs), mentor employees, and much more. Without the backbone of competent leadership, a business may suffer financially, lose out to competition, or fail to reach its goals.

Supervisors, managers, chief officers, and other leaders play a crucial role in business operations as a whole and in the professional lives of each of their employees. These high-level positions influence the direction of every aspect of businesses, from strategy and sales to onboarding new hires. Just as poor leadership can negatively affect a business’s performance or reputation, strong leadership can steer a business to new heights of prosperity.

What’s the Difference Between Business Administration and Business Leadership?

Administering to the various needs of a business requires efficient, effective management. CEOs need to understand all leadership roles within their organization and delegate responsibilities accordingly. Department leads and other managers should develop good rapport with their employees and provide clear direction about tasks. Business administrators are concerned with the necessary logistical details of business operations—the what, the when, and the where.

Business leadership, meanwhile, calls for individuals in management roles to inspire those with whom they work. Business leaders focus on meeting the professional needs of each employee on a human level and helping them understand the reason they work—the why. Nearly any organization can implement administrative systems and policies to survive, but only those that value and foster quality leadership can truly thrive.

What Are Common Characteristics of Good Business Leaders?

Strong leaders typically cultivate a variety of characteristics that have a direct influence on leadership effectiveness. Some of the most common ones include the following:

  • Vision and strategy. Business leaders create a vision for success and strategize on how to fulfill that vision. They develop and share mission statements and leadership principles, then encourage employees to live up to the ideals described in them. Executives meet with investors and shareholders to discuss high-level strategy. Managers and supervisors convey that strategy to their team members and practice setting goals.
  • Communication and transparency. One of the most integral parts of a functional work environment is clear, consistent communication. Effective leaders know to keep in touch often with their employees—whether via one-on-one chats or group meetings. They also strive to be transparent about work policies, pay and benefits, and changes in work structure or organization.
  • Decision-making. A lot rests on a leader’s ability to assess what needs to be done and to make decisions accordingly. Leaders should be firm but flexible as they decide how to optimize employee strengths, manage day-to-day workloads, maintain productivity, train new hires, improve morale, and more.
  • Adaptability. Change in a business environment is inevitable. Wise leaders adapt to these changes to stay ahead of the curve. For example, they may learn how to use new software technologies, keep their employees encouraged during an economic downturn, or adjust important project due dates as needed.
  • Emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to effectively express feelings with empathy and self-awareness. Leaders who practice this kind of intelligence tend to be more understood, more trustworthy, and more liked. These leaders also know how to control their emotions in relation to their jobs and their coworkers. This, in turn, helps leaders care for their employees and strive to be positive mentors for them.

How Can You Prepare to Be a Good Business Leader?

To become a good leader, you should consider participating in educational opportunities and developing work experience that can instill the valuable leadership qualities you seek. Many hopeful business leaders do the following to prepare:

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree in business management, finance, human resource management, or a similar program.
  • Earn an industry certificate in leadership or management for more specialized knowledge.
  • Complete an MBA or a similar degree program. Graduate studies can help you qualify for higher-level, higher-paying positions.
  • Gain experience in professional leadership roles and show a willingness to increase your management skills.

How Do Good Business Leaders Benefit Organizations?

Great leaders bring many benefits to their organizations. In addition to creating a positive work atmosphere, good leaders can:

  • Shape company culture
  • Foster innovation
  • Nurture high levels of performance
  • Set positive examples
  • Effectively onboard new employees
  • Inspire coworkers and increase morale
  • Mentor employees

What Next?

As you prepare to be a leader in the business sector, consider WGU for a bachelor’s or master’s program that can teach you the leadership principles you’ll need to thrive. WGU offers accredited, online degrees that have been designed with input from industry experts to help you stand apart from the competition with the most relevant skills and certifications in the field.

Plus, WGU offers scholarships, flat-rate tuition fees, no set log-in times, and personalized Program Mentors to help you suceed. Our competency-based education model allows you to progress through material as quickly as you demonstrate mastery, which means you can save time and money. Learn more and get started today.

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