You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

4 Habits of Great Business Leaders To become a strong, well-respected, effective leader, put these four habits into practice.

By Brian Tracy

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Gary Burchell | Getty Images

The following excerpt is from Brian Tracy's book Million Dollar Habits. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound

It's not easy to rise to a position of leadership in an organization or society -- the competition is fierce. Only the people who are the best equipped to acquire leadership positions and then hold on to those positions rise to the top in any area.

Leadership studies have identified more than 50 different qualities leaders have or develop over time. Of those qualities, a few seem to be present in almost every leader who accomplishes great things and earns the undying respect and loyalty of other people. Let's take a look.

Related: 10 Books Every Leader Should Read to Be Successful

Develop a vision.

To become a person of character and a leader in your community, you must develop the habit of vision. You must learn to project forward several years into the future and develop absolute clari­ty about what you want to accomplish and what it will look like if you're successful.

One way to develop a vision for each part of your life is to conduct the "magic wand" exercise. Imagine you could wave a magic wand and make your life perfect in every way. Imagine you have no limitations on what you can be, have or do. Create an image of how your life would be if it were perfect in every way.

Imagine you have no limitations of time, money, resources or ability. Imagine that everything is possible for you. Just as you would design your dream house if you had an unlimited budget, take some time to design your "dream future" as if you had unlimited abilities and resources.

The greater clarity you have regarding your long-term vision, the easier it will be for you to motivate yourself and inspire other people to work with you to make that vision a reality.

Related: 50 Rules for Being a Great Leader

Be the best at what you do.

In business, the most important long-term vision you can have for your organization is to "be the best." Identify a quality of your product or service that's relevant and important to your customers and then focus all the energies and creativity of your organization toward achieving superior performance in that area. Developing the habit of thinking in terms of making your business the very best in your industry is an essential quality of visionary leadership. Without this commitment to excellence, you'll automatically default to mediocre or merely satis­;factory performance.

Related: 15 Ways to Lead With Effective Communication

Dare to go forward.

The third most common habit of great leaders at every level is the habit of courage. Many people have exciting hopes, dreams and visions for the future, but only a few have the courage to take the necessary risks to turn those visions into realities.

The most important part of courage is the willingness to act in the direction of your goals and dreams, with no guarantee of success. Courage requires you to take risks with time, money, emotion and other resources. Courage requires you to accept the possibility of losses, setbacks, obstacles, difficulties and temporary failure.

It's impossible to succeed without failing, at least for a time. You only learn to succeed by failing and then evaluating the reasons for your failure. The faster you fail in a forward direction, the faster you succeed.

Related: 22 Qualities That Make a Great Leader

Overcome your fears.

You develop the habit of courage by moving toward the things you fear. From this day forward, make it a habit to confront your fears, do the things you fear and deal with the people and situations that make you afraid. Each time you face a fear and overcome it, not only does your courage increase, but so does your self-esteem and self-respect.

Develop the habit, from this day forward, of identifying the things you fear may be holding you back and then confronting each one of them until they contain no more fear for you. As actor Glenn Ford once said, "If you do not do the thing you fear, the fear controls your life."

Make it a habit to do the things you fear, and the death of fear is certain. As your level of courage and confidence increases, your fears and doubts will decrease. The more you confront your fears and eliminate them, the stronger and more confident you will feel. As your fears diminish, you'll become more powerful and persuasive. You'll move forward like a rushing flood. You will become unstoppable.

Brian Tracy

Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, Speaker and Author

Brian Tracy is chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International. He is the leading coach on the topics of leadership, self-esteem, goals and success psychology. Learn more at

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Data & Recovery

This File Backup Tool Subscription Is $25 for Life for One Week Only

AOEMI Backupper Professional is designed to protect, store, and transfer user's files for them.

Side Hustle

He Took His Side Hustle Full-Time After Being Laid Off From Meta in 2023 — Now He Earns About $200,000 a Year: 'Sweet, Sweet Irony'

When Scott Goodfriend moved from Los Angeles to New York City, he became "obsessed" with the city's culinary offerings — and saw a business opportunity.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

James Clear Explains Why the 'Two Minute Rule' Is the Key to Long-Term Habit Building

The hardest step is usually the first one, he says. So make it short.

Business News

Microsoft's New AI Can Make Photographs Sing and Talk — and It Already Has the Mona Lisa Lip-Syncing

The VASA-1 AI model was not trained on the Mona Lisa but could animate it anyway.