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5 Skills You Must Develop to Succeed in Business

Tess Pajaron
Posted by Tess Pajaron
Published: 27/10/2016, 8:39am

Much of the success a person experiences inbusiness stems from the less tangible personal qualities that they possess.While skills pertaining to finance and research and development are certainlyimportant, those skills alone don’t always seal a deal.

What’s more is that those practical skillsare easily learned, whereas interpersonal qualities take time and conscious effortto integrate them into your business via your personality.


Perhaps the most important skill to developin business (and in life), communication is not to be taken for granted. Youneed to know how to conduct your communications in every form, from boardmeeting to text message.

When it comes to basics, you need tomaster grammar, spelling, non-verbal cues, and tone. You will need to learn howto write or speak effectively while maintaining your composure and manners.

Plenty of work goes into communicationskill development and there is always room for improvement, so keep striving tobe the best communicator (and listener!) you can be.


If you adhere to rigid business practice, yourun the risk of failing to keep up in an ever-changing industry. Consider theplight of travel agents, pushed aside for automated services like Kayak. Or ofbook stores and video rental shops that failed to outwit giants like Netflixand Amazon.

On the flipside of the coin, flexibilityshould extend beyond you, the boss. OpenColleges suggests that it’s also one of the top 10 most valuable qualitiesin an employee, and that your hiring should take it into consideration for thehealth and success of the company.


It may seem like a perfectly reasonablething to be risk-averse. Which is true—we use common sense and learned orinferred consequences to avoid risk every day. It makes us human. But in thebusiness world, smart risk is how you build your successes.

That doesn’t mean that you should blindlyput all off your eggs in one basket; that would be more foolish than risky.Instead, learn to develop a well-researched plan, calculate the presumed risk,and then up the ante. The payouts can be massive.


You needn’t sacrifice your ‘softer’ humanqualities to make it in the business world. Compassion and empathy will helpyou to be an effective bridge builder, and it is a necessary component of allrelationships. It also helps you to understand your business associates andemployees, and work out mutually beneficial agreements.


Your vision and your goals give your company life. They are also what draw employees to youand make them happily loyal to their work. A good way of thinking about visionis as if you are steering a ship. The stakes are high, people depend on you,and you are trusted to guide everyone and everything through changing waters.You moor at each goal and continue on your journey of success indefinitely.

There are plenty of other qualities thatmake a successful business leader, but almost all of them are in some way tiedto something discussed here. Even for leaders who already believe that theyhave achieved success, there is no reason to stop learning and improving yourskills. There is no defined parameter for success. In theory, you couldcontinue to better yourself and your business for your entire career, so don’tget too complacent with the status quo.