The #1 Skill Every Business Owner Must Possess

Bill Faeth
Posted on July 23, 2018

The more employees get to participate, the more they gain an ownership mentality. (photo by on Pexels)

The more employees get to participate, the more they gain an ownership mentality. (photo by on Pexels)

Business owners should master eight core competencies to make the most of their roles inside their companies. During the course of the next eight months, I will be exploring each of these eight skills.

This month, we’re going to dive into a skill shared by the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Jeff Bezos. What single skill do you believe all three of these successful business owners possess?


They are all from different industries, age groups, and parts of the country, but all have become some of the most successful leaders in modern business.

Being a leader is the single most overlooked trait by small business owners, especially the ones without employees (yet).

I just returned home from three days in New Orleans with my Inner Circle Mastermind group. This group is fairly diverse (by design) as the owners are from all over the country and vary in size from a startup doing $200,000 in annual revenue to a $10 million company. I have the pleasure of chairing this group with my mentor John Bearden who has reached the pinnacle in business as a CEO of a company with more than 27,000 employees. That, in addition to being a successful entrepreneur.

John has played an important role in my life during the last four years as a mentor and a leader for a Mastermind group that I participate in where we hired John as the chairman. You see, although I have been successful in my business career over the last 26 years, I really wasn’t always a good leader. Fortunately for me, I had John to show me the path to becoming a better leader. In turn, my businesses have improved dramatically along with my work-life balance.

Becoming a leader isn't easy by any means, but the benefits will allow you to scale and grow your business. Without leadership as your priority, you will most likely remain small and struggle with your business controlling you instead of you controlling the direction of your business.

This all starts with your vision. Most think they have a vision, but they keep it in their head. They don’t write it down or document the path to achieve the desired outcome.

NO. 1: The first step in becoming a better leader is communication.

This means you, your staff, and your family need to know where you are trying go with your business and how you intend to get there. This plan needs to be communicated to everyone involved so they understand and you obtain buy-in from them. If you don’t get buy-in, you will be a leader without a team.

Don’t be misguided and think you can skip documenting this exercise. You must create a written plan or you will have future communication breakdowns because employees will hear what they want to hear. You will also need this plan to revert back to and use as your roadmap to help guide you in your future decision making.

NO. 2: The second most important part of becoming a better leader for your team is creating a company culture.

You want your employees to feel safe to speak up and contest issues they think are wrong. You want the people you hire to feel like they can add value in open discussions.

The leader must create this environment and help the employees embrace it by asking for their opinions. There is nothing that will make an employee feel more invested in your business than letting them be a part of the decision making process. The more they get to participate, the more they gain an “ownership mentality.”

NO. 3: Thinking strategically about your luxury transportation company.

This is a big one as most of us who start a ground transportation company get “sucked in” to the day to day really fast. It becomes hard to think about strategy as we are all consumed with dispatch, chauffeurs, cleaning cars, etc.

If you don’t step back and think about the strategy of how you want to see your business grow, the action steps required to hit your goals, and the deadlines you need to set, then you will stay immersed in the day to day. The next thing you know, six months to a year has passed and you are the same size, making the same money, doing the same things.

Thinking strategically is not, “I am going to purchase a new SUV.”  

It is: “I will need to purchase a new SUV in September based on our financial growth during the last three months. The SUV usage reports show our four current SUVs are operating at 97% capacity. We will also need to start recruiting so we can hire two new chauffeurs before the arrival of the new SUV.”  

That second statement includes your need, vision, and the action steps needed to successfully deliver the purchase of a new SUV which should be written down and shared with your key staff involved. It may just be you. That is ok. Still write it down.

Focus on becoming a better leader. It is the most important skill (out of eight) to have when running a successful business.

Stay tuned for #2 next month.

Bill Faeth is the founder of Limo University (, Inbound Marketing Agents (, and 23 additional startups, including Silver Oak Transportation of Nashville, Tenn. As a successful former operator and active advocate for the industry, Bill invests in educating and training operators on how to grow, manage, and sustain a more profitable business. You can reach Bill at [email protected] For previous Bill Faeth blog posts, articles, and magazine columns, click here.

Related Topics: Bill Faeth, business growth, employee management, LCT blog, leadership, operation growth, operations, Profit Motives

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