What makes a business successful? A great idea? A stellar staff? Innovation guided by a strong leader? All of these are important, of course, but the latter is the one which you are likely to have the most control over. If you are a manager leading a team in a business environment, infusing the workplace with energy and innovation might seem like a challenge, It is an attainable goal, though, if you master the primary traits that define such a leader. In honing these characteristics, you can bring the best out in yourself and the rest of your team, too.

Some say that leaders are born, but in actuality, anybody with determination and confidence can develop the traits necessary to be a strong and effective leader. When it comes to the business world, you just need some insight and innovation to make it happen. The following are the six most important characteristics to develop in your leader persona.

Maintain an Open Environment

Elusive and aloof are adjectives that should never be used to describe a business leader. If you want your staff to be invested and motivated, you have to be, too. Part of this relies on your ability to foster an open environment with your team. This means that you need to have an open-door policy for ideas, concerns and questions—there is no room for overlooking your team’s needs when they are looking to you for answers. According to Fast Company, maintaining a policy of openness is integral to building a business that empowers its staff and inspires your work.

Stay Focused at All Times

Leaders such as Eugene Chrinian are often driven by an abundance of ideas and a wealth of vision. This is a component of your role as a leader, but it can also be a distraction when it comes to maintaining a workflow that is purposeful and focused. In order to truly lead innovation, you need to foster a sense of focus in your own work as well as the work of the rest of your team. Setting specific goals and working with your staff to achieve them is the best way to eliminate distractions and develop a focus that lasts.

Be Transparent With Your Team

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, transparency is one of the most important qualities in any business—so of course, that quality is imperative for any innovative leader to possess, too. There are many examples of its value in the workplace, but perhaps the most convincing evidence of its importance is the success of business leaders who integrate it into their work. Eugene Chrinian, for example, advocates for both empathy and transparency in business. His success as both an industry veteran and savvy business leader might very well be a testament to the efficacy of maintaining transparency in the work you do.

Inspire Passion and Drive

Nothing is more important than inspiring your team with passion, drive and excitement. Even the best company with a solid foundation can be compromised by a leader who is simply lackluster in his or her approach. Enthusiasm and genuine energy are essential components when it comes to successfully leading a company. Rather than rely on the dedication of your employees to keep spirits high, make an effort to bring energy into the workplace every day by encouraging and driving your staff to do more. They will return the favor and enable the innovation you are seeking.

Extend Patience When It Is Necessary

Every business has bumps in the road and difficulties from time to time. Success rarely happens overnight, and when it does, it often dies just as quickly, too. Building a strong and sustainable business is your responsibility as its leader, and innovation is a key part of the goal you are trying to reach. When you encourage your staff to innovate and take risks, those risks will sometimes have disappointing results. This is a natural part of the process, though, and your reaction is vital. Extend patience to your staff when you need to and always maintain an encouraging attitude,

Strive Towards Integrity and Honesty

No matter how strong your business seemingly is, if you build it on misrepresentation or deception, it will not last very long. Maintaining honest business practices and treating your staff with integrity is imperative if you hope to see your company’s work endure. This means that you should always give the truthful answer instead of the one that might sound best, and you should always be upfront with your team about what they can expect from you. Though these may be challenging imperatives, they will ensure the foundation of your business is strong.

Leading a business comes with plenty of challenges, but by fostering innovation, you can lead it towards success. These six traits are the keys you need to realize the potential of your staff and facilitate the achievements you are capable of.