Must Have Leadership Characteristics, Attributes and Qualities


“Why do all these people want to be president – why didn’t you join them?” the words of Peter,
a twelve-year-old friend of mine.

“They are older, richer and ready to lead – you may also try, but not now”, I calmly whispered
to my paddy.

Hey! Inquisitive Peter does not only ask silly questions – he has successfully sent me guessing
a number of times.

That was intuitive I said to myself. Well.

Hence, my thoughts on the list of leadership characteristics, attributes, and qualities.

So what does it take to effectively lead?



The most important contribution you can make to yourself, organization and the world is to be
a great leader, accept responsibility and dare to move forward in all your endeavors.

This piece will call you a leader, even if you’re not regarded as one.  We are all leaders in our
own small way – at least we lead ourselves. Reminding you of the leader you’re, or the leader
you want to become, my purpose is to help you work towards the attainment of your goals.

As an effective leader, working for greatness in your own life and elsewhere –
read through this list like your favourite book with enthusiasm and let it speak to your soul.

Apparently, that’s my goal – to lead you to the realization of your duties and responsibilities as a leader.

Hence, this complete list of list of the best leadership skills, traits and leadership quotes for your consumption.

You need to be constantly reviewing, analyzing and updating the characteristics, qualities, and attributes of your leadership skills. Gain valuable perspective and reach for greatness.

“If your actions inspire others
to dream more, learn more,
do more and become more,
you are a leader.”
                           – John Quincy Adams


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(Click any of the links below to jump to your preferred category)







Characteristics of a Great leader

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1. Honesty

“It’s better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” George Washington

In a CBC News article, Canadians rated honesty as the most important characteristic of political

People follow leaders who are trustworthy, with integrity, and character.

An 84% of 1835 correspondents regard honesty as the essential trait of a leader, says a Pew Research Center Survey.

Honesty is basically setting up standards for yourself, the business and customers. Your ability to follow a laid down plan and help your employees do same.

It is your duty as a leader to adhere to the values and belief systems you have set out and then you can expect others to follow suit.

Certainly, that means you can’t say one thing and do something else. A dishonest leader is not trustworthy but careless.

“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” –Albert Einstein

Related: Is Honesty the Best Leadership Policy?


2. Passionate

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious” – Albert Einstein

Your passion will take you there. It acts as your fuel as a leader.

Do you love what you do?
How easily can you do it?
Will you be fulfilled if you’re not paid for it?

If your answer is yes to these questions; then you’re passionate about what you do. As a great leader, your passion is your fuel. Passion can drive you to do anything.

Your opportunities as a passionate leader are countless. However, you need to focus on your passions.

Your passion for a great leader drives vision ignites and raises the influence of those around you.
You’re not driven by money, fame or fear. Your passion forms part of your calling.

“As if you were on fire from within. The moon lives in the lining of your skin.” – Pablo Neruda

Related: The Art of Passionate Leadership


3. Competent

“When you are content to be yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.” Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Are you competent enough as a leader? I guess so. That is a requisite.

This leadership skill is normally expressed by employees about their boss. Can your employees
say same about you?

A competent leader knows what he’s about. He or she knows his work so well to allow for compromises.
Competency begets competency.

Are you planning, directing, and organizing your team to success or otherwise. Your ability to
confront issues pertaining to the core duties of your work make you a competent leader.

You will be trusted and loved by your team because they have a great leader to look up
to when they have problems.

“Obscurity and a competence – that is a life best worth living.” – Mark Twain

Related: Becoming a Competent Leader


4. Forward-Looking

“Only those who can see the invisible can accomplish the impossible” – Albert Einstein

Forward-looking leaders are mostly entrepreneurs. Work on the business, not in the business. –
E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber. This saying is true for entrepreneurs.

When you have to make decisions on a daily basis, then you need to be forward-looking.

Your ability to see the end from the beginning will help you assemble the best minds available to
make the idea a dream come true.

This leadership trait is common with leaders who have absolute control of their minds – as to
what to concentrate on and what not to. How they do it? A mystery.

Forward-looking leaders are visionary, pathfinders and trailblazers.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs

Related: Be a forward-looking Leader


5. Emotional Intelligence

“I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown
which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments.”
– Jim Morrison

Intelligent leaders show good judgment.

Emotional intelligence is your ability to manage your own emotions and those of others around
you as well.

According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped popularize emotional-
intelligence, leaders who want to master emotional intelligence as a leadership skill should exhibit:

  • Empathy
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Social skills

Your ability to use the organization’s resources in a judicious manner by being decisive and wise is very important to your success.

Rubbing shoulders with other minds have the same effect.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.” – Oscar Wilde

Related: How Emotional Intelligence become a Key Leadership Skill


6. Patience

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday.” – A. A. Milne

Your patience as leadership characteristic, test and determine your true commitment to your
goals, objectives, and cause.

Patience Move Mountains. “Patience is a conquering virtue.” – Geoffrey Chaucer

You need this ingredient – much of salt, to succeed as an effective leader. It will keep you
going when things get tough and you’re faced with various obstacles.

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Related: Five Powerful ways leaders practice Patience


7. Fair-minded

“Persons appear to us according to the light we throw upon them from our own minds.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

How do you become fair as a leader? After all, the world is not fair – they say!

Your ability to curate the ideas, thoughts, and viewpoints of every member of your team, will create an atmosphere of trust, joy, and respect in your organization.

Soliciting for ideas from all manner of people helps your employees to be creative and make them feel good.  A leader should balance life in the workplace for all concerned.

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – If anything is excellent or praiseworthy
then think about these things.”
Philippians 4:8

Related: Traits of a fair-minded Person


8. Broad-minded

The opposite of broad is narrow. Narrow-mindedness is dreadful.

A broad-minded leader is one with character and flexibility. Your ability to see the bigger picture in your mind’s eye.

If you’re extensive, expansive and open-minded in your dealings with yourself, subordinates
and customers, then you’re a broad-minded leader.

Leaders who develop this trait, surround themselves with great minds – people who’re smarter.
Creating this mastermind will make you a great leader.

“Have a big enough heart to love unconditionally, and a broad enough mind to embrace the difference that makes each of us unique.” – D. B. Harrop

Related: Characteristics of Open-minded leaders


9.  Insightful

“Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.” – Joe Klein

Insightful leaders ask thoughtful questions, looking past the obvious to what is practically
achievable in the long run.

Gaining insight as a great leader means leaving your comfort zone to a place of discomfort –
avoiding the very pitfall of the obvious.

It will take your insight to scan, separate and choose from the lot. Making killer “out of the box”
decisions will prove your insightfulness.

How do you separate the best from the junk in any given situation?

Developing insight as a great leader means you’re visionary and have researched thoroughly
to the extent that you can’t create a new product even before your customers ever thought or
realized they needed it.

Related: Things Exceptionally Insightful leaders will never do.


10. Transparent

“There is no crime, there is not a dodge, there is not a trick, there is not a swindle,
there is not a vice which does not live by secrecy.”
– Joseph Pulitzer

A transparent leader is more approachable and affable.

You are seen as a relatable person rather than a monster or a robot. This leadership style makes employees more open and honest with their day to day activities.

Generally, people trust that their problems and desires will be addressed and will work without fear. There is work satisfaction and people are willing to work hard under a transparent leader.

This leadership skill help develops meaningful relationships with yourself, your employees and customers.

“There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and not pretend to be anything but who they are.” – Breman Manning

Related: This Essential Leadership trait can Push Employees to do their best


11. Tolerance

“Iron rust from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation, even so, does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Has criticism gotten you anywhere as a leader? Probably not.

Making every employee feel bad, dejected and fearful will only get you so far as a leader. Ideally, human as much as we are, dislike criticism and the people who do it.

As a leader, embracing the failures of your subordinates and followers will make you
a relatable person they can associate with.

Acknowledge how vulnerable we all are – and you will see, we all have our shortcomings.
Apparently, this is where the distinction between a leader and a great leader is felt most.

A great, efficient and effective leader is tolerant and looks for ways to improve his followers.

Related: The use of Tolerance in Effective Leadership


12. Imagination

“If you can dream it you can do it.” – Walt Disney

Your ability to form a mental image of things not perceived – envisioning things that
do not yet exist.

“Logic will get us from A-Z. Imagination will get you everywhere else.”
– Albert Einstein

Great leaders can see in their mind’s eye, what employees and customer have not yet realized.

“Everything you can imagine is real.” – Steve Jobs

Effective leaders see the bigger picture and align it with the overall objective. They are quick to identify behavioral, systems and relationship problems sabotaging the progress of the organization.

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attraction.”
– Albert Einstein

Related: Imaginative leadership spring from the understanding of being yourself


13. Persistence

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
– Winston S. Churchill

Winners never quit – quitters never win.

Persistent leaders get results. Your ability to hold on to your goals or get back up
when you’re down is very important to achieve your objectives.

Even if you see or stare failure in the face, don’t lose your power. Nonetheless,
gather courage and be positive.

Always remember, your employees are banking on your confidence. And if you waver,
they will feel it. Never give up. Keep keeping on. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.

“You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.” – Tom Hiddleston

Related: Persistent Leadership


14. Restlessness

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” – Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

Restless leaders are keen on going the extra mile. They love to break the rules of the game. As a great leader, harnessing the leadership trait of restlessness means constantly wrestling
with the status quo.

You must be driven by the mindset and zeal to make things better NOW and not later. Your
creative juices must always be flowing. Notwithstanding how perfect the status quo looks.

You should be scanning around for new ideas, problems, and opportunities. Secondly, express
your curiosity by asking clear and relevant questions in order to gain understanding.

Related: Are you a restless leader?


15. Generosity

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
– John Holmes

Life is not all about money. Leaders mostly give gifts that don’t have monetary value.

  • Giving someone the benefit of the doubt.
  • Giving chances and another chance.
  • Giving someone the reason to work for you.

A great leader by the virtue of the position he or she holds has the ability to show compassion.

A generous leader helps connect the dots for employees. How we love those leaders. You make us feel at home. Thank you a billion times.

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” – Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Related: 20 Qualities of the generous leader



Attributes of a Great leader

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1. Teacher

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher
demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
– William Arthur Ward

Ideally, many great leaders turn out to be effective teachers as well. Teachers generally,
command respect from their students, peers, and the community. They’re not different
from leaders.

A leader who commits to teaching employees has a deep connection with many people.

Great leaders are always practicing their art and finding ways to improve their techniques.
They listen to their surroundings for opportunities to teach.

A committed leader is a committed teacher who is always looking for ways to serve
his students. Leaders who teach are not thinking about themselves but the bigger picture –
the organization’s definite chief aim and objective.

Related: Becoming a Teacher Leader
             10 roles of Teacher Leaders


2. Intuitive

“Intuition is seeing with the soul.” – Dean Koontz

Aren’t you bored with the normal routine? Ideally, that is when we see intuitive leaders. They are pace-setters. They are bored seeing themselves do the same thing, everybody else is doing.

The Intuitive leader has the ability to find things that used to work before, but not now – and change them. They focus on what is viable now. They are goal-oriented.

Call them the troublemakers, rebels or mavericks – they tend to revolutionize the system to fit their plan.

They thrive in adversity because solving problems is their second nature. They make wise
decisions for short and long-term gains.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
– Bob Samples

Related: The 7 Attributes of Intuitive Business Leaders

3. Coaches

“No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach It.”
– Peter F. Drucker

Show me a great leader and I will show you an effective coach. Every organization needs a great leader-coach to succeed.

Organizations thrive on coaching to optimize their reformation in the short, medium and long-term.

Great coaches collaborate and partner others – rather than directing, controlling and commanding people around. They basically share their responsibilities.

You must believe that others have abundant knowledge and wisdom of their own to make a meaningful contribution to the overall objective.

“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, and as you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you can be”

“Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest
– John Wooden

Related: What is Leadership Coaching?


4. Creative

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”– Jalaluddin Rumi.

In our ever-changing environment, creative leaders are able to bring about change
and visualize the future. “The creative the child is a child who has survived.”

– Ursula K. Le Guin

Creative leaders embrace uncertainty from all angles, evaluate them and transform them
into useful opportunities.

This leadership attribute means you apply your vision while you navigate the future.
They exploit adversity like a gold mine until they discover opportunities.

Creative leaders see adversity as a vehicle for success.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein

Related: Hallmark of most Creative Leaders

            3 things the most Creative Leaders do


5. Smart

“It is not that I’m so smart, but I stay with the questions much longer.” – Albert Einstein

Leadership has never been easy. It is a big deal. Obviously, you have a team waiting for you for direction. How can you be a smart leader?

Many believe that working smart means working the hardest. Probably not. The amount
of time spent on projects, the time you spent in the office and time you leave the office
– has nothing to do with being a smart leader.

Smart leaders have a plan. They look for people smarter than they are, who can help
bring this plan into fusion and partner with them.

Success in their fuel. They execute this plan to its fullest – get results, rinse and repeat again.
Your ability to take calculated risk will make you a great leader who is smart.

“If you can’t be seven feet tall, be seven feet smart.” – Lois McMaster Bujold, Labyrinth

Related: 10 Smart Leadership Solution for Every Challenge

             8 Smart leadership Strategies most CEO’s forget to use

6. Proactive

“It is better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.” – Grace Murray Hopper

Leaders who exhibit proactive attributes tend to have their priorities right. They are focused. The opposite of proactive leaders is reactive leaders.

Reactive leaders will wait until an issue arise and then find ways to address them.

Proactive leaders tend to have a plan of action at any given time and situation – as well as a backup plan in case things, fall apart. They are good listeners.

Your ability to inspire your team members to rise to the occasion. Seeing to it that the company’s vision, mission, and culture is ingrained in every employee.

Most of your employees will be looking up to you for inspiration. Proactive leaders are mostly
calm, smart and visionary. They leave no stone unturned.

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” – Barack Obama

Related: Characteristics of a Proactive Leader

             Remarkable Qualities of a Truly Proactive Leader


7. Flexible

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – Albert Einstein

A flexible leadership style calls for research. Flexible leaders determine the strengths and weaknesses of their team. And how to find ways to help them become better.

They always have a plan. Your ability to execute your plan successfully makes you a great leader.
It could be mentoring, coaching or teaching them – probably, individually.

Generally, allowing employees space to work, supervise their operations and re-access their input in the long run.  This is the flexible leader you are and as great as you can be.

Adaptability as a flexible leader is important to the overall success of the organization.

“Mind is a flexible mirror, adjust it, to see a better world.” – Amit Ray

Related: Learn to be a Flexible Leader in 3 Steps


8. Team player

“If you try and lose then it’s your fault. But if you don’t try and we lose, then
it’s all your fault.”
– Orson Scott Card

A leader who is a team player is an innovative leader. He or she plays his or her role in the team as a leader through innovations and demonstrates it as a player.

Your ability to utilize your innovative skills to influence your team’s performance makes you
a great leader. However, this is only reflective of your experience in the said field.

It is your duty to find the highs and lows of your team – harness it and make it better. Paying attention is key as a team leader. However, it’s not about doing everything a team member does.

Leading by example, encouraging and coaching your team members defines you as a great and successful leader.

Help your crew members row the ship rather than commanding them here and there.

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” – Phil Jackson

Related: The Art of being a Leader and a Team Player

             The Leader as a Team Player


9. Insatiable Learners

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Why are great leader’s insatiable learners?
It is no news that most people in the world of work today are staler and boring than they know.

Like said in his speech “Boredom is the secret ailment of large-scale organization. How can you be so bored when you’re so busy?

Men and women today are basically trapped in fixed attitudes, behaviours, and habits. Very difficult to get out this rabbit hole.

Apparently, your only hope out of this mess is to grow, change and learn every day. Sounds boring, right?

Hey, it’s the only way out.

The only way you can be interesting is to be interested. Your ambitions, goals, and the objective may not be enough to drive you to your desired destination.

To be a successful leader today, the challenge is not to out-smart, work harder or be all knowing – to beat your completion. Your power is to out-think everyone else in your industry.

“It’s what you learn after you know it all – that really counts”

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn,
the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss

Related: The Best Leaders are Constant Learners

            The Best Leaders are Insatiable Learners


10. Servants

“In order to be a leader, you had to first learn how to serve others” – Jesus Christ

After Robert K. Greenleaf coined the phrase “servant leadership” In his 1970 easy, the term has been synonymous with great leadership as a required skill.

Ideally, people shy away from leadership roles because it seems difficult. Yes, it is. The act of focusing on the needs and desires of others first can be demeaning.

You must be geared towards helping team members grow, develop and perform at the highest level. Are servant leaders born? Probably not.

However, the natural feeling to serve first can be innate and can also be learned. Simon Sinek, says it better in his book – “why leaders eat last.”

“Allow the way to your great work to be your service to others.” – Mollie Marti

Related: What is a servant leader?

             9 Qualities of a Servant Leader


11. Approachable

Leaders are mostly seen as monsters. They don’t seem approachable to many. It has its pros and cons. However, a great leader will find ways to listen to merely any nonsense.

Not all human being are the same. There are diverse views and perspectives on every situation – even in our families.

This means an effective leader should be approachable to all manner of people. Thus, know how to receive and embrace the thoughts of your subordinates.

A great leader is a good listener. Subordinates have massive faith in him or her.

Related: 5 Surefire ways to become an Approachable Leader

             6 Steps to becoming a more Approachable Leader

12. Delegate

“Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; get out of the way.”
– Ronald Reagan

Delegation is a multifaceted attribute of leadership. In that, a leader who delegates does not only trust and helps his team to grow but is visionary and sees the future of the business.

Your ability to see the end from the beginning makes delegation a very important skill to acquire.

Delegation is not a neglect of your duties as a leader. That defeats the overall purpose. The goal is rather setting up a formidable system to embrace the future.

You’re not good at everything as a leader. Your ability to delegate this aspect of your activities is crucial. Others are better at some things more than you are. Let them in – and you would save time, energy and resources and focus on what really matters.

Related: The Importance of Knowing How to Delegate



Qualities of a Great leader

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1. Inspire

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Did I make it all by himself? Congratulations. Who really cares?

You were driven by a bigger influence from others. To a very large extent: people, books, and our environment inspire us. And you cannot just standby but give back to other.

Inspiration as a characteristic of leadership drives success. Only the inspired, knows the value of inspirations to others around them. If you know this – you’re a great leader.

Show me a passionate leader and I’ll show you an inspired entity.

An inspiring leader arouses the character traits already inside of a person and helps channel them for a course worthwhile.  Not a rah-rah cheerleader.

If you know the power of inspiration as a leadership trait – you’ll not go a day without a glass of inspiration.

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde

Related: What inspiring leaders do

             Keys to Inspiring Leadership


2. Vision

“Good business leaders create a vision, passionately owns the vision, and
relentlessly drive it to completion”
– Jack welsh

This quality of vision changes a transactional manager to a transformational leader. When others are keen on getting work done – great leaders will be looking into the future.

Visionary leaders are good at hacking the mind of their subordinates.

The aim is to find lasting solutions to solving problems if there is any and find opportunities
for future growth. Nonetheless, excelling in this quality of leadership makes a great leader.

Great leaders with vision are masters of their own minds. They can predict what will happen
tomorrow, a year or 5years from now.

“I will never lose my vision.” – J. C. Penney

How to be visionary:

  • Rub elbows with someone more broadminded than you’re.
  • Find a visionary mentor.
  • Read excellent books by trusted authors on the subject with examples

“Ultimately s hero is a man who would argue with the gods, and do awaken devils
to contest his vision.”
– Norman Mailer

Related: Characteristics of Visionary leaders

3.  Courage

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
– Winston S. Churchill

“And if he fails, at least he fails daring greatly.” – Brene Brown

If you’re a leader, you can’t be waiting for a perfect time and opportunity to take action – they just don’t exist. If the circumstances are not right – create your own circumstances.

Great leaders call the shots because there are courageous. This quality of leadership calls for discipline, trust, and fearlessness. But hey! It can be faked, and who cares. The achievement of your goal is paramount.

If the kings run away from the battlefield – what have the citizens to do? Remember, it’s all written on your face, your body language and emotions express your thoughts better and accurately. They will see and feel your demeanor.

Hi, the great leader, you better be courageous.

“Courage is rightly considered the foremost of the virtues, for upon it, all others depend.” – Winston Churchill

Related: 10 traits of Courageous leaders

             10 Ways to be a Courageous Leader.


4. Integrity

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” – C. S. Lewis

“With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide with integrity, you will do the right things so you will have no guilt”

Integrity is more of a value on the list of leadership skills. The act of been completely honest with employees, customers and yourself.

A great leader exudes a huge dose of integrity. Integrity as a quality of leadership requires truthfulness to all manner of people.

Obviously, you will be trusted as an effective leader when you’re truthful in all your endeavors.

The caveat here is that: it is hard to say the truth. Ouch, and that makes you a leader. Do you embody this great value as a leader?

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” – Frederick Douglass

Related: The Role of Integrity

             9 signs of Integrity in leadership


5. Humility

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up.” A song I admire so much. In fact, humility under normal circumstances should not be a trait of a great leader.


This is because humility makes you look weak. Weak? Yes, weak. But wait! With humility – when you’re weak then you’re strong. You just don’t engage in trivial matters.

Humility makes you attractive in many ways. A humble leader is as effective as a magnet. Most humble leaders are the strongest because they know what to do when to do it and how to do it.

It means you know your vulnerabilities and you accept them. You give credit where credit is due.

The most attractive trait of humble leaders is their incredible use of selective ignorance. They are masters of their own game. Humble leaders are wise leaders.

“On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.”
– Michel de Montaigne

Related: 6 Ways Humility can make you a better leader

             Humility: The Secret of Confidence Leadership


6.  Focused

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
– Mark Twain

Your ability as a great leader depends on what you focus on. Your focus will determine many decisions you take. Past experiences, beliefs and what’s happening now in your life may influence your focus in many ways.

This will affect your own decisions, your employees, and your customers. What is your focus?
“Very occasionally, if you pay really close attention, life doesn’t suck.”
– Joss Whedon

If you’re going to create value for your company and to your customers – then your focus is your tram card. Great leaders focus on the positives rather than the negatives. But it first starts with you.

Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar

Related: Why Leaders need a Triple Focus


7. Communicator

“Language is a poor enough means of communication as it is. So we should use all the words we have.” – Caitlin R. Kiernan

Like every relationship, a great leader is a good communicator. He knows the importance of communication.

Your communication skill as a leader is the vehicle to your business success. This leadership characteristic will make or break your business.

Being able to succinctly and clearly disseminate your ideas, thoughts, and processes are crucial to the overall achievement of your goals.

Take it or leave it, communication gaps between you and your business as a whole is deadly. No matter how perfect your ideas are – if it’s not communicated clearly and understandable to your team – you will fail.

“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Related: 11 Communication Secrets of Great leaders


8. Confidence

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Bernard M. Baruch

Things don’t always go as planned. There are times when it feels like, ouch! As a great leader, these are the times you shine and times you hide.

When everybody is down and the going gets tough, it’s your duty to bring life back to the business. It may be doing something as little as being humorous.

Keep up the overall confidence level of your team, reassuring them of your support. Ensuring that the main objective is what everybody focuses on.

Remember, your team will pick up every signal you send out. Hence, ensure you’re positive, by staying true to your chief aim.

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts,
while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”
– Charles Bukowski

Related: Developing Self-confidence and Becoming a Leader


9. Decisive

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Making the call fast and not looking back is called decisiveness. A decisive leader not only makes the call fast but also makes a well-thought-out call.

Most often your brilliant idea may be powerless if it’s not decisive.
“The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

In fact, there’s no right time to shoot. As a leader, you should call the shots and kick the ball rolling. Start kicking some asses.

A decisive leader is an effective leader. You shouldn’t look back even if it doesn’t seem to work now. If you waver – you kill the spirit of everyone involved.

Your company and your staff ride on your decisions.

“Have you noticed how ‘What the hell’ is always the right decision to make?”
– Terry Johnson

Related: 3 Keys to Becoming more Decisive


10. Authentic

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” – C. C. Jung

Authentic leadership is building truthful relationships with your subordinates through legitimacy as a reliable leader.

Your ability to master your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats make you an authentic leader. You must be true to yourself.

Those leaders y are tuned to the ultimate goal at hand. This leadership quality calls for fairness and transparency in your dealings with yourself, employees and customers.

Authentic leaders are genuine in their day to day activities and independent their decision making.

“There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves.
Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you.”
– Steve Maraboli

Related: The True Qualities of Authentic Leader


11. Innovative

“People think focus means saying yes to the things you’ve got to focus on.
But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other
good ideas that are there. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud
of the things we haven’t done the things I have done, Innovation is saying
no to 1,000 things.”
– Steve Jobs

Ideally, the innovative leaders do not need to personally create a product or idea behind a prospective innovation. That is not his primary goal.

They create an atmosphere for ideas to thrive, germinate and develop. Your ability to listen, determine and curate ideas from around you and bring it to fusion makes you an innovative leader.

Apparently, these ideas may come from your subordinates, customers or elsewhere – but it’s your duty to find meaning, viability and vision in them.

Innovative leaders are creative thinkers. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” – Brene Brown

Notwithstanding, authentic leaders have relevant expertise in their field of business – therefore, can find viable business ideas rapped in rags.

“Throughout history, people with new ideas – who think differently and try to change things – have always been called troublemakers.”
– Richelle Mead, Shallow Kiss

Related: Leadership and Innovation


12. Empowerment

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” – Stephen King

Great leaders empower their employees to lead themselves. However, they focus on building strong interpersonal relationships first.

A leader’s ability to listen to people enhances his leadership qualities. We’re all genuinely interested in people who listen to us. And as the saying goes, You need to be interested to be interesting.”

Effective leaders trust others like themselves. Actually, being authentic, fair and genuinely interested in what your team has to offer – makes you an evitable team player.

Therefore, empowering people to succeed lies in your ability to build a better relationship with everyone – so that your plans are not misconstrued.

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at
the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”

– Jane Austen

Related: The Concept of Empowerment


Your Turn:

Which one are your favourite leadership traits?

Did I miss any of your favourite leadership traits?

We would like to hear from YOU in particular – Yes YOU.
Share your thoughts on with us.

 Further Reading:


  • P. Michael Biggs,the Harvey Mackay blog,,,,,,
  • Research conducted by Santa Clara University and the Tom Peters Group/Learning Systems.
  • Stewart, Rosemary 1996. ‘Leadership’ in Leading in the N.H.S: A Practical Guide 2nd edition MacMillan Business
  • Vroom VH, Yetton PW. Leadership and Decision-making. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1973.
  • Yukl G. 1994.  Leadership in Organisations. 3rd edition. Prentice Hall


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