The most outstanding leaders require a robust set of leadership qualities to positively connect with their employees, team members, and clients. Whether running their own business or leading teams in an office setting, the best leaders need strong leadership skills.

According to behavioral theories, leadership skills are not innate and can be taught – people can develop effective leadership traits by being prepared and mastering these talents over time.
This essay on leadership traits discusses the most important characteristics and skills that distinguish a great leader.
Let’s get started.

What is Leadership?

As John Maxwell puts it, ‘Leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less,’ says the author. Warren Bennis defined it as the ability to transform a vision into a tangible reality.
There are several leadership definitions written by renowned thinkers and leaders that can be found simply by searching the phrase “Leadership.” After working with some excellent leaders and holding a leadership role myself, I have concluded that effective leadership can persuade a crowd to believe, act, and work with endurance to achieve a common goal.

Being an effective leader is not an easy task. To attain higher aims and objectives, one must possess excellent leadership skills that assist them. Whether it’s the resistance and perseverance of Mahatma Gandhi or the ambition of Elon Musk, nothing is impossible.

20 Leadership Qualities that Make a Great Leader

1. Integrity

Intuitiveness is a fundamental attribute that any leader should possess. If you do not have integrity, you will be unable to manage a profitable business. According to self-development expert Brian Tracy, anytime he convenes a strategic business meeting, the first virtue that every executive agrees on is honesty is the first thing that happens.

Business leaders understand that integrity is the foundation of solid leadership and that one must be willing to stand up for their convictions. No matter how difficult a situation, a successful leader inspires by remaining true to their ideas without compromising; they resist making false promises or taking shortcuts, preferring thoughts and action over personal gain. It is vital to fulfilling the stated commitments in an ethical and morally sound manner to reap the benefits in the long run.

2. Innovative

Instead of being a brilliant thinker with thought-provoking ideas, an innovative leader empowers others by allowing them the opportunity to develop their own. You’d come across someone who had an excellent idea but lacked the courage, commitment, or fear to put it into action. Innovative leaders, on the other hand, are not among them.
Forward-thinking people are always open to fresh ideas and discussions. They listen to everyone enthusiastically and urge people to think out of the box. This characteristic gives them an advantage over their competitors because they constantly look for new ideas and improvements. “Innovations distinguish between a leader and a follower,” Steve Jobs, the innovative leader, has said.

3. Honesty

The ability to be trustworthy is one of the most important leadership characteristics. Leaders need the honesty to gain the trust and respect of their followers for their dependability. Furthermore, we hold people in high regard who are true to their statements and hold themselves accountable. As a result, honesty is the most highly regarded characteristic in any company leader or leader.

Active Listening

The ability to actively listen is a valuable skill to have in any position of authority or responsibility. Good leaders pay close attention to their followers and show genuine interest in their concerns. It aids in their understanding of individuals and their points of view. In the long run, active listening contributes to developing trust and relationships. Good leaders communicate with care, focusing on the other person and the message; they don’t interrupt and pay attention to what others say. And that is precisely what the world requires: leaders who are willing to listen to their constituents. Acquiring this talent is difficult; it necessitates self-awareness and humility to respect the ideas of others.

5. Self-Confidence

True leaders are characterized by a high level of self-assurance, which allows them to be fully aware of their abilities and leadership traits. Moreover, they are confident in their talents and leadership abilities. They have a strong feeling of self-assurance and self-esteem, and, perhaps most importantly, they believe that they can make a difference in the world. “You have to believe in yourself and be tough enough to follow through,” Rosalynn Carter stated, and she was correct.

Self-confidence is essential for leaders because it provides them with the courage to take chances, achieve goals, and soar to new heights. Organizational leaders take command of their destiny and march forward with optimism and self-assurance. Their ability to make quick choices, resolve administrative difficulties, and resolve conflicts is greatly enhanced by this technology. Good leaders take full responsibility and swift action, rather than deferring to others, neglecting, or procrastinating on essential matters.

6. Visionary

A visionary leader sees the future and is motivated and inspired by a firm’s potential. Academic leaders put in long hours for the greater good while keeping themselves up to speed with time and change. A visionary leader ensures a vision for the future with perseverance and ensures that everyone involved is invested in the process.
A visionary leader is not afraid to take risks and make decisions out of the ordinary.

7. Strong Communicator

The ability to communicate effectively is essential for effective leadership. An effective leader understands how to share their message effectively. They are effective communicators who speak well to complete their tasks. They are not condescending; instead, they use words and sentiments appropriate for the situation and allow people to express their views and opinions.
These individuals recognize the significance of practical communication abilities. They are highly attentive to their actions and learn from the actions of others, which allows them to gain a comprehensive understanding of human intricacies.

8. Delegation

Having the capacity to delegate successfully is an excellent leadership characteristic. A competent leader knows how to delegate intelligently and get the most out of their team members. Delegation is essential for enhancing individual and team productivity and performance. In addition, the busiest individual in each organization is the leader. As a result, understanding when and how to delegate allows them to devote more time to their most critical tasks.

Furthermore, it is essential to highlight that the ability to delegate does not necessarily refer to the ability to assign responsibilities to others. It also entails knowing and comprehending who possesses the requisite skills and experience to perform the assignment. Delegation done with consideration is essential for saving time and avoiding future inconveniences.

9. Decision-making Skill

Good leaders take decisive action and understand how to serve best the organization, its employees, stakeholders, and consumers, among other things.
You would never imagine a vague and uncertain leader in their actions. Good leaders are aware of the reality that their decisions have the potential to make or break a company. They re-evaluate a given situation numerous times before concluding. Before making any announcements, they gather all of the information that is required of them. Furthermore, they do not believe rumors and instead conduct their investigation into a topic or a problem before concluding.

10. Problem-Solving Skills

There are many different types of leadership responsibilities. Management and delegation are only two examples. In today’s corporate world, the breadth of leadership responsibilities for any business leader has broadened. For an organization to run correctly, its leaders must possess problem-solving abilities and the ability to analyze a situation to make better judgments. Having problem-solving solid skills is vital for achieving effective leadership.
Good leaders are born with the ability to respond to crises promptly. In addition, they can recognize and define difficulties. To resolve the problems, conduct an analysis, gather data, and communicate with others.
Any leader needs to develop excellent problem-solving abilities to remove roadblocks.

1. Fair Attitude

We all have our own set of prejudices. The ability to think and act outside this loop distinguishes them from the rest of the pack. This is one of the reasons why most leaders are unable to achieve greater heights in their respective fields.

Good leaders are fair to their people and the procedures of their organizations. They see the positive and always make room for everyone to grow in the same environment.
They recognize that nothing meaningful has ever been accomplished by adopting an unfair and biased attitude toward anyone or anything. Even if it occurs, the outcome is always subject to doubt its long-term viability.

The best leaders cast biases and unfairness aside and cultivate an environment that does not encourage or acknowledge this mindset.

12. Inquisitiveness

Have you ever sat through a Ted-talk and listened to renowned leaders share their stories and experiences? I’m assuming you have. If you haven’t already, I strongly advise you to do so.
As you learn more about these leaders, you’ll realize how knowledgeable and curious they are. And the fact that they are always willing to learn new things. There are no two people like them, and their views, beliefs, and perceptions are different from everyone else’s.

This is their natural inquisitiveness and curiosity about the world around them. They have various interests in which they put their time and energy. They are open to widening their horizons through art, technology, and science, among other things. In truth, it contains all of the world’s knowledge.

This characteristic aids them in developing a logical and optimistic approach to any challenges that may arise.

13. Self-motivated

One of the influential leaders’ most critical leadership characteristics is the capacity to excite others. Good leaders never fail to excite their people and improve their morale when the situation calls for it. They maintain control of their boat even in potentially dangerous conditions. They retain their self-motivation and serve as role models for others.

14. Humility

Humble leaders are the most influential leaders. My claim that this statement is true is not supported by evidence. “Good to Great” author Jim Collins provides substantial research evidence on how humble and willful CEOs may help their firms grow and maintain their market position in his essential book.

Among the qualities that come to mind when we think of leadership, humility is not one. However, it is one of the essential characteristics of a good leader. This is because the glitz of recognized leadership characteristics frequently eclipses humility.

Leaders that are humble and willing to work for the larger good recognize that leadership is all about working for, the greater good. They lead to transformation rather than dominance. They are conscious of their abilities and limitations, constantly striving to learn and contribute more.

15. Care for Others

Good leaders recognize the need to balance work and personal life. They understand that the health and well-being of everyone involved with the business are critical to the organization’s ability to achieve success.

They motivate their team members and ensure that the workers, clients, beneficiaries, and consumers are confident in their abilities.

They appreciate the value of showing appreciation and recognition to employees and fostering a sense of mutual respect and understanding among all organization members.
They are working hard to create an environment where everyone can thrive and prosper.

16. Self-Discipline

The development of others’ discipline characterizes good leadership. Discipline and effective time management are essential characteristics of influential leaders. They help to create a culture of discipline among its citizens. This characteristic allows people to adjust to new situations with perseverance. When you are self-disciplined and set a good example, you inspire others to follow your example.

Great leaders are always self-disciplined – this is a rule, not an exception. The late Dr. John C. Maxwell
In an organization where everything moves at a breakneck pace and employees are overburdened with work, being more disciplined can help employees accomplish more while maintaining a positive work atmosphere.

17. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize, manage, analyze, and understand our own emotions and the emotions of those around us. It is a skill that can be learned.
According to the psychologist Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence consists of five components:

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

Good leaders are self-aware, act in control, and make measured decisions rather than letting their emotions get better. They can appreciate other people’s points of view without becoming cynical. They are self-motivated and possess excellent social skills to form connections and maintain healthy relationships.
These explain why successful leaders possess a high level of Emotional Intelligence. As a result, emotional intelligence (EI) is considered one of the most important leadership characteristics.

18. Passion

Passion is a prevalent leadership attribute that may be identified in most highly effective leaders worldwide. In terms of their ambitions and objectives, they are pretty enthusiastic. They are clear about what they want and are willing to work diligently to attain it. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and it is also really inspirational. They are highly dedicated to their goals and are also willing to assist others in accomplishing theirs.

Passionate leaders increase productivity while ensuring that their people believe in and support their mission. Leaders passionate about what they do are more likely to instill a drive in their people and attain the desired vision.

19. Resilience

Before taking responsibility for others, one must first understand oneself. Resilient leaders are aware and know how to deal with themselves in any scenario, whether it is good or negative.
Resilient leaders can maintain their energy levels when under pressure and respond effectively to disruptive changes. They also conquer significant obstacles without resorting to destructive conduct or harming others. A resilient leader performs well in adversity and emerges more potent.

20. Accountability

Achieving the status of an accountable leader is no simple feat. It implies that you can live up to the obligations and pledges. It entails taking responsibility for your acts and judgments and those of people you supervise. Accountable leaders develop a clear set of objectives and benchmarks. They are concerned with the future and willing to accept responsibility for their faults. They reach out for assistance when necessary and provide honest and constructive feedback.


Every leader desires to lead, inspire, and positively contribute to the greater good. And it is for this reason you require the appropriate leadership abilities to assist you. No one person can claim to possess all of these leadership characteristics.

The path is paved by constant effort and self-belief on the part of the individual. Leaders must be attentive to their actions to achieve sustained success and employ specific leadership abilities.
I hope you have gained fresh insights into these critical leadership characteristics due to your being here.

Please share any further intriguing and insightful insights on the subject in the comments section below if you have any additional fascinating and insightful insights.

People Also Asked

What is the best definition of leadership?

The most accurate definition is that leadership is the act of pushing others toward a common purpose or objective. People who possess leadership qualities demonstrate a strong personalities and interpersonal skills that enable them to guide others correctly.

Why is leadership a critical skill?

Leaders motivate and inspire others to take a particular course in life. These leadership characteristics and abilities are vital because human nature necessitates the need for specific individuals to take charge and assist others. It is tough to manage vast groups of people, define cohesive goals, and make progress without solid leaders.

What should a leader do?

A vision, establishing clear goals and directives, and charting a dynamic way forward for their team or group are all examples of leadership.

What makes a good manager?

While a leader is merely a ceremonial figurehead, a manager must demonstrate practical leadership abilities to urge their staff to work more and quickly complete projects. Emotional intelligence, modelling the conduct they want from their team, taking responsibility for their actions, delegating effectively, and giving praise when it is due are all characteristics of effective managers.

The most significant attribute is the ability to genuinely understand each team member personally since it allows them to comprehend the motivations that determine their work ethic.

What should a leader not do?

Leaders should behave in a specific manner, and there are certain bad characteristics that leaders should never display. Some of these are as follows:

  • They fail to establish clear objectives for their teams.
  • People should not be insulted or degraded.
  • Praise should not be given lightly.
  • Team members may behave irresponsibly or in a manner you would not anticipate.
  • They do not meet with their subordinates regularly.
  • Fail to take decisive action when the situation demands it.
  • Act abrasive or show a lack of empathy.