Topic W/C 06.02.17


21 Characteristics of a Leader

20 Characteristics of a Leader

Follow The Leader!” by Vinoth Chandar is licensed under CC BY 4.0

A great leader can emerge from any educational level and background. Some people are born to be leaders, others do not have the skills needed to lead a group of people to the top of a mountain.

Regardless of the task at hand, someone needs to be in control and organize a method that will get the task done in a timely fashion.

Whether a person is a national leader like the President or the leader of a small business, the characteristics that make them a great leader are the same.

What are some of these key personality traits that can transform an ordinary person into a successful leader?

1. Integrity

The word integrity is defined as ‘the adherence to moral and ethical principles; the soundness of moral character.’  It is a synonym for honesty and uprightness, and is a vital characteristic for those in political leadership. Political leaders who possess integrity can be trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, even when it might benefit them to do so. A leader must have the trust of followers. This requires the highest standard of integrity.

2. Honesty

Always be honest with employees or team members.

Being open and truthful with those underneath the leadership level will help the employees to know where they stand.

When it comes to honesty, keeping a certain standard will open the door for everyone in the office to uphold the same values of being open and honest as well.

3. Communication

A true leader must be able to express their vision to others.

What may be perfectly clear in your mind, may not be relayed clearly to other members of the team. This communication must be clear and concise so that everyone shares the same goals.

The communication of a great leader goes both ways. Listening and understanding others is imperative to making sure the entire team is on the same page.

One way to make sure that others are comfortable talking and sharing their ideas with the team is to encourage an open door policy, where each individual is free to discuss matters that may help the team without the other team members being present.

4. Ability to Delegate

In a team environment, a leader does not have to take on all of the tasks required to complete a project alone.

It is important that a good leader knows the strengths and the weaknesses of each of the members of the team. Utilizing these strengths will allow everyone to grow and the team as a whole will flourish. Team members will feel appreciated when they are trusted to do additional tasks, and this will bring up the morale of the team as a whole.

Delegating tasks will also free up time to complete managerial tasks that cannot be delegated to others.

5. Confidence

Confidence is a leadership aspect that can keep your team morale and productivity up.

Being confident of the situation at hand and the way it will be handled can help team members to solve any problem.

Employees will take cues from the leadership, so anyone in that position must have faith in themselves to be able to handle any situation. People want a leader who knows every solution, or at least one who is confident enough to say that they do not. There is nothing wrong with admitting a lack of knowledge as long as a leader has the confidence they can find the correct information.

6. Commitment

A great leader will show commitment to their brand or cause.

Lead by example and a good work ethic will be formed amongst every one of the team members. Always keep promises or commitments made to the team, whether it is a yearly work picnic or casual Friday. Staying true to these commitments will encourage the team to work harder to fulfill their obligations as well.

7. Positive Attitude

The energy levels of the workplace start with those who have a leadership role possessing a positive attitude.

Everyone on the team is a person with emotions that can affect their outlook, but striving to exhibit a positive attitude can motivate others to do the same. Consider offering snacks or coffee to the employees to add a bit of cheer to the work environment.

A person who is cheerful and positive is often more likely to put forth their best effort, even if it requires them to stay an extra hour or two to complete the project at hand.

8. Intuition

As a leader, daily tasks often become something that can be easily achieved as a team, but what about when new scenarios arise?

Taking a team through uncharted waters can give a leader a feeling of uncertainty, when there is no map or guidance for discovering the unexplored territory. It is a leader’s responsibility to guide the members of the team through the unfamiliar situation by drawing on past experience and relying on intuition to make decisions that will help the team to be successful. Trusting yourself will help determine what to do when a tough decision needs to be made.

9. Creativity

Decisions that a good leader needs to make are not always simple, cut and dry choices.

Sometimes a situation only has two seemingly bad choices. Having a creative side can often allow exploration into areas that were not considered, which can transform a bad solution into a much better option. If creativity is a strong point of certain members of the team, bring them in on a brainstorming session that can get the entire team thinking outside the box while striving to reach the finish line.

10. Sense of Humor

Having a sense of humor is important for any workplace.

The entire team will often look to the leader to determine the type of atmosphere that is acceptable within their first few days, so why not start a working relationship with a new team member by pulling a lighthearted prank. Show the new employee that the team can have fun together and still accomplish the goals set before them in a timely fashion.

When problems arise, it is important to laugh them off instead of becoming upset and yelling at the team. A sense of humor will keep the morale of the team up as well as productivity.

11. Ability to Inspire

Inspiration is something that will encourage any team to work hard on current projects as well as future goals.

It is important for any leader to inspire their team and praise them for their accomplishments. When a person feels appreciated, they tend to be inspired to put forth their best effort while completing the task at hand. One way to inspire others is to offer bonus incentives to those who do exceptional work. No matter how small the bonus, the added incentive will boost the morale of the employees as they compete to claim the prize offered to them.

12. Take Responsibility

A great leader is not afraid to take responsibility when failure occurs.

No matter how big or small the problem is, take responsibility for the mistake and figure out how to fix it. Showing this trait to team members will encourage them to take responsibility for their actions as well, which will help the team to better trust one another when problems and issues arise.

13. Ability to Care

A great leader is also a caring leader.

It is important to care about the business and the projects set in front of the team, but it is even more important to care about the team members themselves. Ask the members of the team about their family members and what they did over the weekend. Get to know each individual member of the team and take an interest in their personal growth within the workplace.

14. Fearlessness

A true leader is not afraid to take risks just because mistakes can be made.

Fearlessness is an important trait for a leader, because it will show the members of the team that taking a risk often pays off. If the risk does not produce an acceptable outcome, own the mistake and fix the problem.

15. Ability to Manage Failure

Failure will occur in almost any work environment, but the way the failure is handled will determine how good the leadership is within the environment.

A great leader will remain calm during a stressful situation. Make use of all of the resources available and logically find a path towards the solution. Revealing that the leadership is worried can cause chaos and negative morale amongst team members, so remain positive and demonstrate how to turn a setback into a step forward.

16. Genuine

Upholding personal values are important in a working environment.

Any values that are important at home or in a public venue should also be applied to any leadership role. Forsaking these values will allow the members of the team to see a less genuine leader. Have the strength to remain true to yourself, and the other team members will not be afraid to genuinely express themselves and their values.

17. Supportive

A good leader will offer their support to the members of the team whenever possible.

Take steps to acknowledge the work that the employees do, and make an effort to let them know their work is appreciated. Offer support for solving problems, whether they are professional or personal, and the added effort can help boost the morale in the office. A positive working atmosphere with supportive leaders will allow the employees to flourish and produce their best work.

18. Collaborative

Being able to collaborate with team member and make everyone feel like an important team player is a beneficial trait of a great leader.

Ask for input and ideas from the team for an upcoming project, or get feedback relating to a completed task that may help the team be more productive in the future. Get every team member involved in the process and recognize them when they have a brilliant idea.

19. Focus

It is important to have a strong focus.

Team members will typically follow the main focus that the leader sets forth. Making sure the focus is clear and the priorities are set early is a great way to assure that the team knows where to set their focus. Being unsure of what needs to be accomplished will inevitably slow down the team and productivity rate.

20. Respect

Treating every team member with respect is an attribute that all great leaders should strive to accomplish.

Regardless of class, color, or rank within the company, each person deserves to be treated with respect. This respect begins with management and the leadership within a company or a team. Respect is a two way street, when it comes to the members of a team. For a leader to gain the respect of the employees, they must show that they respect each and every person on their team. There can be no favoritism shown from a good leader.

21. Ability to Celebrate

A lot of work environments can be stressful for the team members.

Projects can require extreme concentration as well as long hours each day over an extended period of time. This stressful atmosphere can cause the team members to feel burnt out and exhausted, which will lower team morale. A good leader will lighten the mood by allowing everyone a bit of relaxation to recharge. When a big project is completed, celebrate the success of the team. Take the time to provide a catered lunch for the employees or offer to buy them all a drink after work to thank them for all of their hard work. Give the team a chance to take a breather and get ready for the next big project.


Everyone can be a leader, but not everyone is a great leader. A true leader is flexible when it comes to their team, using each individual’s strengths to inspire and motivate the team to succeed.

The characteristics listed are some of the personality traits that a great leader should be able to say that they have, but not all of these qualities need to be inherent in every leader.

When an individual who has been delegated to lead exemplifies more than a few of these characteristics, that person’s true leadership ability will ignite and easily spark to life.

In addition to the leadership aspects listed, what are some other quality attributes that a great leader should strive to possess? How many of these qualities do you see in yourself?

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