20 Leadership Qualities to become a Great Leader

Table of Contents
Leadership Qualities
Reading Time: 11 minutes

American football coach Vince Lombardi said the famous line, “Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.” His legacy of being the best football coach lends weightage to the statement as it is one of the fundamental truths of life.


In this article, we will be sharing 20 leadership qualities that you should develop as a leader to become successful.


What is Leadership?

Famous American leadership author and speaker John C. Maxwell remarked, “Leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.” His words hold true in the changing paradigm of the modern corporate world. In a professional environment, leaders are required to motivate their teams to undertake their tasks efficiently.


Leadership is the ability to influence others to support you in the accomplishment of a common goal. It is the reason why those who follow the leaders are referred to simply as ‘followers’. Hence, there are several qualities of an effective leader, which separate them from the rest.


An effective leader influences without explicitly asking their followers to follow their path. However, a good leader becomes a part of the ‘followers’ to understand their mindset and provide them with the guidance they require in undertaking their tasks.


What are the Qualities of a Good Leader?

If you search online, ‘What are the qualities of a good leader?’, you will find no specific definition as it is multiple things to different people.


However, there is one common thread amongst the results, which is that an effective leader strives to understand their followers or team members and tries to provide the support and motivation required to accomplish the common goals.


Similarly, good leaders never forsake their teammates in the face of adversity. No matter how tough the situation is, good leadership will always support their teammates and ensure their well-being.


Good leaders will have a strong moral and ethical compass and possess desirable leadership qualities such as self-discipline, integrity, honesty, confidence, self-awareness, and courage, among others. Hence, it is evident that there are certain characteristics of a good leader, which separate from normal leaders.


Also Read:

What are the Best Qualities of the Good Leader?

There are many leadership qualities that separate a great leader from a good one. Here are 40 of those leadership qualities that you should develop to become a great leader:


1. Accountability

Leaders are always accountable for their actions as well as the actions of their teammates. However, not everyone has the ability to own up to their commitments and promises. If you wish to become a great leader, you know how to develop responsibility for the decisions and actions undertaken by your teammates. It also entails owning your mistakes and admitting that you were wrong when the time arises.


Additionally, in case of failures and mistakes, a good leader will try to find the root cause of the issue instead of blaming their team. As a result, accountable leaders have a strong sense of purpose, which translates to the robust support they provide to their teammates.


2. Active Listening

‘Active listening’ is very different from simply listening. It entails listening to others attentively, as a leader, to understand their thoughts. Active listeners can easily gain the trust and respect of their teammates since they can empathize with them and acknowledge others’ perspectives.


Great leaders must have this leadership skill to garner their team’s trust and process the information provided by their team. With active listening, good leadership can also provide their viewpoints on the topic being discussed.


However, you must take care that you do not impose your thoughts on others since great leaders are generally full of ideas. As a result, it makes you dominate conversations easily, which is detrimental to having effective two-way communication.


3. Collaboration

Collaboration is one the most significant characteristics of a good leader since they need to communicate with their team members effectively. By collaborating with others, these leaders can support and motivate the team members to accomplish their tasks collectively as a team. A leader with such leadership qualities would also help align their goal with that of their teammates.


By collaborating effectively with the team, good leaders emphasize their contribution to the working of the organization. Hence, it increases the employee engagement rate and ensures a productive team who is working towards accomplishing a common goal. Such an effective workforce is desirable to any company.


4. Commitment

A good leader commits to their tasks and their team. If required, they would be willing to involve themselves with the intricacies of the tasks at hand, since they are concerned with accomplishing them on time. As a result, their team would look up to them to provide support whenever required, thereby increasing their trust.


Additionally, good leaders with such leadership qualities also commit to their tasks, ensuring that it is completed on time. They are committed to accomplishing their work and taking the help of their team members to complete it on time. It makes their team members more responsible as they understand the relevance of their individual work in completing the task.


5. Communication

Being active listeners, great leaders are effective communicators too. They can visualize ideas and communicate them effectively with their team. They are also able to grasp the attention of their team with the aid of tools at their disposal such as staunch body language, confident posture, and other non-verbal communication cues.


Communication also entails being able to communicate your emotions without making the other individual feel distressed. The quality of communication of leaders is directly proportional to the success of their endeavors and hence, good leaders are required to possess highly effective communication skills.


6. Competitiveness

Being competitive is one of the most significant leadership qualities for a good leader as they need to ‘lead’ their team to remain ahead of others. However, in the pursuit of remaining competitive, the leader should not put undue pressure on their team members.


As a result, they need to find the right balance between staying competitive and refraining from pushing their teammates too much. By being competitive, the leader also ensures that their staff completes their job on time.


To remain competitive, the leader should have the support of their team, which is gained over time by building their trust and gaining their respect. Hence, great leaders have always relied on long-term team-building exercises to motivate their team members to remain productive and achieve common goals.


7. Confidence

To become a great leader, you need to have the confidence required to undertake your tasks as well as ensuring that your team completes their tasks. Hence, you need to remain confident with self-awareness, in giving commands to your teammates.


If you falter or are unsure about your decisions, your team members will be able to make out the lack of confidence, which will eventually result in them losing confidence in you. By staying assertive and confident, you can also command the respect of your team.


Staying confident also goes hand in hand with being accountable for your actions since you need to be confident enough to achieve the required results, while also accepting failure, whenever it happens. It makes confidence, a must-have trait for your leadership skills list.


Human Capital Management Software


8. Courage

Courage is another significant factor to consider while discussing the characteristics of a good leader. Your teammates look up to you for inspiration and motivation. They require your support from time to time and you should be available for them whenever required. Similarly, a good leader will have the courage to speak their mind if their thought process is not matching with that of their teammates.


They should also possess the courage to stand up for their team in case of any issues. It will help them face any problems together, as a team. Additionally, having a courageous leader will be a motivation for everyone in the team to have the courage to speak their minds. Such a leader with well-developed leadership qualities will infuse their courage into others, forming an overall better team in the process.


9. Creativity

Creativity is another major quality of a good leader since they are required to think creatively and come up with unique ideas for solutions to the problems faced by organizations.


It helps the teams find solutions to their issues with creative thinking and clarity. Effective leaders can guide their teams to be creative by highlighting their creativity in tactfully handling difficult situations and problems.


Creative leaders are also good at coming up with innovative solutions by encouraging their teams to brainstorm and develop out-of-the-box thinking. Such teams are efficient in handling their work exceptionally, making for successful collaborative work. Hence, creativity is a must-have item on your list of leadership skills.


10. Decisiveness

Good leaders are decisive in nature as they are often required to take decisions on behalf of their team. These decisions could be either in favour of the team or difficult for them, and they need to take a stand. They are required to make these tough decisions while ensuring they retain the trust and respect of their teammates.


While taking a tough call is always detrimental to the morale of the team, they will eventually understand the reason the leader had to take a decision, and they will be respected for the same. On the other hand, leaders can also make mistakes while taking decisions, which they should be able to own up to since they will also be accountable for their actions.


11. Delegation

Leaders are required to delegate the tasks on their platter to their teammates. However, it is important to delegate tasks wisely, as it affects the productivity of the entire team. Knowing when to delegate tasks and to whom is an essential trait for any leader.


Additionally, the leader should also have a clear idea of delegating tasks to themselves as they are required to handle their team’s tasks as well. A good leader can facilitate effective teamwork, ensure autonomy, and improve their team’s morale by delegating tasks effectively.


Such leaders can easily garner trust and respect from their team since they realize that their leader understands their competency and hence, trusts them to undertake the delegated tasks successfully.


12. Disciplined

Discipline is one of the most essential qualities of a good leader, which helps them in undertaking any task successfully. A good leader is always disciplined and ensures discipline among their teammates too. However, discipline does not mean all work and no play.


On the other hand, great leaders are good at finding the right balance between work and play to ensure that their team stays motivated to undertake their tasks successfully. By staying self-disciplined, the leader also sets an example for their team to follow.


It motivates the team as they understand that their leader is in that position due to their discipline too, among other qualities. Additionally, a disciplined leader can undertake tasks more efficiently compared to a non-disciplined one.


13. Emotional Intelligence

Modern studies have shown that emotional intelligence or the intelligence to understand other’s mental state and empathize with them is essential in the new-age workplace, along with self-awareness. Hence, leaders should possess a high level of emotional intelligence if they are to lead a team effectively. It helps them exert their influence over their team without being forceful.


By connecting with their team on an emotional level, the leader can create a bond that enables them to manage their teammates’ emotions, have effective communication, empathize with them, and delegate tasks without any issues. Since they are good at understanding their team’s vibe, they can also avoid scenarios which may lead to conflicts in the workplace.


14. Empathy

By possessing a higher level of emotional intelligence, good leaders can possess the ability to empathize with their teammates. Having empathy helps these leaders understand the emotional state of their team better and understand their thought processes. They can use this to their advantage and connect with the employee on an emotional level.


Empathetic leaders can put themselves in the shoes of their followers and look at the facts from their perspective. It enables them to understand where they are going wrong and make the necessary changes. Such changes will help the employee understand their leader’s helping mindset and actively engage with them.


Full and Final Settlement


15. Empowerment

Empowerment is similar to delegation, with the exception that in empowerment, the employees are empowered to undertake their tasks as they deem fit. The leader highlights the trust in their team by letting them undertake their tasks on their own instead of micromanaging them.


The team leader simply assigns the tasks to their staff and does not interfere with their work if it is completed on time. By empowering the team members to undertake their tasks, the team leader can divert their time into undertaking other tasks instead of having to micro-manage them.


By delegating tasks and empowering the staff to undertake them on their own, the leader can provide them with the support they require, while instilling a sense of responsibility in them. Hence, it is one of the most important qualities of an effective leader.


16. Respect

One can understand a lot about the character of a person by observing how they treat their subordinates, and the same applies to a leader. A good leader will treat their subordinates and team members with respect, which makes it a requirement as one of the qualities of a good leader.


It enables their team to return the same respect by undertaking their duties efficiently. It also enables the leaders to create trust and improve their effectiveness. By respecting others, the leader is effectively letting them know that they care for the team.


It inspires them to carry forward that respect and treat their client and customers with the same respect, making for a well-functioning team who is also adept at handling customers.


17. Honesty

The basis for any relationship is trust and honesty. By being honest with their teammates, the leader can garner their trust too. This trust carries forward to the beneficiaries, clients, and customers of the organization, helping them feel trusted and valued, thereby increasing sales and business.


By staying honest with their team, the leader may sometimes have to spell out harsh truths. However, if they have a team who has faith in their leader, they can take negative criticism and similar harsh truths in their stride and strive to improve themselves. It enables them to create an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.


18. Humility

Humility is another significant trait for any leader as they are required to empathize with their teammates. It shapes an individual’s character as it enables them to understand others better and keep their egos in check.


It also helps them accept their weaknesses, which helps them improve themselves to overcome those weaknesses. Staying humble also helps to be a good leader as they accept criticisms, which again helps them improve themselves.


Humility also helps in being appreciative of others’ feedback, which helps build trust and be open to new ideas. It also helps them be approachable to their teammates, which helps create strong bonds.


19. Integrity

Integrity is relevant for all organizations as a desirable trait in their employees. It is especially useful for leaders, who are often handling responsible positions. Such positions often entail dealing with sensitive data like research, customer information, etc.


It also ensures that while taking important decisions, the leader will be just towards their organization and their teammates. Integrity is one of the foundational qualities of an effective leader. Such a leader will not falter under non-favourable circumstances. Instead, they will fight through it and inspire their team to do the same in the face of adversity.


20. Passion

One will have the drive to undertake their tasks better and achieve their objectives if they are passionate about it. Great leaders have always been passionate about their work, which is what differentiates them from good leadership. Great leaders are passionate about their work since they believe that they are making a difference in the world; the same philosophy applies to the corporate sector, where passionate leaders will be able to guide their staff better if they are passionate towards their work.


Employees look up to their leader for inspiration, and a leader who is passionate about their work can motivate their staff effectively. Their passion rubs on to their team and hence, they start working in unison to accomplish their collective goals.


Also Read:


Good leaders are indeed made with the help of good leadership qualities. Through consistent hard work and mindset framing, you can be a leader. In the pursuit of being a leader, there are a few qualities that you should instill inside to differentiate yourself from others.


These leadership qualities are often self-taught and at times, learned through self-practice. Hence, we suggest that you develop the qualities of a good leader if you wish to become one in life.

Found this article interesting? Share it on

Contact Us

Contact Us

We use cookies on our website to provide you with the best experience.
Take a look at our ‘privacy policy’