30 Leadership Qualities That Make Outstanding Leaders

30 Most Important Characteristics of a Good Leader

In order to shape you as a good leader, you must achieve a few leadership qualities or characteristics that will keep you ahead of others. If you lack some of these qualities, then you might have to struggle to turn into a good leader in the world of leadership. You will have to set you as an example so that people can follow you. Good leaders are future oriented who keep positive attitude and take responsibility. Leadership qualities cannot be easily bounded in figures. However, in this article I will try do bring all required leadership qualities that will help you turn a good leader.

Honesty and Integrity

Honesty and integrity, these two elements are very essential for leadership. Without these two indispensable elements, your success will be impossible. In every sphere of your working arena these two basic ingredients will be required. If leaders do not stick to their values and core believes then they will not be successful in turn. Leader must have strong ethics. Without ethics, leading will not be questionable. If you are not honest then it is likely that your followers will be dishonest. Without honesty and integrity, a person cannot survive as a leader in the long run.


To set you as a good leader you have to be confident enough to ensure that your followers follow your commands. Confidence is another important leadership quality that will harvest trust in the hearth of the followers. If you are unsure about your decision then people will never follow you. If you are not confident enough to achieve some objectives, you will not get respect of your subordinates. But never be overconfident. You have to be confident to the degree to ensure that your followers trust you as a leader.


Your activities must inspire others to follow you. If people like your activities, it is more likely that they will follow you. Stay calm under any unfriendly circumstances and keep your motivational level up at any unfavorable situations. If you cannot inspire others, you will not get your followers.

Committed and Passionate

Commitment and passion are another two important leadership qualities. Whatever you will promise your people, you have to fulfill. You have to be patient to do your all works. If your followers feel that you are not fully committed and dedicated to your works then it will be difficult task for you to motivate them in order to achieve the goal. You must have passion to your works.

Good Communicator

A leader must be a good communicator. He must have ability to communicate his vision to his followers and tell them the strategy to achieve the goal. If you are unable to communicate your message effectively to your followers you have less chance to achieve your desired result or become a good leader. Leaders have the power to motivate people. If you cannot use compelling words in a humble way, your objectives will not be achieved desirably. If you communicate well, you will achieve better results than you thought of.

Good Decision Maker

A leader must have ability to take right decision at the right time. He must think ahead and workout a lot before making the decision. Once decision is taken, stand by it. Do not change the decision frequently because nobody will like to follow a fickle minded leader. Too many changes in decision will change the working environment and delay the desired result. You have to take right decision because its consequence may not be reverted.

Transparent and Accountable

Transparency and Accountability are all acknowledged leadership qualities. You are accountable to your followers. Your followers must be accountable for what they are doing as well. Let them realize their mistakes and work together to improve. A good leader must be accountable to his followers for every approach or every activity he takes on and this will impact the mind of the followers. Your activities should be transparent enough to make you far apart from the doubts of your people.

Delegation and Empowerment

A leader cannot do everything alone. He must give his followers the chance to achieve his objectives. It is the delegation of authority. He must empower his people by delegating authority to his people and see how they perform. He must provide them with all the resources, necessary supports to achieve the objective and give them a chance to carry out the responsibilities.

Creative and Innovative

A good leader must be capable of changing the existing working process of the organization by his creativity and innovation. As because innovation will distinguish between a leader and a follower. Creative thinking and innovative mind will make you to stand out from the crowd. The person who shows the way first, remain ahead of every other persons.


Empathy is a common leadership qualities that is value by the followers. It is the feeling of the same happening from the opposite side. A good leader must realize the pain or joy from the opposite side as if it relates to him. He must show empathy to his followers. If you establish dictatorship and neglect the empathy then you will not be able to touch their hearts. You have to understand their sufferings and also rejoice in their success. Showing empathy will buy sympathy of the followers during your bad times.


Among all leadership qualities, vision is regarded as a graded one. A good a leader must have clear vision of the future. He must have exciting idea where and how he is going. What he is trying to accomplish. He must have strategic planning to achieve the objectives. He must foresee the outcome or encumbrances in the future. He must clearly see the future when he is making decision. This quality can change a transactional leader into a transformational leader.


Leader must have courage. Nobody is going to follow a coward. You will take risks in the achievement of goals with no experience of past success. Future is uncertain and a leader must recognize that universal truth and show courage to achieve the objectives, under any circumstance. He will apply all his abilities and show courage to achieve objectives and influence his followers to join him.


Humility is modesty, humbleness. A leader must be as much modest as he can. Humility brings maximum fortune to the leaders. It can make you an effective leader. Humility doesn’t mean that you are weak or unsure of yourself. It means that you have the self confidence and self awareness to recognize the value of others, without feeling threatened. It is one of the extraordinary leadership qualities that requires containment of one’s ego.
Humility brings respect of the followers in return while rudeness will cost you a lot.

Strategic Planner

A good leader always sets a strategy to achieve his goals. It is a common finding in leadership qualities. Strategic planning is not the outcome of the plan but it is the beginning point of the planning. Leaders must be strategic enough to achieve their objectives. Leaders must have the ability to foresee the trends in advance of their rivals. First movers always get better share in the market. Leaders must evaluate the strategy because the same result may be achieved in many alternative ways. A leader must find out the best economic alternative way to achieve the objectives.

Key Focused

A good leader always focuses on his past successes rather than his past failures. Leaders always focus on the needs of the organisation evaluating the existing situations. They focus on results, on strengths in themselves and in their people. They focus on the strengths of the organisation, on the things that the company does in satisfying customers’ demands in a competitive marketplace. Keeping focus on right place is a key among leadership qualities. If focus is on a wrong place, outcome will be undesirable. A effective leader maintains a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around him.


A good leader must go for cooperation. He also have to be cooperative to his people. His ability to get everyone together to achieve the objectives is key to his success. Leadership is, basically the ability to influence and get people into work in favor of you because people want to. Without the cooperation of the followers you cannot be a leader.


Loyalty is an important leadership quality. A leader must understand that loyalty is reciprocal. If you are loyal to your followers your followers are likely to be loyal to you. If you are loyal to the organisation the organisation would show gratitude to you. You have to be loyal to your team members otherwise trust will never grow. True loyalty makes sure that all team members have required training and necessary resources to accomplish their jobs. Loyalty stands up for team members during the time of crisis and conflicts. A great leader always think himself a part of his team members.


People are like to follow the person who they like and who has extreme motivational power. A good leader shows utmost sincerity and care for others. They are friendly and well mannered. Charismatic leaders accomplish their objectives simply by words of mouth, showing extreme care to the people and with friendly tones. You must hold charisma in your dealings with people.


Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. There are many uncertainties in the outcome of desired results. Bad times may hinder your way of success. A good leader should have resilience to uncover the hidden paths and go further. This leadership quality will demand patience.
Persons who have resilience are able to take good risks and are open to change as well said by Kimberly Rath.

Optimistic and Positive

A leader must show positive approach to achieve his objectives. Pessimistic view may hinder your vision of future. A leader can see more than and farther than anyone sees. His optimistic views will create confidence in the hearts of his people. He cannot be in the dark and future have to be crystal clear to him. He should show positive attitude and be optimistic in solving the problem. As per Peter Drucker, Management is doing things right but leadership is doing the right things. Positivity is likely to spread and affect others. So focus on attitude and use the right tone for the business and people around you.


Leadership is all about influence, nothing more, nothing less. If you cannot influence your people then you are not a good leader. Leader does not do the job himself but creates the environment to get the job done. Influence can bring or expedite the momentum of the activities, to achieve the goal. Influence is a common leadership quality in great leaders. It can speed up the the achievement of goals. Without influence people will not participate wholeheartedly in the accomplishment of the job.


A leader must be self motivated. He will find the problem and take initiatives for measures. He will find the best way to get the job done. He cannot wait for others to take initiatives for action. As per John C. Maxwell, a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. A leader finds the way of relief, for his people.


Listening is a prerequisite among all leadership qualities. A leader must listen to his people, their ideas, their views and experiences. This will make him capable of taking great decisions. Great leaders always listen to their people. They measure the pulse and then take decisions. Listening is more powerful than silence. You need to ask the right questions to your people.


Trust is the foundation of leadership. Leaders must have trust in their people and the followers must have trust in their leaders. Without mutual trust, relationship cannot happen and leadership cannot survive.


Leaders must show patience in all circumstances and more when the environment is unfavorable for him. Stressed brains will generate wrong thoughts, so will be wrong activities. Leaders should take heat inside them and motivate their people to meet the deadlines. A good leader knows that patience is not about waiting for results but following through and implementing the plan and its execution.

Emotional Quotient (EQ)

A leader must have emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage and control his own emotions and the emotions of the people around him. It is very crucial quality than other leadership qualities. As a leader you have to be calm, assess the situation and then take necessary adjustment to control your emotions. If a leader cannot control his own emotions, he cannot have the better control on the outcomes. A leader’s emotions can affect other people around him.


One of the characteristics of a good leader is intuition. Intuition is the ability to understand something instinctively. It is like apprehension or imagination or feelings. Intuition may or may not be accurate to 100%. If a leader’s intuition power is strong he becomes an effective leader.


A leader always answer diplomatically. He never hurts his people and keeps their morale strong. His negative approvals are indirect but polite. He knows the significance of trust in his people.


A leader has a clear vision of the future. He gives sufficient drive and takes initiatives to achieve his goals, keeping focus on them. Self control ensures controlled focus on achieving goals and contributes to momentum. Leaders must think in advance what they will do and not to do and also accept the results of their choices between these two.

Ownership / Risk Taker

Ownership is a unique one in all leadership qualities. Leadership is not running a big organisation or leading a team of 5000 people. It is all about taking ownership of responsibilities. A leader is to find out the ways for business, to find out the opportunities. He has to to take the ownership from the beginning till the end of the execution of his plan. He bears unforeseen risks and cannot avoid responsibilities in case of unexpected results.

Conclusion to Leadership Qualities

Leadership cannot be so enumerated. It cannot be assigned or mandated to anyone. It have to be achieved daily. But the above mentioned leadership qualities can pull you fast to the leadership arena. Leadership is all about dedication and commitment. It is a Passion. Many of his leadership qualities will match with Servant Leadership. A leader takes the lead in unforeseen situations. Having a clear vision he finds opportunities for himself and his followers. He is a mentor to all and remains fair and unbiased. You can not e achieve these leadership qualities in a single day. You have to be patient and disciplined to set them in your daily agenda and turn into an outstanding leader.

Photo Credit: Pixabay
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