21 Powerful Leadership Qualities of a Good Leader


There are different kinds of great leaders today.  Among them are charismatic leaders, transformational leaders, and pragmatic leaders. But their great leadership qualities can mix within one leader in different ways. 

Some people have good qualities of a leader, and others do not.  Yet they all face similar challenges that require the ability to provide direction, disciplined thinking, delegation, and learning from experience.

What is Leadership Qualities?

Leadership qualities are a combination of leadership skills a leader uses to lead the people.  Also, the leader uses the leadership qualities to set goals, build a strong team, drive change, and chase better competitive opportunities for the business.  

What are the Qualities of a Good Leader?

1. Thorough 

Good leaders are thorough and detail-oriented.  They don’t see things as merely a means to an end.  When they make a plan, they follow the whole process to the end of that plan.  

They don’t only focus on the results.  As for the best leaders, the journey towards achieving a goal is as vital as actually accomplishing the goal.

2. Curiosity 

Good leaders understand the importance of learning new things.  So they develop the thirst for knowledge to be able to overcome new challenges that come their way all the time.

Good leadership is not just about leading others, but having a curious mindset.  You need to have the desire for learning new things because best practices change all the time.

3. Self-awareness

Good leaders seek other opinions to verify their own beliefs.  Seeing yourself how your followers see you is good feedback

When bad leaders fail at something, they often make excuses to protect their self-esteem, but in doing so, they also lack the self-insight that would allow them to learn and improve. 

Also Read: What Are the Primary Functions of Operations Manager?

If you are a leader and don’t have the desire for self-insight, you miss the opportunity to improve your leadership skills.  And soon you’ll become less useful to your team because you’ll not have anything new to offer them.  

4. Thoughtful 

Good leaders think about what they are doing.  They don’t treat their team members as dated information to be cleared of the performance board.  

They always think about the future while keeping those they lead in mind – making things easy and understandable for their followers. 

So, If you are a leader, it is essential that you take a few minutes to think about the consequence of what you are about to do. 

5. Listening

Being an active listener is difficult, but it is a skill that many people can learn. To be a good leader, you must be a good listener. This is critical because people must talk to you all the time about different issues.

Some leaders pretend to be listening, but in fact, they are using their silence to prepare what to say next. There’s a difference between hearing what is coming out of someone’s mouth and listening and understanding what the person is saying.

Good leaders always make themselves available to listen to peoples’ concerns.  And they listen with the intent to understand, not to reply.

6. Confidence

There are many overconfident and self-assured leaders, who don’t bother paying attention to anything.  They do not seek feedback and are not interested in genuine engagement with employees.  

Those who work under these leaders’ type of leadership become obedient camp-followers or ultimate subordinates.  

Overconfidence can be a very positive attribute if you use it the right way.  Good leaders use their confidence wisely – and they feel comfortable to be surrounded by people who are smarter than themselves.  

They invite any kind of feedback and are not afraid of engaging in team discussions.  

Related: How to Build Teamwork in the Workplace

7. Humility

Good leaders are confident, but also very approachable and don’t try to humiliate others.  They accept not having all the answers to everything and acknowledge their mistakes. 

They also understand that employees are looking at the way they do things and express themselves.   People feel confident to work under such leaders because they are genuine.  These are leaders who usually remain level headed and calm during the time of crisis.   

8. Good Instincts 

Good leadership qualities is about making decisions, even if it is not the best one.  Leaders have to make the best possible decisions whether there is supporting data or not.  

Some people are reluctant to decide on complex issues without looking at supporting data, whereas others prefer to listen and ask about the issue before looking at the data.

It is understandable because data can allow you to make better decisions.  But data is only insight, it does not provide the answer.  So, a lot of good leaders base their decisions on the right balance of insight and instincts.

9. Courage 

You don’t need to do things to get praise from people or the team.  Many leaders avoid taking the right actions for fear of upsetting those they lead. 

However, leaders with good leadership qualities take suitable measures and deal with issues head-on. 

People who have the strength of a good leader don’t hesitate to act, whether their actions will be popular or not.  They do not say yes to everything regardless of how those who ask may feel.  

Saying no is something many people struggle with because they think it is a negative thing. You must have the courage to say no in a positive way if it is the right thing to do.

10. Accountability

Great leaders emphasize personal accountability.  They communicate clear goals, define team roles, and establish ground rules.  They also ensure that each team member is aware of their responsibilities.  

Where team members are unsure of something, good leaders are always available to provide more clarity.  So, it’s great leadership that gives employees autonomy, direction, confidence, passion, and energy to hold themselves accountable. 

11. Loyalty

If you cannot be loyal to your team members, you do not deserve to be a leader. People only trust leaders who keep their word.

Before you demand accountability and commitment from your team, make sure you do the same. Respect them they will trust you. Trust them, and they will become loyal and ensure that you do the same.

Team members will stay loyal if they are respected, appreciated, trusted, and empowered.  Good leaders remain loyal to their people. They do not treat employees like disposable items.

12. Engagement 

Often employees want to see themselves reflected in the company they work for.  It is crucial to ensure that they are not only feeling accepted but celebrated for their contribution.

They also have challenges that affect their morale and attitudes at work. Any leader who is serious about solving employee problems gets closer to the team. 

A good leader with great leadership qualities gets away from behind the desk and goes to talk face to face with the people they lead.  It is one of the natural ways of acquiring information and new ideas from the employees. 

It’s also an opportunity to know the kind of support the team needs from you and be ready to respond to their concerns. 

13. Seeks Feedback First

Good leaders move team members from fear of feedback to the anticipation of coaching. Many employees experience feedback that comes across as unfavorable. It’s no wonder a lot of them feel nervous about feedback and performance reviews.

So to remove that fear, the best leaders take feedback first from those they lead. They ask employees to say whatever they think about the style of their leadership. 

Leaders with great leadership qualities also welcome suggestions to help them change their ineffective behaviors. This results in a culture of mutual coaching and leads to high employee engagement.

14. Creative Thinking

Good leaders are always thinking of possibilities and how to turn them into real benefits for the business.  Also, within their teams, some individuals are full of fresh ideas.  

So, the leaders always encourage team members, to come up with provocative and radical new ideas, or challenge the status quo attitudes. 

Creativity is a top priority for most companies. It takes creativity for the business to survive, remains competitive, or become dominant. 

Leaders with good leadership qualities are very supportive of  everyone who has the desire to experiment with new things, or those who want to change things around.

15. Mentoring 

A good leader knows that building a pipeline of potential leaders to draw on bringing massive benefits to the organization.  The team needs continuity and progression.  

So the leader has to identify suitable individuals within the group and mentor them. 

The style of mentoring is not just giving regular advice or passing on their past experiences or sharing their leadership, skills, and knowledge. 

It’s about awakening and empowering appropriate team members to realize their hidden talent, self-worth, and goals.  

16. Communication 

The team always looks up to the leader to set the communication cultural tone. If a message is not coming directly from the leader to team members, it can get lost in the cracks of bureaucracy. 

The best leaders communicate well and keep the conversation concise and straightforward for everyone to understand.  It is a direct two-way face to face conversation, or it is like having a dialogue where the leader communicates openly, honestly, and with sincere feelings. 

What the leaders need from the dialogue is for the team to share ideas and concerns, collaborate, remove hidden agendas, or to say whatever they want.  

It is a non-competitive form of communication that focuses on the team’s core values, not individual glory. 

17. Growth Mindset

Great leaders acknowledge that values and convictions matter.  But they also know that merely having empowering beliefs alone does not guarantee future success, as the business environment keeps changing. 

So, they continuously challenge established assumptions and invite different views. 

It is essential to set a ceiling to what you and your team can do.  You are not going to be creative, improve things, or survive the competition.

It is good to know who you are and to believe in yourself.  But what matters most is to have the right mix of ideas and different thinking no matter from where they come. 

18. Charismatic 

Good leaders are charismatic, authentic, and have a natural gift to inspire others.  They have compelling visions and communicate with clarity. 

Leaders with good leadership qualities instill confidence and trust in the team.   And they use persuasion as a motivating and influencing tool to win over doubters.  

19. Empowerment

Good leaders set ambitious but achievable goals.  And they make clear road maps their team members can use to reach those goals.  Besides, they provide the necessary resources and remove any barriers that can prevent the team from achieving the goals.  

Leaders with great leadership qualities put their total trust in team members to make decisions for the benefit of the whole team. 

20. Influential 

Leadership is an action that influences others to do something, right or wrong. Individuals who have the qualities of a good leader don’t try to dominate their team members, whether during meetings, feedback, or discussions. 

Great leaders do not use a top-down type of leadership, or to engage in command-control management.  they use their influence instead, to shift the mindset of their employees from one way to another.

21. Leading From the Front

The most important task for you as a leader is to lead your team to the agreed goal. You don’t do that by sitting in the office, pointing, and telling your team members someplace to go to reach that goal. 

Stand in front and say where you are taking them, why they need to go there, and how you’re going to get there together.  You persuade team members to join you and then lead them to that place.

Great leaders don’t sit on the sideline and tell people to do things they would not do.  They lead from the front and by example. 

To summarize, many leaders struggle with the challenges of guiding people because they don’t have the right leadership qualities of a good leader.  It’s only a few people that are natural leaders. 

So, those who are naturally gifted, intuitively know how to engage their people in any given situation and build capabilities. 

For many others, becoming a leader with good leadership qualities needs a lot of discipline, effort, and practice.  The essential characteristic of a good leader is the willingness to learn and develop more leadership skills.

What leadership qualities of a good leader do you know?  Please leave your thought in the comment box below

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