12 Leadership Traits Every Great Leader Should Possess

What Leadership Qualities and Traits Do I Need to Be a Great Leader?

Everyone can be a leader. However, only a few can be great leaders. Regardless if you’ve been promoted or you’ve started your business, the route to leadership is not an easy one. You’ll encounter different types of situations and emotions. There will be good, terrible, and stressful times. However, a good leader always manages to lead the team to success regardless of the situation at hand. To help you achieve excellent results for your organisation and become a better leader, here are some leadership qualities and traits that every leader should learn from or possess. Let’s get started!

1. Honesty

One of the traits or qualities that define great leadership is honesty. When you are leading a team of people, it is important to be straight and direct.

Your company and employees reflect who you are. And if you prioritise honesty and ethical behaviour, your team will do the same. You have to lead by example.

2. Delegate

Regardless of the position or situation that you are in, always keep in mind that you cannot do everything alone. Good leaders know that delegation means much more than just passing tasks to their team members. It is believing and trusting that your employees will handle the work given to them.

Businessman giving presentation to a group of co workers
Delegating leads to productivity and allowing your team to know you trust them

According to Dissertation Today, delegating to others shows that you are confident in their abilities. And this results in positive morale in the organisation. Everyone in the organisation wants to feel trusted and appreciated. Therefore, by giving them different tasks, they will feel honoured of being selected and this boosts their self-esteem.

3. Communication

Communication is critical to success. Without clear communication, your employees will have a hard time understanding your goals, mission, and vision.

Good communication is an attribute of leadership for several reasons. Consistent communication is important when it comes to giving constructive feedback or establishing work expectations. With good communication, your employees will have a clear understanding of what they are working for.

4. Inspire

Another great leadership trait is inspiration. The ability to inspire your team is important for focusing on the organisation’s goals and vision. It’s also important for the team as they work on their day to day activities.

When your team has a lot of work that needs to get done or their morale is low, you need to think of ways to inspire them. It is your work to inspire and appreciate your team for their hard work. Start by encouraging them once in a while.

5. Positive Attitude

To keep your team motivated towards the success of the organisation, you have to keep their energy levels up. This might mean providing coffee, snacks, the occasional beer, or relationship advice in the office.

Plaque with positive quote on with glasses in front
A positive attitude helps with morale and makes for a more productive team

Keep in mind that your team is made up of people just like you. You have to maintain a fine balance between playfulness and productivity. If your team is feeling happy and energetic, they won’t mind staying a couple of hours to complete their tasks and projects.

6. Confidence

Another important leadership trait is confidence. Let’s face it. There will be days where your brand’s future is cloudy, or monthly sales don’t look promising. All organisations will have to go through these issues.

As a leader, you need to maintain team morale and keep pushing forward. Maintain your confidence level and assure everyone that all challenges will be solved. If you stay calm and confident, your team will put their trust in you.

7. Commitment

Nothing shows that you are committed than getting your hands dirty with your employees. There is no better way of motivating your team than employees seeing their leader work together with them. Proving your commitment to the organisation and your team will not only instil the hardworking drive among your employees but will also earn you respect.

Showing commitment is an admirable leadership trait. It sets an example for others to follow, leading to greater respect and loyalty for you as a leader. When you set the tone of commitment, others will follow. If you expect your team to work and produce great results, you have to lead by example.

8. Creativity

Good leaders are people who can give great answers or solutions to their employees. When issues arise, you have to think outside the box. You can also gather the team and brainstorm ideas to make your solutions effective.

Felt board with Think outside the box written on
Getting employees involved in a decision means other perspectives and ideas are introduced

When employees get involved in making decisions or coming up with a new idea, they’ll feel their importance within the organisation. And this will make them look forward to working with you.

9. Empathy

As a leader, having empathy goes a long way. Empathy is the ability to feel and understand what others are going through. In other words, it’s all about putting yourself in other people’s shoes. Great leaders praise in public and solve problems in private.

At times, you’ll need to look after your team’s feelings. The best leaders guide and coach their employees during tough times and they are always looking for great solutions. Instead of taking it personally when they encounter problems and assigning blame to their team, good leaders focus on solutions and progress.

10. Accountability

Good leaders are responsible for everyone’s performance including their own. They praise their team members when things go well. However, when they face problems, they quickly identify them and come up with great solutions to get their team back on track.

11. Enthusiasm

Good leaders are enthusiastic not only about their work but also their role as leaders. People tend to respond openly to a person who is passionate and dedicated to their work. Great leaders need to be a source of inspiration and motivator toward the required cause.

businessman celebrating success with raised arms looking to laptop
Enthusiasm in leaders is key to provide a source of inspiration to employees

Although leaders’ responsibilities may vary depending on the organisation, all leaders have to work together with their teams to achieve their goals. This kind of leader is not afraid to get dirty.

12. Responsible

The last quality that defines all leaders is responsibility. Great leaders know that they need to take responsibility for the results of their teams. Good leaders don’t make excuses or blame others when things don’t work out. They focus on the solutions.


All these qualities are at the heart of good leadership. While some leadership traits will be more naturally present in some, all leaders have to develop and strengthen these qualities.

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