10 Important Leadership Characteristics

10 important leadership characteristics

Table of Contents

Think of the best boss you ever had. What was that person like?

More importantly: how did it feel to work for such a leader? Most likely he or she challenged you to do your best. And now think about your worst boss. Maybe that person made you yearn for a new job.

We follow all types of leaders and the truth is they don’t have to be managers – you may have been inspired by a coach, a celebrity, a professor or even a political figure. We can all find examples of great leaders that we have met. Leadership means more than authority and being in charge. In fact, a successful leader doesn’t even need to have formal status.

And that’s because a position doesn’t automatically mean you’re a leader – especially a good one. Besides, not having a title doesn’t mean you can’t be a leader.

Efficient leadership is not about bossing people around. It’s about being a source of empowerment for others so that they can achieve success for both themselves and the organization.

Bossy Leader

Let’s define leadership and look at its 10 important leadership characteristics.

1. Drive

Being passive is definitely not describing a good leader. A good leader usually has a strong sense of motivation. It is that type of person that strongly believes in the general vision of the organization. We could say that his passion it’s like a virus. Because employees with a highly motivated leader tend to work much harder. 

2. Resilience

It’s not easy being in charge. But as a leader, you can’t give in to the relentless challenges that overwhelm you.


It’s okay to feel frustrated at times, but good leaders continually practice their mental fitness and keep moving forward despite the challenges. What’s more, they often enjoy overcoming obstacles by creatively solving problems they face. 

3. Integrity

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

Employees need to know that a leader will lead ethically. That he won’t say one thing and do another. Or that if they make a mistake, they’ll take responsibility for it instead of blaming the team.

Integrity means treating employees fairly and respecting company values. This not only inspires trust in other team members, but also leads them to act honestly.

5. Self-awareness

Self-awareness and the desire to learn go together. In this case, it’s the desire to learn about oneself and what you are able to do better.

Efficient leaders are also humble. So they understand their strengths and actively seek to improve their weaknesses. Self-awareness can also allow a leader to build a leadership style that matches one’ personality.

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Read also: What makes a leader thrive in the age of digital transformation?

6. Trust

Leaders need to make important decisions. These decisions are often accompanied by some major risks.

It’s scary being a leader. When you’re the one taking the risk, you’ll probably also take the blame if things go wrong. But that’s also part of being a leader. 

The qualities of a leader aren’t some mysterious attribute that some people have and others don’t have and never will. Instead, being a leader requires having concrete skills that anyone at any level of business can learn and develop.

7. Positivity

As a leader, you don’t always have to be joyful. However, you do need to communicate a positive feeling towards your employees. Employees prefer to work for people who are positive. 


8. Realism

While a positive attitude is appreciated by employees, unrealistic or unachievable expectations are not. A good leader expects the team to succeed and then makes it possible.

When employees realize that they are never able to achieve what the boss demands, they will simply give up trying.

A good leader keeps their goals optimistic but reasonable so that the team can experience a sense of fulfillment if they put in the hard work.

9. Creativity

Creativity is the main soft skill missing in the workplace. Creative leaders solve problems in new and innovative ways. They are willing to experiment and think outside the box.

Creativity is about finding the best solution, even when it is not the traditional one. It also means thinking on making your own decisions when certain situations change. And a creative leader doesn’t try to be a lone genius. Instead, they tap into the innovation potential of their employees.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” — Steve Jobs


Leaders have plans. They have visions of what could be and how things should be.  But things don’t always go as they should, or as planned. 

Creative leaders are ready to adapt and create new options or approaches based on new information or an ongoing situation.

When an idea or plan doesn’t work, creative leaders look for new ways to use resources and bring their teams together to develop new insights and innovative approaches to the problems they are trying to solve.

10. Communication skills

A fundamental element of excellent leadership is certainly communication.  

If you fail to communicate effectively with the people you are supposed to be a leader for, the rest of the qualities listed above are virtually worthless. Clarity is crucial. It is very important for a manager to clearly communicate the expectations they have of the people they report to. Lack of communication can be frustrating for all members of a team, lead to misunderstandings in a work environment and a less productive way of working. 

Communication Skills


In conclusion, acquiring and developing good communication skills is an essential part of becoming an effective leader.

A good way for leaders to develop self-awareness is to ask for feedback from employees or colleagues. Criticism should not insult you but help you to become a better leader, using the feedback in a constructive and self-developing way.

We believe that coaching is for everyone and can change the world. We know the power of coaching and we understand the difference it can make. We want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to participate in this transformative experience.

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