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Born to Lead

The qualities of a great leader undoubtedly aren't limited to the scope of this list, but it’s a great foundation to possess if you’re looking to lead.

Elizabeth Hoyt

February 21, 2013

Born to Lead
Are you a born leader? The truth is, you don't have to be. While there are characteristics commonly found in good leaders, many of the qualities can be learned traits or part of your personality. So, if you find yourself exploring the possibilities of taking on more leadership roles, check out the following qualities which are some of the most valued in successful leaders:

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  • Courage – The responsibilities and decisions that come with being a leader are not always easy, so a good leader must always have the courage to do what is right, even if it’s not the most popular decision.

  • Fairness – Dealing with different parties requires a good leader to be reasonable at all times, putting aside personal opinions and beliefs.

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  • Authenticity – A successful leader must be genuine and frank, without being rude.

  • Dependability – A great leader is someone you can count on in any given situation.

  • Collaborative – Good leaders recognize the power of an inclusive, successful team atmosphere and value democracy rather than dictatorship.

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  • Integrity – The best leaders have the most honorable intentions and prove it by being reliable and respectful while in a leadership role.

  • Responsibility – Leaders must be conscientious of the impacts that their decisions will have on the future, those around them and the tasks at hand at all times.

  • Independence – A leader thinks freely for himself or herself (though listens to others).

  • Persistence – Good leaders keep trying tenaciously and don’t simply give up.

  • A Sound Listener – Great leaders value the ideas of others, as well as their own. They realize they don’t know everything and are ok with it.

  • Consistency – Leaders are stable and don’t regularly waiver; people know what to expect from them.

  • Positivity – Good leaders maintain an optimistic outlook, giving those around them realistic goals and expectations in a positive light.

  • Detail-Oriented – A good leader doesn't overlook the small picture and realizes that details matter, too.

  • Delegation – Smart leaders realize that one person simple cannot do it all; no matter how much they’d like to, and build a team of competent individuals they feel comfortable entrusting tasks to.

  • Selflessness – A good leader doesn't lead for person gain or glory but to succeed at the task at hand.

  • Sincerity – Good leaders actually mean what they say, when they say it.

  • Decisiveness – Decisions should be made in a timely fashion and often need to be decided upon when several parties cannot agree.

  • Accountability – A good leader cannot place blame on others and has to be willing to take responsibility for issues that may arise, regardless being the cause of the issue.

  • Honesty – Because a good leader must be relied upon in stressful situations, they must be honest so that people know they can trust in his or her word.

  • Humility – A leader without arrogance is more likely to be collaborative and remain accountable for his or her actions.

  • Trustworthiness – Tying into honesty, a good leader should be trusted upon to follow through or people will lose confidence in their abilities.

  • Morality – Leaders should have a good sense of right and wrong in order to make sound, ethical decisions.

  • Communicative – We’re not referring to you, chatty-Cathy. In this sense, leaders should be open and forthcoming in talking about resolving any issues or problems that may arise.

  • Vision – This may sound trite, but a leader actually needs to lead. In order to do so, he or she must possess some sort of vision that can be shared to inspire others.

  • Motivation – Seeing as leaders don’t have the easiest gigs in the world, there’s got to be something driving their enthusiasm and passion for the position, perhaps a cause or overall goals.

The qualities of a great leader undoubtedly aren't limited to the scope of the above list, but it’s a great foundation to possess if you’re looking to lead.

What other qualities do you look for in a great leader?

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