12 Great Leadership Qualities You Must Look For

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Whether the aim is attaining success in business or achieving results from your teams, essential leadership traits can significantly impact your means of reaching goals. Employees and team members need influential leaders with great leadership qualities who can positively push outcomes for the better. 

Leading a team to success is not an easy task. Leadership isn’t just about making the essential large-scale decisions to keep the company operational. Effective leadership also entails being the driving force for your company’s greatness, with everyone under your employ achieving excellence. 

A man more known for his charismatic leadership, Steve Jobs, once remarked, “Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.” 

A good leader must have integrity, humility, empathy, vision, resilience, influence and accountability, to inspire others to be the same. To expand your leadership style, here’s a list of leadership skills you can learn to become an effective leader that inspires positive change. 

1. Vision

great leadership qualities

Perhaps the most important among the great leadership qualities is having a vision. This is the innate ability to see where the business or team is headed. A good leader is someone who is aware of what the organization and its teams are capable of. 

A leader understands what can be done and what it will take to make that vision a reality. True leaders can see the future while remaining active in the present. Attaining this vision is what leaders direct their energies and resources on to achieve business success. 

The difficult task for a leader is how to communicate that vision with clarity and passion for motivating others into taking action. However, a visionary leader who can relay their vision can inspire employees to act with the same purpose and passion towards this common goal. To hone this visionary communication, you can:

  • Think of one challenge within your company
  • Imagine the big picture. Visualize the success you and your team can achieve having the same productive drive. Think of the positive changes you can all benefit from achieving this success. No dream is too big for a true visionary.
  • Determine how you can communicate this vision within. Think of the conversation itself from your words and phrases. Will it be in a formal staff meeting, one on one talks, or just with a select few? How will you highlight the benefits of achieving your team’s overall success? 
  • Write down your ideas and practice the manner of communication you intend to conduct. Express your thoughts with genuine sincerity. Practice this out loud, and even to others. If you, or those you test your ideas on find it hard to believe, your employees won’t either. 

This exercise, once frequently practiced, is a convincing way of expressing one’s visions clearly and compellingly. 

2. Provides Inspiration and Empowerment

great leadership qualities

Now that you and your team share a common vision, as a leader, you must inspire and empower others to learn and succeed. In today’s workforce, only 15% of employees feel that they are empowered from various training they receive to handle leadership and management roles. 

Before they benefit from leadership programs, you must be their primary motivator to aspire to be better. Maintaining a positive and realistic presence for your team allows them to be inspired and stay motivated. One of the great leadership qualities any leader can have is the ability to empower others around them. 

As a leader, you need to build relationships, show respect, help in creating solutions to provide motivation daily. To build confidence in your team and provide empowerment, you can:

  • Positively challenge your team. Instead of just being their boss, be the inspirational figure who encourages them to take on new challenges. 
  • When things go wrong, being able to motivate your team to stay positive and bounce back is one of the essential qualities of a great leader.
  • Communicate with kindness but with 100 percent honesty. 

One of the great leadership qualities is empowering your team so that individuals can shine in their respective roles. This provides a much better work dynamic which also leads to better outcomes.

3. Unquestionable Integrity

great leadership qualities

Among the key leadership qualities, leading with unquestionable integrity is undoubtedly a priority. A survey conducted among 3,000 employees revealed that 75% consider integrity is the most critical attribute. Leaders need to realize that their words, actions, decisions, and methodologies influence a company’s actual values and culture. 

Knowing that a leader runs a company that acts with integrity lets employees know that their leader will treat them right and do what’s best for the business. Regardless of leadership roles, a good leader with unquestionable integrity will always practice what they preach. To lead with integrity, a leader must:

  • Cultivate a good reputation.
  • Create a culture that values integrity. 
  • Stay Consistent.
  • Always honor commitments.

4. Self-Confidence

great leadership qualities

Self-confidence is among the key leadership strengths that a leader must have. It is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows. Effective leaders with self-confidence think positively about the future and take the necessary risks to achieve their goals. 

On the other hand, a leader lacking self-confidence has a negative perspective that is destructive to success. This is why leaders must develop this quality and hone it even further. Here are some ways to boost self-confidence:

  • Address your self-doubt. Don’t allow your hesitations to hold you and your team back from achieving your goals. 
  • Leverage self-doubt to fuel your confidence. Focus on your competence and capabilities to set aside your self-doubt.
  • Recognize your talents. Take pride in what you’re capable of and develop your abilities and strengths.
  • Eliminate triggers. Don’t dwell on negative thinking; it never helps.
  • Bounce back from mistakes. Overcome hurdles by not allowing your stumbles to redirect you from your path to reaching success.
  • Surround yourself with people who believe and support you. When people have confidence in you and your capabilities, you can be better and start feeling great about it too.

5. Effective Communicator

great leadership qualities

Being able to communicate well with your team is one of the great leadership qualities a leader must have. Good leaders can interact with other people genuinely. Aside from being a skilled speaker, a leader actively listens to their team with attention and sincerity. This also builds better trust and camaraderie in the workplace. 

Effective communication can also help your business save money, with a study finding out that inadequate communication can cost large companies up to $64.2 million annually. Communication is among the leadership skills that can be developed through:

  • Asking your team for feedback.
  • Take time to listen before you speak.
  • Answering questions more directly.
  • Tailoring your message to fit your audience.

True leaders can effectively communicate with everyone in the team to achieve better output and build meaningful working relationships.  

6. Delegation

great leadership qualities

Among the great leadership qualities, a leader must possess is the ability to delegate effectively. Delegation is vital to maximizing productivity and team performance while increasing the sense of responsibility to every employee. A leader is the busiest person in any organization. Knowing when and how to delegate tasks allows for more time to do the most critical work. 

Being able to delegate work can also help grow a team’s skillset and keep projects moving forward. Effective work delegation is a matter of trusting the team you’re guiding to have the capabilities you’ve chosen them for. You can work on better work delegation by:

  • Taking feedback on what projects your team members want to work on.
  • Giving honest feedback to maintain standards and make sure that work is always done well. 
  • Providing workable outlines and project briefings on more complex projects.
  • Develop time management skills to get work done on time consistently.

7. Provides Avenues for Personal Development

great leadership qualities

An effective leader prioritizes personal development for employees that leads to a path towards career growth. Developing personal skills can be helpful to your company and the team and is a notion appreciated by your workers in their professional journey. Working on behaviors and skills that can lead to betterment is a healthy way of keeping things going forward. 

True leaders who can work on themselves and let others be on the same path are genuinely more adaptive, resilient, and receptive to valuable feedback. Improving personal development can be achieved by:

  • Taking courses and workshops that aren’t just limited to workplace application
  • Attending industry-relevant conferences
  • Collaborating with other departments to gain insight into how others work and develop a cohesive but independent manner of effectively getting work done. 

A good leader is a continuous learner who brings people together to achieve the same goals. They constantly push themselves in new directions in order to learn new skills. Learning from each other is also an effective way of bringing out ideas to the table that can increase impact and provide motivation for your team. 

8. Innovative

great leadership qualities