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What are 10 Characteristics of a Good Leader?

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

Home » Leaders » What are 10 Characteristics of a Good Leader?
What are 10 characteristics of a good leader?

What Stuff Are Good Leaders Made Of?

We’ve all heard about that one boss who bullies people on the sly and doesn’t pay attention to the needs of those under him. Realistically speaking, the term ‘Boss’ is a bad word in itself. Bosses are far different than leaders and bear no semblance with a leader. Leaders fill the room with positivity due to their flamboyant nature and or a calm aura that they exhibit. Leaders can take an organization to the stratosphere with their qualities, some of which are discussed below:

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Passion, Commitment, and Enthusiasm

Others will be enthused by your enthusiasm for your objective or goal since they can see and feel your commitment. But, because passion doesn’t always get the job done, you must also include commitment in your list of strategic leadership attributes. Commitment refers to the ability to stay focused on the things that will help you succeed. 

Leading by example is a simple approach to demonstrate your passion and commitment. Roll up your sleeves and join your team if you expect them to work hard and achieve high-quality results. When individuals witness their leader working alongside them, putting in the same (or more) effort than everyone else, team motivation skyrockets.


It is contagious to have a cheerful mindset. Your team will work harder and be happier if they are led and surrounded by happy and positive people. In the office, positivity may take various forms, from serving snacks in the community kitchen to maintaining a happy tone in internal correspondence. Of course, there should be a balance between leisure and work, but try your best to maintain a cheerful, encouraging atmosphere during the workplace. 

Keep in mind that some leaders have strategy review meetings solely to address issues, such as the red and yellow items on their scorecard.


It’s easy to get trapped when you’ve been at a firm for a long time or in the same career for a long time. Being a strong leader necessitates pragmatism and reality, but it also necessitates an eye for creativity and the vision to put it into action. The ability to quickly change and adapt to changing business or economic situations is a key skill to develop.

To put it another way, don’t get too comfy. If you’re unfamiliar with an idea or method, evaluate it and consider the advantages of implementing something new. Being open to change and having “out-of-the-box” ideas are traits of a strategic leader, as they are what will offer you a competitive advantage.


Empathy does not imply that you are the organization’s resident therapist. It means that you try to comprehend your team’s issues by putting yourself in their shoes and viewing things through their eyes. Instead of sitting clueless in an ivory tower, leaders who practice empathy gain a knowledge of the issues and needs of a team or department, resulting in genuine connections.

Empathy is a useful tool, in addition to the interpersonal benefits. You can set more realistic goals and timetables when you properly grasp what it takes to implement a strategy—the talents, resources, projects, and so on.


One of the most admired strategic leadership attributes is humility. Humble leaders recognize their errors, apologize when required, and share credit wherever possible. This conduct makes you more “human” and relatable; it’s also just good manners to encourage and praise others rather than behaving like you’re the brightest person in the room (even if you are!).

Not only with other people, but also with your own planning and processes, practice humility. This involves admitting that you don’t know everything and that even the most effective solutions have weaknesses. You can help your organization adapt and improve by being open to learning and leaving your ego at the door.


A competent leader must be able to instill trust in their people and the business as a whole—confidence in their character as well as their vision. This is quite important. If your employees do not believe in or are dubious of your vision, they will not put out the effort required to make it a reality.

So, what’s the best way to go about doing that? Building trust requires being open and honest with your team members about expectations, objectives, performance, and other topics. Respect is essential for encouraging action among your team members, and it comes with trust and integrity.

They Are The People Of Culture

As a leader your primary job is to ensure your team is on task and doing their best to achieve your vision. Leaders need to support their people. But they also need to keep in mind that they’re in a position that makes them cultural representatives of the whole organization.


What does this mean exactly? Leaders, especially C-suite executives, are looked to for guidance on how to act, how to behave, and whether or not they’re true to their espoused values, as well as to the company’s. In short, they’re the company’s culture champions whether they’re aware of it or not. They’re on display for all to see, and the manner in which they act has an influence on how employees view the company… and their own role within it.

Admits Their Mistake

Your natural impulse as a leader is to, well, lead. You want to motivate your team to support you and your goals. But one aspect of the leader-follower connection that is sometimes misinterpreted is the belief that the leader has natural knowledge of the best possible course of action at all times and can never be wrong. And that your team, your fans, do not. 

A good leader is aware of his or her own strengths and flaws. As a result, they establish a climate of professional disagreement by encouraging debate, open discussion, and feedback.

Excellent Communication Skills

Exceptional communicators aren’t necessarily word wizards. Do they have good communication and writing skills? Yes, that’s correct. But, more crucially, they understand that the manner in which they communicate is determined by the audience.

A smart leader communicates successfully by considering who he or she is communicating with and tailoring their message accordingly. Because their profession relies so heavily on inspiring people with their words and deeds, a leader must be extremely skilled at communicating. When you use your words efficiently, you get better results.

Trust In Their Subordinates

A good leader is secure in their talents and self-assured. But, more significantly, they have faith in the ability of their teammates. Your faith in your team’s work and knowledge is crucial when delegating and empowering them to succeed. If you don’t know the answer to a subject, a great leader is willing to defer to a team member’s experience, quick to accommodate alternative viewpoints, and always willing to back down from an argument. Humility is something that a leader should aim for and practice.

In today’s workplace, there are numerous methods to be an effective and inspiring leader. But maybe the most crucial perspective you can have is to think of your employees as talented members of the same team, not as subordinates or followers. You’re there to help them, and they’re there to help you achieve your goals. A strong leader understands this, and their team respects them for it.