Do You Have the Traits of a Good Leader?

From a very young age, we hear about leaders and that we should all strive to be one. In order to advance your career, leadership qualities are quintessential in guaranteeing success. Unfortunately, only a few people naturally are a good leader, but, luckily, qualities that make you a good leader can be practiced.

Before we dive into our list, we should lay some ground rules for what you need to have before you can even start to practice the below qualities. One cannot be a leader (let alone a good leader) if you are not honest. You must be honest with yourself and your team – nothing will make you look worse than getting caught in a lie and once the trust has been broken, repairing the damage will be next to impossible. Secondly, you have to convey passion about your work and goals. Why should your team care if you don’t? Thirdly, respect! It may seem like common sense, but working with different personalities is not an easy task let alone leading them to accomplish a goal.  You have to learn to respect the ideas of your team members – treating everybody equally and not showing favoritism is very important.

Now, let’s get on with the list.



No matter how hard the struggle is, a good leader will never lose sight of their goals. The attitude that your team members have might very well be the reflection of yours. It’s understandable that people will have the occasional bad days, but these days can serve as a catalyst to create a stronger bond between you and your teammates if handled with positivity and not scrutiny.



Confidence is a captivating quality. As a leader, not only will you have to make tough decisions, but you will have to sell those decisions in to your team. The morale of your team can lower overwhelmingly if you make decisions with uncertainty; be fearless, and display confidence. Taking risks is an unfortunate part of the gig. Confidence should be displayed especially in all non-verbal communications.



If you are a good leader, your followers will put you on a pedestal; just don’t let the thin air get to your head. There’s a reason why leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King are still revered while others are forgotten about, although both might have gotten the job done. A great way to show this is by acknowledging hard work and sharing the credit for all the accomplishments with upper management; people like to get a pat on the back for their work.

Ability to Delegate


A team will never work properly without proper organization. Often times, tasks get handled incorrectly because of miscommunication and unfortunately the leader is usually to blame. As a leader, your team is looking to you for directions and you must possess the ability to break down a project in easy to understand steps. You can only do this properly if you know how your team operates and the only way to practice is through actually doing. A good start would be to share your vision with your team.

Lead by example


Often times, people think that a leader simply barks orders, this is only true for the worst of leaders. For you, maybe getting your hands dirty might be the way to go. Doing so also allows you to develop all the qualities we have mentioned before. If you want things to get done a certain way, it is you who will have to set the bar for your team to reach.



If you haven’t read Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini, you must right away. It will teach you everything you need to know about the art of persuasion – it can elevate your communication skill to a whole another level. A lot of the times, more than the idea itself, it is the way you convey it that yields results. A good chunk of communication takes place in non-verbal forms; about 80% according to Dr. Cialdini. Therefore, proper methods and tricks come to your advantage when you need certain scenarios to go in your favor.

Sense of Humor


Ever have an uptight person for a boss? Remember how horrible those days were? Now why go about things the same way? Lighten up! Yes, certain tasks will make you want to choke the life out of anything but a good sense of humor can help calm those nerves. Plus, it will allow you to have a better relationship with your team as they will feel more comfortable and not intimidated in your presence. However, being the “funny boss” can also be disadvantageous; therefore you must learn or construct unspoken boundaries for what’s humorous amongst your team.

Acknowledge Your Team and Celebrate


Often times, being a leader is a lot like being a parent; you have to reward your kids, or your team members (in this case), for their hard work. This can be in a form of a generous bonus, a party, or a lunch (paid by you, of course). You must give your team a reason to continue to being a part of your vision besides a paycheck. Doing so keeps your team motivated and their likeness for you just may grow as well.

What do you think a good leader should possess? Comment with your thoughts below!


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