Imagine walking into a room and being looked at with admiration and respect by your team members and stakeholders.
If you aspire to this situation, then you need to find out what the 20 qualities of a good leader are and how to develop them effectively.
As an account manager, I need to be considered as a point of reference for my team, motivating and helping them when they struggle.
Is it simple? Absolutely not!
But once you understand what makes a leader great, the road will be all downhill.
- 35% of employees identify their boss as a significant source of stress at work, that’s why you need to understand how to handle your team.
- Good leaders demonstrate leadership accountability by taking responsibility for their decisions, learning from their mistakes, and being dependable.
- Active listening is an essential skill that enables leaders to effectively communicate with team members by conveying ideas and expectations.
- Self-confidence helps build trust among team members while having empathy allows leaders to understand and share the feelings of their subordinates.
- Collaboration, courage, communication and resilience are other essential and good qualities required in successful leaders as well.
- Honesty is a key quality that builds trust between a leader and his/her team, promoting a positive working environment within the organization or group.
Top 20 Qualities of a Good Leader
Ready to become that charismatic and confident leader you’ve always dreamed of?
Well, let’s immediately find out what the 20 qualities are absolutely necessary to become one starting from today!
Self-accountability is one of the most important qualities a good leader must demonstrate.
Leaders must take ownership of responsibilities, solve problems, and complete tasks.
But that’s not enough to climb the accountability ladder.
A strong leader will also encourage their team members to take responsibility for their roles to achieve common goals; this shows that everyone has an equal say in how the team operates towards success.
Moreover, true accountability dictates that a leader recognizes successes and takes ownership of any positive and negative outcomes stemming from failures or challenges along the way.
Each person has his own needs, that’s why it is important to listen carefully to his requests or comments.
Active listening is an important quality that distinguishes great leaders from mediocre ones.
It involves actively listening to the concerns and perspectives of team members and offering support, feedback, and recognition where needed.
When leaders actively listen to their coworkers, they can build trust and rapport, promoting a positive work environment.
Being patient and understanding each team member will improve their productivity and make them feel more motivated.
Leaders who can listen to their team are very rare, so make sure to be one of them!
Successful and optimistic leaders understand their true capabilities and leverage those effectively to achieve their goals.
Good leader know their potential, and they’re not scared to solve a problem or overcome challenges.
To cultivate self-confidence, you need to take inventory of your strengths and areas you can improve on.
And don’t be scared to admit a lack: it can be an opportunity to build relationships with mentors or colleagues who can help you out and build a strong relationship.
Another important leadership quality is the capacity to empathize with your team and show you care about them.
Empathy allows you to understand and share the feelings of your team members, giving you insight into how best to respond or provide support.
If you act in this way, your team will know you’re approachable and can understand difficult situations.
Empathetic leaders can better guide their teams accordingly whilst allowing autonomy within each role.
Not to mention you will be more respected and able to foster positive working relationships with everyone you engage with professionally.
A team only works when all its members collaborate and take responsibility.
To become a leader, you must recognize the absence of accountability; otherwise, you could worsen the situation.
As an account manager, I always make myself available to help my team members when they need it and I encourage them to ask their colleagues for help.
In short, understanding that working together is much more effective than going it alone is essential for effective leadership.
Taking ownership of responsibilities and positive and negative outcomes it is an excellent demonstration of courage, a skill all great leaders possess.
It allows you to take risks and make difficult decisions necessary for the benefit of the organization and of your team.
Leaders must have the fortitude required to recognize potential opportunities even under unfavorable conditions and stand by their beliefs to continue pushing forward toward success.
Additionally, it’s crucial for a leader to set an example when it comes to courage: resilience during times of failure, transparency in communication, and honesty about goals will motivate their team members to recognize that obstacles can become opportunities.
A great leader can listen carefully but must also be able to communicate effectively.
You need to understand the importance of clear, concise messages that leave no room for interpretation.
Make sure your message is positive, remaining focused on solutions rather than problems, and always strive to engage through eye contact and open body posture.
A good communication is vital to not creating a working environment in which people are afraid to express themselves and consequently work poorly.
Resilience means having the ability to “bounce back” from adversity while continuing to lead confidently.
In many cases, being resilient will enable a leader to identify early signs of potentially challenging situations before they reach critical levels.
A resilient leader focuses on responding quickly and appropriately when facing operational or organizational challenges, which can cause stress among team members.
That’s why accountability and resilience are so important; this set of qualities can help you keep calm under pressure and make the right decisions.
A good leader also knows resilience tends to inspire confidence and promote trust among their team members since they appear strong, confident, positive, and optimistic even in difficult times.
Honesty is one of the 20 qualities of effective leadership and maybe the most important.
It helps to build trust and credibility with your team members.
Honest leaders are transparent, and they know how to communicate without misunderstandings
This leads to better problem-solving ability, making it easier for conflicts to be resolved and fair decisions made within the workplace.
My collaborators know that I trust and that I can count on them.
And you can’t do everything, so delegating is essential.
Delegation is key for solid leadership.
You can pass routine tasks onto others while reserving your energy for more significant objectives.
Test your colleagues, give them support and you will see that they will feel appreciated and you will have much fewer tasks to do.
Problems and difficulties are everywhere, and you must know how to handle them.
Being able to identify and address challenges, make decisions, and find solutions to complex problems is a key to effective leadership.
Problem-solving involves seeking out information from all stakeholders, analyzing and evaluating available data, and looking for alternative solutions that can resolve the challenge or improve upon existing systems.
Good problem-solvers consider risks before taking action and don’t hesitate to ask for help where needed.
The same principle as before applies when you have to make decisions.
Leaders must be able to analyze information quickly and accurately, weigh all options before making a decision, and then confidently follow through on their choices (even when faced with criticism or pushback).
Being decisive is not always easy; it takes practiced skill and knowledge to make other people trust in your leadership abilities.
Leaders who excel at decision-making understand the need to balance individual desires and organizational objectives.
They don’t make knee-jerk reactions or irrational judgments based purely on emotion.
They recognize when facts are needed to inform their choices as well as how experiences from the past can help determine future paths.
I bet you think a leader can afford to boast and flaunt his qualities, right?
Humility is an important character trait for leaders and can lead to more tremendous success.
A humble leader acknowledges their limitations, seeks input from others, and encourages collaboration within the team.
This skill allows a leader to act gracefully under pressure, admit mistakes, and learn from them.
It also helps create a more inclusive work environment by fostering open communication between team members, allowing different perspectives to be shared without judgment or criticism.
Do you really like what you’re doing? Are you passionate about it?
Because if you’re not, your team won’t be either.
Passion is the driving force behind effective leadership.
A passionate leader encourages and motivates their team members, helping to create a sense of purpose and meaning within the working environment.
You must inspire commitment, dedication, and enthusiasm in those around you through their expression of belief in their visions and those of the team members themselves.
Leaders often talk about motivation, but I don’t believe in it; I just believe in discipline and how hungry you are.
Self-discipline is the skill of working toward your goals even when you don’t feel like it, providing your team with the ability to stay focused and motivated on their goals.
While it may be difficult for some to maintain self-control to achieve desired outcomes, successful leaders understand that discipline is critical.
Without proper self-discipline, decisions are likely to falter, and projects fail.
If you want to develop your leadership, you need to be open to learning new things.
A leader who can remain flexible, adaptable, and open to new ideas and perspectives will be better equipped to handle the challenges of leadership today, enhancing communication and collaboration within their team.
A perfect example is AI; an open-minded person knows that it can be an opportunity and not a threat and must be ready to learn to use it.
Leaders should strive to create an environment where everyone’s opinion counts, valuing input from all levels of the team to ensure progress toward shared goals.
Open-mindedness encourages learning and growth, helping leaders get creative with solutions while instilling trust between colleagues by setting a precedent for inclusivity.
Do you encourage creativity and innovation in your team?
When people think outside the box, they can develop flexible solutions while maintaining clear objectives.
Good creative leaders recognize opportunities in new situations, understand challenges from multiple perspectives, and encourage everyone on their team to do the same.
Encouraging words of affirmation are a great way to nurture creativity under pressure so try out short exercises aimed at helping your team become more open and creative thinkers.
By adapting their approach based on the specific needs of their team and the situation at hand, leaders can more effectively lead their teams toward success.
This is one key reason why those in leadership roles must remain open-minded and willing to change if needed.
Examples of this could include when managing unique or complex challenges that require a new approach or looking at ways to increase morale within a team by adjusting existing procedures or processes.
In these scenarios, being flexible allows leaders to develop solutions that wouldn’t have been considered if they had stayed firmly rooted in traditional methods.
Strong principles and ethics must underpin good leadership.
Ethical leaders are honest, and transparent and understand other co-workers’ emotions.
Honesty is fundamental to ethical leadership; sharing accurate information with colleagues to help them make informed decisions.
Transparency allows all parties to remain in alignment, resulting in mutual trust and respect amongst team members and external entities like customers or investors.
Lastly, having a sense of integrity means adhering strictly to beliefs, values, and standards that guide conduct regardless of circumstances or consequences without any fear of scrutiny or judgment.
How to Improve Your Leadership Skills
We have analyzed what good leadership qualities are.
But how can leaders improve their leadership skills?
Here are some tips based on my experience of over seven years as an account manager managing over 30 people with different needs.
Identify your leadership style
Leadership styles are based on personality, experience, and the company’s organizational culture.
Unique qualities in each leader make them more effective in leading their team and achieving successful outcomes.
You must understand the different leadership styles and which works best to motivate your team and establish a productive environment.
Self-assessments and professional feedback from colleagues can be very informative when identifying strengths and weaknesses for improvement.
Knowing which style works best within an organization allows you to gain insight into how you interact with peers, subordinates, superiors, customers, and stakeholders –all essential components of being a good leader.
Define areas of strength and areas for improvement
Negative outcomes are essential when you need to understand your weaknesses.
One of the primary keys to becoming an effective leader is being able to self-assess and identify your strengths and areas for improvement.
Building on what we already know or believe about ourselves requires paying attention, reflecting honestly and deeply, and then implementing that knowledge into action where needed.
This process allows you to understand the reasons behind your achievements and how taking advantage of your skill set can improve leadership abilities.
For example, if collaboration comes easily for someone, they may be best suited in a role with shared responsibilities, whereas an independent streak might suggest that full ownership of projects leads to better outcomes overall.
Find a mentor
Even the greatest leaders rely on someone more experienced than them to constantly improve themselves.
A mentor can provide invaluable insight into effective leadership qualities that have been tested and honed by practical experience.
They can guide you through situations and decisions and help identify areas for improvement or potential blind spots.
A mentor can be your boss, an accountability coach, or anyone with experience managing people and achieving great results.
In addition, far more than simply relating their past experiences, mentors are also equipped with the self-awareness needed to recognize individual strengths and weaknesses with regard to one’s own leadership style.
Find an accountability partner
Finding an accountability partner is valuable in improving one’s leadership skills.
Having someone to provide support, guidance, and motivation on their development journey can be immensely helpful.
An accountability partner holds the leader responsible for their actions, decisions, and goals while helping them stay focused on long-term objectives.
Furthermore, they can offer an external perspective that may uncover valuable insights that otherwise would have been overlooked or ignored.
Additionally, having somebody along with whom to share successes and failures gives the opportunity of reflection that helps build self-awareness where progress needs to be made or strengths need further cultivating.
Being a great leader is something that takes effort and dedication.
Mastering the art of effective leadership requires hard work, practice, and a set of essential qualities like accountability, active listening, self-confidence, creativity, collaboration, courage to take risks, and communication skills, among many others.
Leaders also need to understand how to keep up the morale and motivation in their team and know how to set smart goals so that everyone can always feel productive and enthusiastic.
And as I said before, it’s not easy.
But remember: the most difficult things lead to extraordinary results that almost no one can get.
So, are you ready to take on this challenge and develop the top 20 qualities of every leader?