January 14, 2019

Leaders shape our nation, communities, and organizations.

We need good leaders to help guide us and make the essential large-scale decisions that keep the world moving.

Our society is usually quick to identify a bad leader, but how to identify a good one? What would most people say makes a good leader?

The Characteristics of a Good Leader

Based on our research, we’ve found that great leaders consistently possess these 10 core leadership traits:

  • Honesty
  • Ability to delegate
  • Communication
  • Sense of humor
  • Confidence
  • Commitment
  • Positive attitude
  • Creativity
  • Ability to inspire
  • Intuition

While many powerful and successful leaders haven’t exhibited all of these character traits, and the definition of a good leader can be quite ambiguous, most good leaders do leverage at least some of these characteristics.

Take someone you view as a great leader. How many of these characteristics do they express?

If the characteristics of a good leader above don’t describe you, don’t panic — there are ways for you to improve upon your leadership capabilities. We believe that leaders are not born, but made, and are molded through experience, continued study, and adaptation. Consider too, whether you have the core leadership skills you need in every role, since everyone  – from individual contributors and first-time managers to the most seasoned senior executives – needs these same 4 leadership competencies to be truly effective.

Like any craft, leadership requires that you learn from your mistakes and continually work at strengthening your weaknesses. Seek out a mentor that you admire. Jot down the characteristics that you feel makes them a great leader. Then ask yourself, How do I compare?

Chances are, they weren’t always a great leader, so determine what they did along the way to become the leader they are today. And keep working on developing the 10 characteristics of a good leader.

Emerging Leadership Trends Report


Want more insights like these? Check out our Trends Report, Talent Reimagined: 7 Emerging Trends for Transformative Leaders.

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