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What are the qualities of a really good leader?

by Jack Phillips
Posted: July 02, 2015

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Have you ever overheard someone say, “she/he is a born leader”? Although some people have more of a natural affinity to leadership than others, the qualities of a good leader can, and should, be learnt.

Everybody has the potential to be a good leader. Whether you are looking to build upon your leadership training or wanting to develop the traits to be an effective leader in the future, you need to know what a good leader actually does.

What is a leader and why are they so valuable?

This manager has essential qualities of a good leader

Leadership is a mix of knowledge, values, skills, and behaviours. Each of us has beliefs about what characteristics an effective leader should possess. Ultimately, the people under your command will assess your leadership, and your success may depend on how well your characteristics match those that they value.

Being an effective leader is crucial to the development of any business. Leaders are valuable because as well are overseeing business objectives they also help nurture and motivate the workforce.

They ensure that work is completed as well as that the team is happy and content with their position within the company. In many ways, they are the backbone of a business. They help businesses grow, as well as cultivate a nurturing and supportive culture in the process.

Related: 10 of the greatest leadership speeches of all time

Essential qualities of a good leader 

1. You should be able to self-assess

Good leaders constantly take stock of their achievements and actively seek to better their skills. They set personal goals and look to grow, whether they have just started on the leadership ladder or have been in a position of authority for some time.

2. You should be responsive

Good leaders know how to respond the demands of the role and the demands of their team. They know and actively seek to bring out the best qualities of the people they lead.

Building a strong team is easier when you know the values and goals of each individual, as well as what they need from you as their leader.

3. You should know your company inside and out

Good leaders know the organisation’s purpose and objectives, as well as the strategies needed to achieve these goals. They understand how they and their team fit into the larger company picture and help the company grow.

4. You should show sharp perception

Good leaders have an easy level of honest communication with their team and a thorough understanding of how they are perceived. Testing others’ perception of you can be as simple as observing their behaviour.

Great leaders make changes as and when they are needed in order to best serve the aims of the company and the goals of the team.

What a good leader should do

Leaders are required to do many things all at the same time, such as:

  • Promote creativity
  • Serve as a role model
  • Listen and communicate
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Encourage and nurture
  • Motivate
  • Recognise and reward
  • Try new things

We tend to think of a good communicator as a good speaker, but it should also encompass listening, team building and motivation.

Good communicators can express themselves clearly and with confidence and use this platform in order to best service the following skills. Add these to your repertoire and see yourself become a better leader.

5 teamwork skills that every leader needs

1. Be a good communicator

Good communication skills are required at every level of business, but leaders must possess outstanding communication skills. Luckily, this is a skill that can be learned.

2. Be able to motivate teams

Inspiring others is the mark of an effective leader. Motivation is best done by example and guidance, not by issuing commands.

3. Be able to team build

Putting together strong teams that work well is another trait of great leaders. The opposite is also true: if a team is weak and dysfunctional, it is generally down to a failure in leadership.

4. Be able to negotiate risk-taking

You can learn how to assess risk and run scenarios that will help you make better decisions. Great leaders take the right risks at the right time.

5. Have a vision

A team depends on its leader to tell them where they are going, why and how they’re going to get there. People are more motivated when a leader involves the whole team in the building of a clear vision and explains how they can achieve it.

There is no magic formula to becoming a good leader

It is a process of trial and error. Being a leader is more a state of mind that includes an increasing skill set, recognition of the people around them and a drive to learn and improve.

Leadership is one of the most desired skills in any profession and will always be highly regarded by all areas of business. Do you have the indispensable qualities of a leader?

Leadership is a skill which can be learnt...
But if you have these 10 qualities, you might just be a natural born leader! 


Jack Phillips

Jack is an online producer with an editorial/journalistic background and strong experience in digital/content strategy for publishers and news portals. He specialises in content that integrates data and publishing platforms (CMS and CRM), user experience optimisation and increasing revenue potential.

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