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10 Top Qualities of a Natural Born Leader

by Greg Wilcox
Posted: December 06, 2016

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Few skills have been more valuable throughout human history than effective leadership. After all, a great leader doesn’t just get results, they bring the best out of their entire team every step of the way. 

The best leaders all have a similar set of characteristics that inspire and motivate a team to be the best they possibly can be. So what are the most important qualities of a leader?

Here are ten of the essential traits that make leaders hugely successful.

1.    Confidence

confident young business woman

Believe in yourself and others will believe in you too, which is why all great leaders project an unshakeable confidence in whatever it is that they are trying to do. 

Whether you are leading a cricket team, a small business or an army, there is no more powerful recruitment tool than genuine self-belief.

2.    Calmness

The measure of any leader isn’t how they handle success; rather, it’s what they do when things go wrong. 

A leader must have the emotional intelligence and maturity to remain cool, calm and collected no matter what and stay focused on what needs to be done. 

3.    Communication 

One of the most important leadership qualities is the ability to clearly communicate your thoughts, plans and actions. 

Your team needs to know exactly what your expectations are and being able to articulate your vision will encourage others to commit it as well.

4.    Integrity

Two female work friends working in cafe

Integrity is one of the hardest leadership characteristics to teach, yet it is also one of the most vital. 

Unless people can count on you to stick to your morals, values and ethics they will likely shift their support to someone else who will. 

5.    Honesty

No leader will achieve much without the trust of their followers; therefore, a totally honest approach to each and every situation is essential. 

Admitting mistakes, acknowledging problems or even just being honest about not having an answer will always win over far more fans than being dishonest will cost you.

6.    Compassion

A great leader understands the importance of showing genuine concern, support and compassion for those who are in need, regardless of who they are. 

As the old saying goes, people might forget what you did or said but not how you made them feel, and no one will ever forget being shown compassion when they needed it most. 

7.    Courage

Firefighter team are all courageous natural born leaders

Making the right decision isn’t always easy or popular, which is why a leader needs to have the courage to make tough decisions when necessary. 

Whether they are standing up for important principles, facing down enemies or charting a new and difficult course, a leader will always be defined by their courage or lack thereof.

8.    Patience

Even the best ideas can take some time to come to fruition. Therefore, a leader needs to have the patience to stay on the course all the way to the end. 

Taking a patient approach to decision-making, as opposed to rushing to judgement, will ensure that all factors are considered and the best solution is found.

9.    Open-mindedness

A great leader understands that they can’t know everything, which is why they surround themselves with talented experts and always keep an open mind.

Being open to new and different ideas will mean that the answer to almost any problem will never be far away.

10.    Insightfulness

Insightful woman and man who have the qualities of a leader sharing their project ideas and analysing

Leaders have access to a huge amount of information, but only the great ones have the insight to understand what it all means. While insight often comes with experience, it is also a trait common among those who continually develop their management and leadership skills.

Ready to take the helm?

While there are some who are natural born leaders with the qualities required to guide a team to success, effective leadership can also be learned by those willing to make the effort.

Management courses provide leadership training which can mould anyone into a great leader. So if you want to be ready and able to take the helm, you know what to do.

If you're looking to be empowered with skills and formal qualifications to confidently and competently step up into a management role, learn more about our range of nationally recognised Management courses.


Greg Wilcox

Greg is a full-time freelance Content Producer who writes about graphic design, martial arts and software testing. He currently produces web content for a variety of small to medium businesses, specialising in blog articles, landing pages and product descriptions for a range of clients.

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