Management & Leadership

Top 5 Qualities of a Great Leader 

A good leader will motivate you, build you up and empower you. He or she is someone that you look up to and someone who is empathetic toward their team. If you take a moment to think about who inspires you on your team, that person is an example of a true leader no matter what their title is. Effective leadership shapes our departments and teams, from business success to culture. So, what are the key qualities of a great leader? 

Not everyone possesses leadership skills. While some are natural-born leaders, the good news is that some qualities of effective leadership can be learned and practiced over time. Good leadership is essential in bringing all the personalities and skills of a team together to work toward achieving a common goal. 

5 Key Qualities of a Good Leader 

Let’s break down what it takes to be a good leader – and what to keep in mind when building a team.

1. Good communication 

We all know how important it is to communicate effectively. Communication is key to bringing your team together, explaining important tasks and projects, and building trust. Good communication is transparent, frequent and open to feedback and follow-ups. This involves clear explanations of what’s going on and how it impacts the team. However, it also involves listening to the team’s concerns and questions and taking the time to respond thoughtfully and thoroughly. The team should know that they can reach their leader through multiple forms of messaging platforms including email, phone, and meetings.

2. Self-awareness

It’s important to be self-aware as a good leader. This means that not only do you know your strengths, but you also know your flaws and will take accountability when appropriate. Understanding your own strengths and weaknesses enables you to maximize your talents and turn to your team’s individual strengths where needed. This will help you lead with authenticity, develop your own leadership style, and lead your team in effectively managing the unique talents they bring to the table. 

3. Empathy 

Empathy is an incredibly important trait in a good leader. You want your team members to trust you and to be able to come to you when needed. Having empathy will allow you to put yourself in others’ shoes and relate to your team in an authentic way. Empathy will help you connect with your team better and get to know who they are outside of work, which creates bonds of trust. You will also be able to sense if someone in your team is stressed and be able to help them.

4. Have a vision 

A leader will always think with the bigger picture in mind. They think strategically and will lead the team toward this vision because they know what their team is capable of. With a clear goal ahead, leaders help their team understand how they can collaborate and focus to achieve their goals. 

5. Encouraging 

Every good leader will inspire and encourage their team members to put their best foot forward. They want their team to succeed, and they will help their coworkers as much as they can to see them improve. They are a positive force in the team and other members get motivated to do their best because of their leaders’ work ethic, optimism and drive.

What identifies a great leader?

A great leader can possess more than the qualities listed above. Other important characteristics include having gratitude, respecting other coworkers, courage, and continuous improvement. Everyone can learn to be a good leader and nurture these important skills to put their team on the path to success. You also don’t have to be a supervisor or manager to be a good leader. Take the time to work on your leadership skills and know that there is always room for improvement.

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