Eight Qualities in a Great Leader

Brooke Thomas

Whether you are supervising a team of one or of thousands, the role of a leader can be difficult. Leaders are responsible for propelling their team forward and guiding them toward the path of success. In short, leaders are in the position to make or break the team.

While there are many qualities that come together to make a great leader, these eight stand out as some of the most important. Leaders should continually work to improve management skills. As you read this blog, ask yourself which of these characteristics you’re great at and which ones you can spend some time improving.

Man standing by an arrange ment of arrows pointing in one direction with one large arrow

Don’t be discouraged if you find there are one of more of these qualities you may need to work on. With mindfulness and practice, each of these qualities can become second nature.

1. Visionary

Great leaders have a clear vision that they are passionate about.

This leads to a staff that is excited and ready to do their part in accomplishing the mission. A great leader keeps everyone on course, and their passion keeps the team motivated.

2. Trustworthy

 Keep your word and prove your integrity to your team.

Trust is one of the hardest things to earn from your team, but when they know they can trust you to be upfront and honest with them, you will begin to develop deeper and more authentic relationships. This will lead to a team who communicates openly with their leader because they are comfortable with them.

3. Courageous

Decisions must be made without the guarantee of a positive outcome.

There are often risky decisions that are required and a leader knows when the pros outweigh the cons. Decisions aren’t made lackadaisically nor are they made out of fear. Though they are well thought out and made with intention, there is not always the promise of success.

4. Confident

No one will believe you are capable until you believe you are capable yourself.

Many great leaders are confident but not arrogant. Arrogant leaders aren’t able to see the great qualities in their staff. A confident leader celebrates the great qualities in their staff. They are self-assured in their skills and don’t doubt their decisions.

5. Humility

Don’t pretend to have all of the answers. Leaders know when to ask for help and when to depend on their colleagues and staff.

According to Merriam-Webster, humility is defined as “The quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people.” Never let your ego get in the way of your leadership. Leaders give credit where credit is due without feeling threatened. Give your staff the credit they deserve when they do well.


6. Self-Aware

Know your strengths and weaknesses.

While a good leader knows how they appear to their team, they also try to keep an objective perspective of their strengths and weaknesses. They are self-aware enough to know the areas that need improvement and humble enough to seek feedback about their performance. (Remember point five!)

7. Communication

Always keep your team in the loop.

Clearly and concisely relay project details, expectations and deadlines to your team. The more they know, the better they can deliver. Being a good communicator to your team is relieving to them because they know what you expect, but a great leader’s communication should also inspire and motivate.

8. Empower

Encourage your team to make decisions on their own.

I thought about tucking this quality in with the point about being Trustworthy, but it deserves to stand on its own. Great leaders make great leaders. That means they give their team the authority and power to make decisions on their own. Because they hire competent staff, they trust their judgment and create an environment of autonomy.

Good leaders are hard to come by, but great leaders are a rare find! When you have one, you know it and you are forever better because of it. These are only a few of the many traits I’ve found in exceptional leadership, but I know there are plenty more.  What are some of the qualities you’ve found in your best leaders?

 Written By: Brooke Thomas