What Qualities Do You Look for in a Leader?

I was asked to list the key traits that I believe a leader should possess.

This is a very interesting question, in my opinion, as I believe many of us have varied expectations of our leaders that frequently depend on the way we prefer to work.

Below is a list of the top 10 qualities I look for in Leaders, or like my leaders to have.

  • 1. Bold
  • 2. Simplicity
  • 3. Inspiring
  • 4. Knowledgable
  • 5. Consistent
  • 6. Supportive
  • 7. Generous
  • 8. Authentic
  • 9. Communicative
  • 10. Honesty

Boldness: I think we all want to be part of something big, something special, we all want to feel that we have been part of something great. So I like a leader who sets bold goals.

Simplicity: This is a twofold quality: one is to keep things simple and to get us to focus on what’s important, it’s very easy to overcomplicate things which then reduces the chance of success; secondly it’s about being to explain things simply so that we have a great understanding of what’s needed. The better we understand the higher the probability of success.

Inspiring: Leaders need to be able to generate the belief that the goal can be achieved, they need to be able to make the team believe.

Knowledgable: Leaders need to understand why we are going where we are going, they need to know why it’s important, and they need to be able to explain it in detail. Vagueness is a clear example that a leader doesn’t fully understand why, what, or how, and these are fatal in a leader as they can raise doubts.

Consistency: Leaders need to be consistent we cannot have the targets changing every few months, otherwise the teams lose focus and direction. Also, a leader needs to be consistent in how they deal with people, treat everyone the same, and be consistent about what good looks like.

Supportive: Leaders need to support their team, allow them to make mistakes and help them overcome them, they need to ensure that their teams have all of the tools and resources that they need to be successful. They also need to defend their teams too, especially when things are not going well, which will always happen if you shoot for ambitious goals.

Generous: Leaders need to be generous with praise and credit. If they look to keep all of the credit for themselves very soon they will have few followers, no one wants to feel like they were a bit player, especially when they were one of the key contributors.

Authentic: Leaders need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, too often leaders say one thing and do another. Nothing loses followers quicker than being inauthentic.

Communicative: Leaders need to provide clear and consistent messages setting direction and then regular feedback on the progress being made, this should be monthly or quarterly at least. We need to regularly communicate to the teams to let them know they are on the right track, and that they are making the right progress. Imagine driving a car without a speedometer and how difficult you would find it to understand your progress, whether you are going too fast or too slow.

Honesty: I think that as this is the basis for trust, if the leader lacks honesty, then it makes it practically impossible to lead.

What qualities do you look for, are there any that you think I have missed?

If so, then let me know.

If you want to learn more about creating highly engaged teams or being a better leader click the link to make an appointment to talk about how I can help.