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What are Leadership Qualities?

By Felicia Dye
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A leader can be described as a person at the head of a group of followers. To achieve and maintain such a position, there are certain leadership qualities that a person generally needs. These include honesty, integrity, and receptiveness.

There are some qualities that can enhance leaders, but without which they can still be effective. Strong character is one the leadership qualities that is essential to all leaders. Character is a wide range of traits that collectively identifies a person. This includes values, morals, and methods. In order for a person to be a good leader, he must generally have a clear and distinct identity, and he must be aware of it.

Character usually needs to be accented with integrity. This is a quality that allows outsiders, including followers, to know what to expect from a person. This does not necessarily mean that a leader is wholly predictable. Rather, it means that his words, actions, and decisions will be bound to certain standards that are defined by his character.

Receptiveness is one of the leadership qualities that can allow a leader to grow. Being at the head of a group does not make a person all-knowing. This is why most great leaders are surrounded by great advisers. A leader typically needs to be able to listen. He also needs to be able to observe what is going on around him.

With receptiveness comes decisiveness. A leader needs to take in information, but ultimately many final decisions will be his own. When the time comes for decisions to be made, he must be able to do so. The decisions that he makes should be based on solid characteristics and not on unleashed emotions.

Certain leadership qualities can be difficult to uphold at all times, but it is important that a leader strives to do so. One example is honesty. Many of the things that a leader encounters may not be easy to share with his followers, but still, he should not deceive them. Doing so not only could result in a setback to a cause or organization, but it could also damage the level of respect that people have for the leader.

Another of the leadership qualities that may be difficult to uphold at all times is the need to display humility. Leaders should have causes and objectives. This means that at all times they are aware that they are not in a position to serve and cater to themselves. A good leader must be able to put others first and to prioritize the needs and concerns of others above his own. He must also be able to admit faults and difficulties.

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Discussion Comments

By anon998602 — On Jul 13, 2017

Good leaders recognize that becoming an effective leader is a journey, not a goal with an ending date. No matter how effective they become, they recognizes they still have room to improve their skills.

By BrickBack — On Oct 13, 2010

Sunshine31- They also can tell the difference between an employee having a bad day and the employee following a bad trend. They tend to be even tempered.

I think if a leader can take the time to listen to the employee and maybe adopt some of the employee’s suggestions if they are practicable, will really motivate an employee and go a longer way in elevating the morale of the department.

Happy employees are the most productive, so anything that a leader can do to create a more pleasant working environment will make the employees more productive and it becomes a win-win situation for everyone. Also hearing both sides of a story before reacting is the best way to handle conflict which most leaders do well.

By sunshine31 — On Oct 13, 2010

Subway11-I think management leadership qualities really result in doing the hard work that no one wants to do.

Holding the team accountable and measuring the results are also important to ensure that the team is focused on the goals and achieving a certain level of success.

Managers that fail to inspect their employee’s results often find employees that they perform at subpar levels.

In addition, a manager should never be surprised by the employee’s performance as they should be following their performance and offering feedback in order to develop their level of productivity.

Great leaderships qualities and skills always hold their people accountable, but also care very much about their team and are always ready to listen to them when they have a problem.

By subway11 — On Oct 13, 2010

Bhutan-Good leadership qualities also involve mutual respect for all and an open door policy. You really want your employees to be able to come to you when they have challenges or maybe ideas to make the department better.

Motivating employees to think out-of-the-box to be excited about the work is really what all leaders aspire to do.

Motivated employees work a lot harder and will produce much better results. Effective leadership qualities are really honesty and integrity and a level of empathy of putting yourself in the person’s place.

For example, demonstrating support with an employee that had a death in the family by attending a funeral can be very meaningful to the employee and can bring the employee and manager closer together.

Treating everyone as a team equally really creates a sense of cohesiveness that improves employee morale and productivity.

By Bhutan — On Oct 13, 2010

Developing leadership qualities takes time. Good leadership qualities involve a strong character, great interpersonal skills, and strong work ethic.

A strong character really relates to demonstrating self-confidence when difficulties arise. For example, if your department is not performing up to their sales quota, or they just received a bad customer service review, instead of getting angry at your group you immediately work on a plan to make them better.

By having a meeting with your group and pinpointing the problem that caused the adverse performance you can make the situation better. These are effectiv leadership qualities because leaders are always faced difficult situations.

Good leadership skills involve addressing difficult issues. If you have an employee that is difficult and underperforming, this leader would address those issues with the troubled employee and if the troubled employee did not improve then this leader would terminate the employee.

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