Ten Characteristics of Good Leadership

When you take a quick look at how many results you get after Goggling “Ten Characteristics of Good Leadership” you begin to wonder if there is a hard and fast rule for what those ten characteristics should be.

I suppose if the truth is told there is no absolute answer; however, what I know is true is that great leaders have had most, if not all, of the list that I am about to provide. I truly believe in the idea that leaders are born and not created by attending a bunch of leadership training courses. If these leadership training courses produced great, or even good, leaders our world would be filled with them and frankly it isn’t!

Although any one of the list I am about to provide could rank number one I am a strong believer that great leaders have Vision! They have the ability to see what things can become and within that vision they see a path to getting there. They almost always see the glass half full and where the additional water to fill it will come from. Whether it is a General like George Washington, a President like Ronald Reagan, or a businessman like Bill Gates they had a vision. In addition, to the vision they were able to help others to see their vision and lead them towards it.

Number two on my list of ten characteristics of good leadership is passion! Passion is a difficult one for me to include since many people have passion about things that are just downright ridiculous; however, in the case of passion lending itself to good leadership skills I must include it. In this case I am speaking about the type of passion that drives a person to continually move in a direction that improves whatever it is they are after. Whether we are speaking about the General, President, or businessman above they would not have been successful as leaders without the passion. They knew what things could be and because of passion they stuck with it until they succeeded.

Wisdom must also rank towards the top of the list but not always at the top. Many very intelligent people have failed miserably as leaders. However, wisdom on the other hand is more about common sense than book knowledge. The common sense to come in out of the rain is the type of wisdom I am referring to here. Ronald Reagan surrounded himself with very intelligent people and utilizing his own common sense led this country out of the misery President Jimmy Carter put us into. I’m sure President Carter is and was an intelligent man but as a leader he sucked!

Another one of the ten characteristics of good leadership is the ability to communicate your thoughts, ideas, direction, guidance, or beliefs to those around you to help them see your vision as we spoke of earlier. Great leaders help others to see their vision and give very clear direction on how to get there.

This by itself is a very difficult skill to achieve; therefore, you either good at it or you’re going to struggle. There are many exercises to prove this out. Try blindfolding someone and then have them try to accomplish something relatively simple by just following your directions. Good luck!

Being decisive is also critical to being a good leader. Great leaders are able to quickly evaluate a situation and decide how to move forward. However, the flip side to this is that great leaders are not so hard headed to lock themselves into something that if it is not working won’t change directions. This comes back to wisdom which we already discussed earlier.

Great leaders are also risk takers. However, many of the great leaders didn’t see themselves as risk takers at all because of the vision they had. President Reagan when he met with the Russian rulers took great risks but he would not have seen it that way. His vision of how things would be by taking the stance and actions he took brought the Berlin Wall down. President John Kennedy during the Cuban missile crises took great risk in holding to his beliefs.

Integrity must always be one of the ten characteristics of good leadership. Without integrity you will eventually lose the trust of all those around you. This is a no brainer. Say what you mean and mean what you say!

Now we are getting into some of the characteristics that might fall into some of the above but having said that let’s include charisma. In some ways this sometimes has me thinking of the snake oil salesman but the truth is that great leaders have it. People tend to gravitate to them and those people may not really even know why. They are just believable.

Another hard one is someone that is selfless! Not all people that are selfless are great leaders but most, if not all, great leaders put others first. I’m talking about someone that believes in the common good of all versus the idea of benefiting only themselves. The so called leader that puts themselves first will be found out quickly and their ability to be a successful leader will end very soon.

The final one on my list of the ten characteristics of good leadership is being disciplined. Great leaders generally don’t get distracted from what they are trying to achieve. This takes a great deal of discipline. They don’t get caught up in the little things that tear away at accomplishing the overall goal. This by itself is something that many leadership training classes have tried to teach but can’t. It takes someone that has been born to lead to be able to do this without getting caught up in it.

So my list consisted of;




Ability to Communicate


Risk Taker





Thank you and May GOD Bless You!

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