Leadership Characteristics That All Strong Leaders Possess

Leadership Poster

What leadership characteristics are the most important?

If your in a leadership role, you know that your a good leader if your team is responding positively to your style of leadership. In other words your team is accomplishing the goals you have set for them. If not, you need to reexamine your leadership skills to achieve the goals you expect from them.

Most leaders in history have similar leadership characteristics;

1. Courage - The courage to make hard decisions based on business and life experience. It takes courage to make those decisions that may have a negative impact on one employee for the overall success of the entire team. It could be as easy as choosing the most qualified person for a promotion, versus selecting the person that has been there the longest. It could be as hard as letting someone go that is holding the team back from succeeding.

2. Confidence - Not arrogance. The deep down confidence that the direction they are taking their team will produce results.

3.  Honesty - They don't tell people what they want to hear, but instead provide them with the truth of how they can help the team move forward.

This is just a short list but...

Leadership Characteristics:
Do You Have What It Takes To Become a Good Leader?

Anything that is worth having never comes easy. As an example, you can't fake honesty. You must be willing to risk being honest when everything within you is wanting to lie to make your life easier or avoid responsibility. Honesty is arguably one of the best characteristics of a leader.

You must put in the hard work!

Rarely leaders are born with the natural ability to lead, however, generally leaders are never born; they are made. They are forged after battling with adversity and persevering with the resilience, patience and wisdom that gains them followers and admirers. (How to Hire the Right Employees)

Develop the following traits of a leader and join the ranks of the finest, most successful people in the world.

They have a vision

The understand their mission

They understand how to set goals

They have the ability to create a strong team

They can communicate their vision, mission, and goals to their team.


Teaching Leadership Characteristics

  • They understand the various types of personalities of their team members and how to deal with them
  • They are great at motivating their team to accomplish their mission
  • They have a tremendous amount of ambition
  • They have a never say die attitude

Now if it were only that easy to pass or teach these leadership characteristics onto someone that was appointed to be the next leader we would never have any problems now would we?

Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to do!

I am a strong believer that the truly great leaders are born with certain leadership characteristics that make them more suited to become great leaders. That is not to say that potentially great leaders do not have to learn certain skills, such as, communication, interpersonal, team building, goal setting, and a number of others.

However, it does mean that they are born with ambition and drive! Can living in a society that suppresses an individual’s inner person to a point where they have no more ambition or drive really happen? Absolutely! Can the opposite be true as well? Absolutely!

Too many times we think of great leaders in the form of someone like George Washington, who by the way was a great leader. However, there are great leaders that sprang up in the worst possible conditions, such as, Abraham Lincoln. If you read his biography of his childhood without knowing who it is you would never guess what he went onto accomplish. He was born with those leadership characteristics and then they were refined by the fire of life!

Those individuals that ran up the stairs to try and save the victims trapped when the twin towers were attacked by terrorists were great leaders. We also refer to them as heroes, and we should, but deep down they possess leadership characteristics that can’t be taught! Those individuals that ran up those stairs knew their mission, understood the goal and what would be asked to achieve it, worked with a team of people in order to accomplish it, and were driven to do just that. That is leadership by example!

If leadership could be taught we should have millions of great leaders throughout the world that create unstoppable companies and organizations. Instead we have countless training courses teaching all types of leadership theories, and good leadership skills; however, the outcome is that those participants do not go onto become great leaders.


Because they are not driven to do so! It is not part of their makeup! They were not born with something deep down that made them want something better for whatever they found to be important. They could not be taught how to see the vision, nor did they understand the vision even when it was explained to them.

Yes they sat through the classes and read all the articles like this one on leadership characteristics, leadership theories, and good leadership skills, and even believed in their own minds that they possessed them, but in fact they were not even close to possessing them. They were missing the ingredient that mattered most!

Ambition and Drive! There is no substitute and never will be!

Take a look at the great players in professional sports. You here one thing over and over and over again! Their personal workout habits! They all seem to dedicate themselves to getting better and better at what they do. They are never satisfied with status quo. The head coaches are the same way! They find a way to win! They possess the leadership characteristics that matter most, i.e., all the ones above. Just one or two won’t do! They must possess them all!

The people that believe great leaders can be developed are generally those individuals that are selling something.

Management skills on the other hand can be taught and developed into a very refined set of skills. This is completely different than leadership! I can manage a process and even manage people to accomplish that process, but it does not make me a great leader! It makes me a good manager!

Thank you for reviewing this information on Leadership Characteristics and May GOD Bless You!

What Makes a Great Leader

Anatomy of a Great Leader

Leadership is not necessarily something that people are born with; it is something that can be learned and developed. There are some particular traits or skills that are important or a leader to possess, however each great leader has his own style.

We have gathered some of the leadership traits from different business leaders around the world to come up with 5 traits that make a leader:


According to the life coach, Anthony Robbins, the most important leadership skill is  resourcefulness. According to him, the biggest resource anyone can own is resourcefulness, and all great leaders of the world are resourceful.

Resourcefulness basically means doing the best with what you have and not waiting for the right time, the right people or the right amount of capital. If you are focused and are positive about the outcomes, the right resources will come to you.

Win-Win Mentality

Stephen R. Covey, the legendary educator and businessman who wrote The 7 Habits of Highly People, identifies “Win-Win” mentality as a key trait of all leaders.

Leaders aren’t looking to undermine others or take advantage of others. In fact, they think in terms of what’s best for everyone. They do not base their self-esteem or self-worth on comparisons to others, but, look to bring out the best in others as well.

Good leaders always look to cultivate more leaders, and aren’t concerned or threatened by emerging talent.

Willingness to Learn - A Very Good Leadership Characteristic

The celebrity entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin brand, Richard Branson identifies a willingness to learn in all good leaders.

According to him, no matter how impressive skills or abilities anyone possesses, no one has a monopoly on business ideas. Leadership and learning go hand in hand. Branson says that good leaders are approachable, always listening and learning from everyone around them.

Richard Branson himself got some very good business ideas from his employees and customers.

Group Happy Workers in Office

Change Initiation

An important leadership quality we can learn from Steve Jobs is that leaders always look to initiate change. Leaders aren’t content with the status quo and are always looking to bring about a positive change in the organization, or possible in the world.

They are constantly looking for innovation, a better way to perform task.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be technological innovation. It could be a change in a business process, management style or a way to deal with customers. Leaders don’t wait around to respond to the change around them, they initiate it themselves wherever they are.


According to the founder of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, leaders must be responsible. They must be willing to accept consequences for all their decisions and actions and not look to push the blame on someone else.

This quality of a leader commands respect and gives a leader influence over others, as subordinates know that their leader is backing them up.

Leadership Traits

How Do We Define Leadership?

The qualities that define leadership characteristics are many and perhaps as different as are the people who attempt to define them. However true leadership stands out when times get to the point that things are not necessarily going so well. A true leader will be able to have the vision beyond the normal view. The capabilities to bring an organization or group to the point of comprehending the vision and buying into it are the mark of a leader.

People will follow somebody when they feel it is to their advantage to do so. The old saying says, “If you think that you are a leader, look behind you and make sure that there is someone following you.”  While this may be true, people may not always follow a leader at first.

Winston Churchill was not wildly popular as a politician before he was made Prime Minister of Great Britain before World War II, but his perception of Nazi Germany was correct, even when, before the war, it was an unpopular one. His steadfast leadership characteristic was inspirational courage that led Great Britain and later influenced the United States in one of the more honorable and brave stands in history.

Leadership seems to have the quality of being able to see the big picture, yet also having the ability to break down the larger image into smaller, more manageable parts in order to solve the problems and manage the results more effectively.

Another way to define a leadership characteristic is having the ability to work with people with the result being that the best qualities of people are brought to the forefront and responsibility is shared all around. Leadership is not total control of people, but it is letting people exercise their talents and abilities in order to solve problems and move forward for the good of the whole.

Henry Ford was said to have spoken, “If I do not know how to do something, I will hire someone who does.” Ford knew quite a bit about putting together an assembly line factory. He also knew quite a bit about people and how to motivate them.

The late Steve Jobs who dazzled the IT industry with the iPad and the iPhone piloted Apple to new heights with his dynamic leadership and inspiration had a number of leadership characteristics. When asked about his leadership style, he said, “Yes, I have had a lot of success as a business owner and entrepreneur, but I was not born a leader. I have learned leadership skills everyday as I put them to use. Leadership is not a pass or fail thing. It is what I do each and every day that determines my fate as a leader. Great leadership comes from the desire to instill the best from everyone you encounter.”

Not many people are born with leadership skills.  Instead these skills are developed over time by experiencing different leadership positions, perhaps in school, and having responsibilities in business or career positions.

Many times people have leadership roles thrust upon them, and the skills are then developed in the crucible. Probably the one quality that will define leadership in any field is the ability to draw out other people’s skills and abilities in order to meet the demands necessary to do their part. Steve Jobs was correct.

Thank you for reviewing this information on leadership characteristics and May God bless you!

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