What are the Qualities of a Good Leader?

Effective leaders often share qualities or characteristics and can adapt well in a variety of situations.

Pinpointing the exact qualities of an effective leader isn’t always easy. At Thinka, we’ve trained a lot of leaders, and while we focus more on capability and skill development, we’ve found that effective leaders often share these qualities.


6 Qualities of an Effective Leader

1. Integrity

While it’s sometimes hard to ‘measure’ integrity, this leadership quality is the ultimate trust-builder between leaders and teams. By ‘practising what you preach’ and role modelling what you expect, you earn the respect of team members and peers. Leaders who showcase this quality always give credit where credit is due, learn from their mistakes, and show considerable self-awareness.

2. Honesty

Honesty really is the best policy when it comes to leadership. Leaders who provide balanced feedback to encourage and develop (not bully or belittle) team members build healthier relationships. Honesty breeds honesty and if this quality is demonstrated in a leader, then it helps team members feel safe to share their opinions, ideas and reflections – opening up deeper and richer conversations.

3. Transparency

Transparency should be high on any leader’s list. Leaders who share information, don’t conceal facts, and continually check their biases, earn respect from team members. Even when it’s not always pleasant, a leader who can open up discussions about critical issues, will elicit higher performance from team members and achieve better business outcomes.

4. Vision

Everybody wants to learn from a leader who has a compelling vision, sees the bigger picture, and can inspire and push a team to achieve goals. Visionary leaders provide clear direction, set the pace and believe anything is possible – even when others don’t think so. A visionary leader continually lifts people up and offers sound advice to help team members move forward – always with a focus on the goal.

5. Self-awareness

A leader who doesn’t understand their own strengths and weaknesses can compromise team success. While leaders still make mistakes, have strong feelings and aren’t always going to get it right – the mark of a good leader is the ability to be self-aware enough in these moments to regulate. Leaders need to hold themselves accountable, learn the ‘hard lessons’ and find solutions, while continuing to support the team. Self-aware leaders are always on a mission to evolve.

6. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to offer support based on what the other person is feeling and experiencing, even if you don’t 100% understand their situation. An empathetic leader is curious and seeks to understand others and provides a safe team culture for people to feel like they can be themselves. Leaders who possess this quality welcome different perspectives, listen deeply and ask questions to elicit understanding.

Learn More on Leadership

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