6 Traits You Need to Be a Great Leader

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Strong leadership can make or break your team or organization. Great leaders model the characteristics necessary for success. They motivate others to reach their highest potential and help individuals become part of a team. Many leaders are adequate, but the ones who are truly great share some of the same characteristics.


Leaders can’t expect their team to show inner drive and motivation if they don’t possess it themselves. They continually push themselves to go beyond expectations, not because they must, but because they are passionate about what they do. They seem to have an extra dose of energy that gets them out of bed every morning and helps them embrace each new challenge with enthusiasm. They don’t see problems as someone else’s job to solve, but as their chance to make a difference.

Contagious Optimism

Effective leaders expect a positive outcome, and their optimism spreads. When budgets are reduced, the flu drastically reduces available personnel, and deadlines keep changing, they don’t panic. They remain sure that with a consistent effort they will reach their goal, and their emotional stability helps those around them feel less stress and frustration. They always have a solution or something inspiring to say. They motivate by encouragement, not criticism.


Leaders who are truly great get to know the people who work alongside and under them. They know what’s going on in their lives and care about their concerns, even when they aren’t related to work. They show a high level of emotional intelligence, recognizing both how their emotions impact staff and how to manage the feelings of others.

When there’s conflict, leaders have insight into the factors that motivate it and connect with those involved to help them find solutions. They demonstrate loyalty, showing constant support to the people who work with them.


Great leaders take responsibility when tasks need to be accomplished and share credit where it is due. They keep track of timelines, checking on employees to make sure everyone completes their part of the job. They remind staff of company policies and re-train on procedures as necessary. Instead of blaming others when things go wrong, they find the reason for the problem and work with their team to solve it.

Innovative Thinking

what makes a great leaderThe best leaders are extremely organized, but their thinking is flexible. They know the rules, regulations, and potential resources, and they are always working scenarios in their heads. They work a possible solution until they understand it from every angle, then they can clearly communicate it to their team.

Because they see the bigger picture, they can outline the end goal and the strategies that will help reach it. When problems arise, their flexible thinking allows them to quickly adjust and come up with an alternative course.


Strong leaders can act decisively because of their self-confidence. While they are generally well-liked and respected by those around them, they don’t need the approval of others. They are continually learning, so their knowledge base gets ever wider. Their confidence allows them to make unpopular decisions, ask difficult questions, and try solutions where others might balk.

Leaders infect others with their passion, enthusiasm, and positivity. They implement processes and build relationships that help everyone who knows them meet personal and professional goals.

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