Top 5 characteristics of a good leader

I have found above five characteristics common in every great leader yet to get insight I have asked a question on Linkedin— What are the top 5 characteristics of a good leader? Here are some great responses —

On 09/13/11 11:03 PM, Elvis Usanovic wrote:
A good leader is capable of inspiring others to follow a cause both willingly and with vigor. A strong sense of confidence and good example are also qualities that a good leader can inspire to his followers

Operates well under pressure,or in a rapidly changing environment.
Sets attainable milestones
Communicates philosophy and values
Empowers us and sets a good example
Challenges me to do my best

On 09/13/11 11:39 PM, Nadeem Ahmed wrote:
He Should be

1. Social / Friendly among team
2. Good Communicator
3. Motivator / Convincer
4. Can Accomplish any Task by Himself / From others
5. Sincere / Loyal to the Task
On 09/14/11 12:26 AM, Dinesh Choumal wrote:
1. Self Confident and well conversant with his job.
2. Good communicative abilities.
3. Leads from front
4. Motivates and allocates achievable jobs to group.
5. Rewards with carrots & sticks.
On 09/14/11 12:38 AM, Michael Oberlaender wrote:
Hi Lalit,

Great question – and there are probably more characteristics than 5, but from my experience and ambition, a top leader is:

-acting with absolute integrity anytime anywhere,
-expressing confidence at all times,
-enabling the group members to succeed and reach the objective(s),
-communicating well at all levels,
-is self-reflected to always improve his own habbits.

Kind regards,

On 09/14/11 12:43 AM, Stijn van Lieshout wrote:
1. Good listener:
In my opinion the most important trait of a leader. A leader should be able to get the most of out of its employees right? To direct employees extensive social skills are needed and I think listening is the most important one. If you’re not adequately listening to you will never find out how to approach them. Each employee is different and the good leader recognizes this differences.

2. Bridge builder:
A leader should be able to identify and capture opportunities. The ability to manage the external environment.

3. Motivator:
A leader should be able to encourage its fellow employees to work hard for it’s team/company.

4. Expertise and experience
A leader that isn’t experienced in what he does and lacks expertise isn’t likely be taking serious by its subordinates.

5. Charisma:
This one should definitely be on the list in my opinion. Enough research has been done that highlights the importance of charisma. A good leader should be a role model.
On 09/14/11 1:41 AM, Brijendra Chaudhary wrote:
Being a good manager is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. The first time you try to fit the pieces together, it takes a while to get everything to fit smoothly. The second time you attempt to make the pieces fit, you are a little more familiar with the pattern. Each time after that, it …
Being a good manager is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. The first time you try to fit the pieces together, it takes a while to get everything to fit smoothly. The second time you attempt to make the pieces fit, you are a little more familiar with the pattern. Each time after that, it becomes more and more natural to easily match everything together and have it all turn out right.

The pieces of the puzzle a manager has to put together are:
1. advertising
2. recruiting
3. holding productive meetings
4. motivating a person who is in an emotional or financial slump
5. handling types of personalities they don’t relate to
6. recruiting people that are happy on other jobs, but are ready for change.

All of these techniques combined together make a great manager. In fact, great managers have ten characteristics, and if each of these ten characteristics is developed, you will become a great leader and a great manager.

Let’s start off with quality number one. The very first thing we find in a great manager is a total commitment to building a team that functions in unison to reach their goals. Great managers realize they are a team. Their team is made up of individuals that have different beliefs, values, and ideals, but they all have to function in unison to reach the goals of the company.

The second characteristic we find in a great manager is they live what they teach and they command respect by their example. You can’t be one thing and say another because you’ll lose respect. It’s not that important that your salespeople just like and admire you. It is important that they respect you first ?the other things will follow.

Quality number three is very important. Great managers don’t become buddies. They practice business detachment with subordinates off the job.

Number four is also very important. Don’t play favorites. What do I mean by this? Make a mental note of the words ‘justice?and ‘fairness.? These two words are critical in leadership ?that you are totally just and totally fair through everything. You’re going to have to realize that if you play favorites in the office, the group will know it, and you will lose respect. Not only that, they start saying to themselves, “The reason I’m not doing good is not my skills, not my ability. I’ve got a manger that gives the best business to other people. I can’t make it.?And by the way, the person you’re playing favorites with over the years can be the one that will cause you the biggest challenge when you go through change in policy or leadership, or when you really need something done. So remember, just be fair and don’t play favorites!

Number five is so critical. Great managers develop future vision. They see their company position, their market share, and their competitive edge in the future. But great managers also have to start seeing themselves in the future, the office in the future, the number of salespeople they’ll have, and how they are going to delegate. How do you develop future vision? It comes back to having a plan and a goal. You must learn how to delegate authority and eventually replace yourself. What do you delegate? Anything you can train anyone else to do which keeps you from doing three things: recruiting, managing, and training.

On 9/14/11 8:41 AM, Brijendra Chaudhary added the following clarification:
Number six. They attack pending problems and rapidly make tough decisions. Average managers don’t make decisions. In fact, they make decisions so slowly, that eventually there is no need for a decision. What they had to decide upon has already taken place, so there is no need to do anything, you see? Now, as far as making decisions about managing your office, there’s one thing I want to warn you about. Until you totally learn your skill of managing, rely on the people above you and run decisions past them. Rely on others for your knowledge and growth until, of course, you have all the answers.

Don’t forget number seven if you really want to build a great sales force: promote risk-taking. You want to promote risk-taking with your salespeople. What do I mean by risk-taking? I’m talking about your salespeople going out a little bit on the edge as to the things they own, the things they buy, and the way they live. In essence, they must gradually ‘up? their overhead as you teach them to ‘up?their income. As a good manager, we help people increase their overhead with balance, so that as they grow income-wise, they also grow emotionally and enjoy their income. Promote risk-taking. Teach your salespeople they have to take a little risk in order to grow.

And don’t forget number eight. Great managers are specialized at recruiting, training, and retaining top people. That is a great manager’s main specialty. Becoming a great trainer or teacher is necessary, because if you can’t duplicate yourself and the concepts you used as a super salesperson, you won’t be able to complete the entire puzzle.

Now number nine is interesting. Good managers look at change as healthy. Change excites an office. It keeps people on their toes. It motivates people to go far beyond what they normally would, and not only that, it keeps people out of a rut. That’s why great managers don’t do the same thing every day. They don’t come in at the same time every day. They don’t eat lunch at the same time every day. They keep everyone on their toes. I’ll tell you a basic truth about salespeople: if you have a set schedule, they will develop their schedule right around yours.

The last characteristic great managers must learn is to help people change their self-images by using their individual needs to be comfortable. Salespeople lack confidence because they are afraid and don’t know what is going to happen to them. A manager’s job is not only to instill confidence, but also to increase the way salespeople look at themselves. You see, self-image is a mirror reflection of who you think you are. It may not be who you are. Your goal is to develop your salespeople and to get them to grow far beyond their wildest dreams. It starts with how they see themselves

So, how do you develop the characteristics of a great manager? Well, first of all, you must work harder on yourself than you do on your job because you are totally in the people business, aren’t you? Copyright 1996 Tom Hopkins International
On 09/14/11 1:58 AM, Rohan Nabar wrote:
Hi Lalit:

As you’d know it is difficult to narrow down on 5 Qualities, for a leader at the top would need to have as many facets to handle himself/herself well, deal with the team and also business challenges. However I’m attempting to put down the 5 I think are fundamental.

1. Vision & ability to Communicate it to the whole Organization
2. Humility
3. Empathy
4. Ability to take decisions with minimal data
5. The want and ability to develop his team

These, according to me are the must haves!
On 09/14/11 2:08 AM, Hrushikesh Kulkarni wrote:
Humble and reserved
A leader is nothing without his followers.
clear vision of what he or she wishes to accomplish
A friendly, approachable aura
An aura of approachability can also be achieved when the leader does not take himself too seriously


On 09/14/11 3:27 AM, Christine Hueber wrote:
They lead by their example and inspire others.
On 09/14/11 3:28 AM, Dick Taylor – CRMC/CDMC wrote:
A good leader is:
1) Honest
2) Has Integrity
3) Maintains Loyalty UP and Loyalty DOWN
4) Is Consistent in Style
5) Is a Good Communicator

On 09/14/11 3:38 AM, Faisal Zahir wrote:
1. Competence
2. Confidence
3. Caring

These are the only three that matter. Last one is the most rare to find, which is why its rare to find really great leaders.
On 09/14/11 4:21 AM, Donna Krech wrote:
I would have to say:
1) Trustworthiness.
2) Enthusiasm
3) Confidence (in themselves and their team)
4) Organization (being orderly)
5) Ambition (for the team and the business)
On 09/14/11 4:46 AM, Andrei Kolodovski wrote:
Ability to think deeply
Ability to plan strategically
Ability to make difficult decisions wisely
Ability to inspire people towards common vision
High emotional intelligence

On 09/14/11 4:53 AM, Sumitra Mishra wrote:
Able communicator- communication has to be received as well as it is sent

To be able to guide and direct-be the leader and part of the team

To deal with crisis and come up with solutions that do not impede anybody’s interests.

To be a continuous learner.Being a leader or a senior doesn’t mark the end of the learning process,every stage,every day teaches something new.The person has to be open to knowledge.

To welcome bouquets and brickbats with the same fervor and learn from one’s mistakes.To teach one’s juniors not to make mistakes that may create situations proving costly to themselves or the organization.
On 09/14/11 5:52 AM, Mustapha Derras wrote:

I would add :
On 09/14/11 6:10 AM, Cynthia Byers Casto wrote:
Exceptional communication skills
On 09/14/11 7:31 AM, Kenneth Larson wrote:
1. DEVELOPS the ability to cross organizational lines and make disparate groups or functional organizations work together with only the leader’s power of persuasion.

2. EVOLVES the art of directing resources without having them as direct reports while keeping home departments and functional bosses happy at the same time.

3. MANAGES to convince the executives in the company that the leader’s project (s) are the most important in the firm.

4. LIVES with the prospect that if a large scale project is late, fails or otherwise disappoints the powers that be, replacing the leader will be the designated corrective action.

5. GROWS to crave the satisfaction that comes from succeeding at the above challenges and would not have any other job because no other pursuit makes the leader’s day go by as fast, grows the leader’s skills as sharp and totally occupies the leader’s intellect.

On 09/14/11 7:52 AM, Leanne Smith wrote:
A leader is not always the leader of a country or a ‘movement’. A leader can be in so many different walks of life, be it business, entertainment, sport, politics, charities etc.. But, in whatever field, it seems there are these certain traits that characterize a good leader.

1 A Vision

I do believe that a good leader needs to have a vision or a philosophy. He, or she, needs to have a personal belief or a set of principles to guide them toward a successful outcome. I believe also that a good leader needs to have the ability to convey his vision to others and to win them over to his side and get them to support the vision.

Sometimes, we have seen leaders guided by a corrupt vision or a dogma that leads them to act against the people they claim to lead. People such as Hitler or Stalin may fall into this category. But often we see leaders who have a beneficial vision, such as Gandhi. Good leaders will often eschew personal gain in favor of seeing their vision become reality.

2. Inspiring

A good leader would appear to be one who is inspiring; that is to say that they inspire people to follow them and support their aims. Their inspiration inspires other people to achieve and bring about change.

When you think of some leaders, such as captains of sports teams, you can see that they, themselves, may not be the greatest or most skillful of proponents. It is their ability to lead others and to get others to produce or perform their best which makes for a good leader or captain. It is their ability to get people to work together, to act as a team and to use their special skills for the benefit of a bigger aim which distinguishes a good leader.

3. Value Others

Leaders make other people produce their best, either as individuals or collectively. A good leader makes other people feel valued and genuinely values their worth and their contributions. As well as having a vision, a good leader is also a ‘people person’; they know how to influence people, how to win people over and how to make them feel valued.

4. Takes Action

A leader is a person who takes action, either directly or by encouraging and directing others. A leader is not a person who sits back and does nothing, a leader is not a person who waits for something to happen; unless waiting is what is required in order to prepare for acting at the correct moment.

5. Confidence

A leader has confidence. They have confidence in themselves, they have confidence in their vision. Perhaps above all, they have confidence in other people and in their skills or abilities. They convey this confidence in their words and their actions and this confidence is distilled into those who work with them.

On 09/14/11 8:29 AM, Ross Blaine wrote:
In this order they will develop and if rated on a 1 to 10 scale where 1 is not respected and 5 is unacceptable 10 is they demonstrate this attribution in all events they are are
1. Initiative…the ability to see in problems and gathered intelligence opportunities to improve the venture
2. Innovativeness…the skill to develop a plan using first and foremost the resources at hand and not be an inventor unless absolutely necessary
3. Integrity…the tenacity to deliver what is promised in the plan and if change is necessary to address any change in committments promptly and honestly
4 Trust…Be there, be supportive but also be tough minded in the drive to succeed
On 09/14/11 9:58 AM, Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh wrote:
– Integrity
– Leading by example
– Inspiring
– Fair
– Empowering
On 09/14/11 10:18 AM, Bonny Franklin wrote:
There are certain characters in a person whether they are innate in them or not they are looked up to as a leader. These people are trustworthy and have great integrity. they are enthusiastic about their cause and have the confidence to complete their goals and it usually is done for the better good of others. A great leader will also put together their needs aside to work for the betterment of others.
On 09/14/11 10:52 AM, Scott Esposito wrote:
I have evolved my opinion on this over time based on a longer history to see the impact of leadership styles on people and organizations. If you have these basics, everything else seems to falls into place. My top 5 are:

1) learning agility
2) active listener
3) holds self accountable
4) collaborator / team builder
5) principled behavior
On 09/14/11 12:32 PM, Sean O’Neil wrote:
-Solid Integrity
-Team philosophy
-Good listener

On 09/14/11 1:31 PM, Laura Kalish wrote:
1. confidence
2. flexibility
3. sense of fairness
4. good listening skills
5. ability to integrate creativity and logic in decision making
On 09/14/11 1:37 PM, Carla Coe, MA, SPHR wrote:
Open Communication
Ability to hold others accountable
On 09/14/11 2:50 PM, David Lapin wrote:
In my experience, the top five traits of leadership greatness are identified as:

1. Authenticity – Not only are exceptional leaders authentic to their own beliefs, they are agile in adapting to changing situations and diverse people.
2. Mastery – Great leaders master their defensive instincts and are always able to choose an appropriate response to the most testing of challenges.
3. Humility, Generosity & Vulnerability – Great leaders are humble enough to know they are part of something bigger than themselves, and they surround themselves with people we are at least in some way better than them. They can confront their own vulnerability and show sensitivity to the vulnerability of others, crafting environments
4. Awareness – Those who lead by greatness are aware of the different lenses through which people of different cultures and generations experience the world. They know how to build trust and respect across cultures and generational boundaries.
5. Wisdom – Exceptional leaders know how to trust their inner wisdom and access their greatness and how to unlock the greatness in others.


One comment

  1. Allan Hovis

    To these 5, I would also add honesty, capacity of learning new things, responsibility, listening and of course communication. If we don’t own the last one, we can’t have great results with our businesses and we won’t be able to lead a team correctly.
    We can follow a Toronto team building course… a great place where to meet new people and to find out more about this subject.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s