The 10 traits for great leadership

The word 'Leadereship' highlighted in green with felt tip pen

We have all had great and bad bosses. Many of us have also worked for or with people who are a step above the rest. They lead, hold great respects by others and when they speak others tend to listen. The following are 10 traits for great leadership are what anyone needs in order to become a better than before.


Don’t just listen with your ears but also with your eyes and heart. The old saying states that we have two ears and one mouth and that we need to use them in those proportions. However it is so easy to want to move conversations or presentations on, especially with your time restraints (although this links to #10 CLARIFY EXPECTATIONS). Instead listen attentively and so do not jump to conclusions or make assumptions.


It is important to respect others, as this will be clear from your interactions if you don’t. This is especially important in the work place. You do not have to like your colleagues but you do have to respect them. Lead by example in this. Show kindness in the small things as it is sometimes the small detail that has the biggest impact.


You will want to be someone who is transparent – that is to say you are genuine in your motives and just simply authentic. No one really respects the one with the hidden agenda. They will be cautious in what you say to you, while expecting to fall in the trap at any moment. Instead be someone according to the old mantra of WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get).


OK, we all get it wrong sometimes, and yes even you. What is amazing though is the lengths that some people will go to just because they do not want to admit it. They tie themselves up in knots in trying to explain the issue away from themselves. Instead be someone who shows humility and who is quick to apologise, and don’t let things fester. This also shows ownership and responsibility (see #8 BE ACCOUNTABLE).


You know that Rome was not built-in a day but you also know that the work is never done. You strive to be better than before. You will want to be someone who is always ready to learn. You will want to be someone who is on the path of CI (Continuous Improvement). If you lead people or teams this is also where the feedback model comes in.


People with great leadership deliver time and time again. Sometimes in the small things but these count just as much. They have a record of delivering. When they fail to deliver they are my quick with the long list of excuses, they admit it, adapt, and move on


In everything that you do, show loyalty. Expressing your view on someone in a constructive manner is different to negative gossip. As the saying states ‘those that gossip readily with you, will gossip about you when you are not there’. Instead give credit to those when it is due, even in the small things.


Be someone who stands up for their beliefs and be counted. This also communicates to other that you are someone with a purpose and integrity. Others will start to learn who you are and what drives you.


As they say “Promise what you can deliver and Deliver what you promised.” Great leaders deliver time and time again. They have a track record for delivering and others start to rely on them. Some of these may be easy but others can only be delivered by those with great leadership skills. When they don’t, they do not provide a list of excuses but rather take ownership, analyse what may have gone wrong and they move on. They face issues head on.


Develop short and long-term goals. It’s important to communicate this to other in the team. A team can only be a great team when all play their part and work towards the common goals. To get the best out of the team you will need to clarify the expectations. Make these expectations part of ongoing conversations.

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