Leaders shape our nation, communities, and organizations.
We need good leaders to help guide us and make the essential large-scale decisions that keep the world moving.
Our society is usually quick to identify a bad leader, but how to identify a good one? What would most people say makes a good leader?
The Characteristics of a Good Leader
Based upon research, great leaders consistently possess these 10 traits:
- ability to delegate
- sense of humor
- positive attitude
- ability to inspire
While many powerful and successful leaders have not exhibited all of these character traits, and the definition of a good leader is quite ambiguous, most good leaders do leverage at least some of these characteristics.
Take someone you view as a great leader – how many of these characteristics do they express?
If the characteristics of a good leader above do not describe you, there are ways for you to improve upon your leadership capabilities. Many say leaders are born not made, but we feel that is far from the truth. (See Are Leaders Born or Made?)
Andrew Graham, CEO of Forum Corp, notes “If you do not see these signs in yourself, fear not. It is all about getting…over the neurological hurdles that hold you back from being a great leader.”
Leaders are molded through experience, continued study, and adaptation. Consider these 6 Ways to Succeed as a Leader:
Like any craft, leadership requires you to learn from your mistakes and continually work at strengthening areas in which you’re weak. Seek out a mentor that you admire as a leader. Jot down the characteristics that you feel makes them a great leader – how do you compare?
Chances are, they weren’t always a great leader, so determine what they did along the way to be the leader they are today.
Do you feel good leaders can be made? What characteristics do you feel make a good leader?
This article has been updated but was originally published in April 2013.