25 Qualities a Good Leader Should Have

What does it take to be a great leader? Over the years I have compiled the following list of the top 25 qualities demonstrated by great leaders:

  1. Integrity – if this one is lacking, nothing else on this list matters
  2. Honesty – not just not lying but also not exaggerating nor hiding the truth; followers will forgive mistakes but not lies and cover-ups
  3. Humility – a leader must accept that he needs others, especially his followers, to succeed
  4. Commitment to live in reality – every second of every day a leader must seek to have a firm grasp of reality and live within it
  5. Self-awareness – this goes hand in hand with the commitment to live in reality; a leader must be honest about her own strengths and shortcomings
  6. Sincerity – good leaders don’t cover up flaws nor patronize others
  7. Self-accountability – a leader must hold himself accountable
  8. Faithfulness – must keep promises
  9. Accept criticism – if it’s true, a good leader works on doing better; if it’s not true, she moves on
  10. Resiliency – a leader who quits, quits being a leader
  11. Hunger – a good leader wants to make things better and is never satisfied with the status quo
  12. Run better at the end – pushes hard to finish strong
  13. Be authentic – followers must be able to trust the leader
  14. Kill their own egos – before their own egos kill them
  15. Be future-minded – don’t dwell on the past, especially past hurts, mistakes and failures
  16. Vision-casting – repeats the vision whenever the opportunity arises
  17. See leadership as service to others
  18. Be a good follower
  19. Be courageous – willing to take risks
  20. Anticipate problems and take precautionary measures
  21. Bridge-builder – builds them; doesn’t burn them
  22. Quiet confidence – good leaders don’t need to brag about their credentials; their work speaks for themselves
  23. Focused – don’t let distractions steer them away from the set course
  24. Financial repercussions awareness – decisions almost always have a financial impact; know what that impact is
  25. Fiduciary duty mindset – act in the interest of whoever is the principal

The above is not a comprehensive list but it is the perfect place to start your journey toward becoming a world-changing leader.

What qualities of a good leader would you add? Leave them in the comments.

Michael Folkray is developing the next generation of world-changing leaders. After a decade in private industry, he chose to dedicate the rest of his career to public service, spending the first 7 years of his government career with the United States Department of Justice. Since 2003, Michael has served in various leadership positions within the United States Department of Homeland Security. He is the founder and leader of a leadership book club for his office’s management team. Michael earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington and is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute. You can read his posts here and follow him on the following platforms: LinkedInTwitterInstagram.

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