Sunday, March 4, 2018

Eight character traits of good leaders

Many people like to be in a position of leadership - without ever considering what makes the character of a leader. In this article, I propose a list of eight character traits portraying good leaders, regardless of position, rank or role.

"Leadership" - image courtesy of @danielmassoud4 taken from


We acknowledge and respect people who walk the talk, who do what they say, who have and convey a clear purpose and work towards that purpose themselves.
Nobody would waste time with a hypocrite or someone who themselves doesn't know what they want or where they are headed. Good leaders spend a great deal of time considering what they want to accomplish and why - and their very being encourages others to join in.


We natually have a tendency to commend diligent people. Those who are pay the necessary attention to detail while still having a clear direction tend to be successful and a pattern for those around them.
It's often the small things that become the downfall of people in position in power - so great leaders take care not to get stumbled over small rocks.


People who are willing to go the extra mile for what they believe in serve as positive examples. Few can shrug off a setback and march forward with unwavering zeal - so those who do will eventually rake in successes that are the result of harsh failure learning. Like this, they become exemplary even to those who never knew about the troubles along the road.


When you firmly believe in what you do, you're unashamed and unafraid to act and speak. Even when we disagree, we still notice and acknowledge those who are bold to take a step, expose themselves and their ideas to a broader audience and are willing to take the heat and fire of criticism and resistance.


People look for those that do something for everyone, maybe even for others. On the other hand, we disdain those who selfishly try to fill their own coffers and get out of the line of fire. Because of this, we admire those all the more who put themselves out of the center of attention and put the social benefit of their ideas and goals first.


Everyone has different needs and different perspectives. We like to be accepted where we are and how we are. While bad leaders express ruthlessness and recklessness, good leaders spend time to accomodate those around them, making them feel welcome and cherished. Being social creatures, we tend to flock around those who make us feel comfortable.


"Measure twice, cut once" - when dealing with people, we often don't get a second chance, so it's best to spend time pondering how we and our actions affect those around us. We need to be watchful what we say and do - a single careless word can burn bridges. On the other hand, a nice word creates a positive atmosphere, a little support in times of need builds bridges and by moving from basic courtesy to full acknowledgement of others' circumstances, we become people who others enjoy being around.


"We all are where we are" - yet, that's no reason to stay put. Nobody is perfect, but we need to move on. Commendable leaders aren't only good at being who they are, they're continuously improving upon themselves. That character quirk we noticed yesterday is a great opportunity to reflect on how we want to be - and what we can do to be even better people today. By not being stuck either with themselves, their ideas or the world around them, the best leaders continuously adapt themselves, their ideas and their environment to move forward.


Leadership isn't about position. It's about who you are - and no classroom training can make you a leader. Only you yourself can do that, and you must work on your character in order to be one. This is not a one-time act, it's a lifelong process: The day you stop working on your character is the day you have stopped leading.

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