Top Qualities Of An Outstanding Leader

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 5 January 2023

Published 26 August 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Organisations need leaders at every level to help promote business goals and encourage company culture. Establishing leadership qualities can position you as an indispensable employee or a strong candidate for an open role. Learning about different leadership qualities can help you identify where you already excel and where you can improve. In this article, we discuss the top qualities of great leaders that you can strive to develop to improve your personality and character.

Related: What Is The Importance Of Leadership In The Workplace?

Important Leadership Qualities

The following are qualities that many leaders possess:

  • Courage

  • Accountability

  • Empathy

  • Communication

  • Focus

  • Flexibility

  • Innovation

  • Humility

  • Patience

  • Passion

  • Resilience

  • Transparency

  • Respect

  • Confidence

  • Positivity

  • Influence

  • Vision

  • Integrity


Leaders need to feel confident about their decisions and how they affect the company. Displaying this confidence helps employees trust the leader's choices and direction. Courage also helps leaders implement their plans and stay with them till completion.


Leaders need to make themselves and their employees accountable for their own tasks. When leaders demonstrate accountability, they set an example for employees to follow, which encourages productivity. It is important for leaders to acknowledge any mistakes they make and take the steps to correct the error to make a good example.


Leaders need to think from their staff's viewpoint and understand how they feel about projects, decisions and other important aspects of the company. This broadens their perspective, and they can then look at a subject from several angles and comprehend the viewpoints of all stakeholders.

Related: 18 Leadership Soft Skills And Their Benefits in the Workplace


An exceptional leader is able to inspire others with their words. They communicate in a positive and clear manner to make tasks and responsibilities simpler for their team members. Not only should leaders display good verbal communication, but their nonverbal communication should be strong, too.


By concentrating on targets and goals, a leader can help other team members stay focused and efficient. This enables them to work productively toward their objectives and ensure they successfully complete projects within the time frame.


In a project with multiple team members, the tasks, responsibilities and goals shift constantly. By being flexible, a leader can maintain and adjust ownership of the meeting, project or team. They can create leeway for team members to adapt to changing situations and adjust their priorities accordingly.


Leaders usually have a tendency to approach challenges from a different viewpoint. They can identify issues and create unique solutions that solve the problem. In many cases, innovation involves solving a problem before it even arises.


Good leaders are humble and willing to accept their errors while elevating their team members. They are objective and learn from their mistakes. Humility helps them be receptive to new concepts and improve their own personality and work.


A leader needs to maintain a patient and positive attitude to manage adversity. They are able to handle challenges in a patient and brave manner to help others succeed.


A good leader is passionate about their work and team goals. They focus on performing at their best every day to reach their objectives. The leader's team members use this passion as inspiration to work hard and reach their own goals.


Leaders need to be resilient in tough times and adjust to difficult situations. They need to handle challenges quickly by creating innovative processes, altering the status quo and recruiting new staff members.


An honest and open leader makes everyday work more enjoyable and efficient by creating a transparent environment for their team members. Teammates can work without reservations and express their opinions honestly. The leader is also able to generate trust in others with their open attitude and actions.


A good leader trusts the abilities of their team members and gives them appropriate tasks to perform. The leader motivates teammates to boost their morale and encourages them to work on their tasks with confidence and skill. In this way, a leader inspires their team members to give their best effort.


Effective leaders are confident in any situation, ready to meet challenges and take command in adverse circumstances. They are assured that their vision, plans and actions are the best for the project and organisation. This enables them to handle difficult scenarios with ease and poise.


Good leaders are able to motivate their team members with their positive attitude, outlook and behaviour. Teammates usually adopt the traits of their manager, so it is important for leaders to respond to challenges with a constructive and optimistic outlook.


Leaders can establish their position and expand their influence by having self-awareness, acting professionally, building productive relationships with peers and requesting input and suggestions. Further, they can exhibit their leadership skills by working efficiently toward common goals, displaying charisma, making teammates feel important, connecting with them emotionally and clearly communicating what they need.


Good leaders have a vision for their organisation and are able to articulate it to make others share in their dreams and goals. They make other employees buy into their vision and work toward it. An exceptional leader exhibits keen decisiveness and sets the company's direction clearly. This inspirational decision-making ensures team members are aware of their tasks and comprehend the firm's mission and goals.

Strong leaders inspire commitment, enthusiasm and loyalty, help remind all employees about the bigger objectives and challenge them to perform at their best. Successful leaders are able to share their vision and compel others to work toward achieving it.


A leader who displays integrity is sincere and sets an example by adhering to their chief values. A trustworthy leader apologises for errors, highlights their employees' good work and appreciates and respects people's time.

Tips For Fostering Leadership Qualities

It takes practice and time to build leadership skills, and you can learn them with diligence and honest effort. Here are a few useful tips to help you improve your leadership qualities and skills:

  • Be aware of your leadership style: Learn about different leadership styles to find the one that works for you. Define and make transparent the way in which you wish to conduct your meetings, projects or team activities. Communicate your leadership style in a clear manner to your project members.

  • Identify your strengths and weakness: Examine your personality and character to learn more about your strong points and areas that need improvement. Get feedback from mentors and colleagues on these aspects to get a different viewpoint. Make good use of your developed talent, and focus on enhancing aspects that need further improvement to become a more effective leader.

  • Create a plan to acquire skills: Read about the qualities of outstanding leaders to see which ones you relate to. Create an effective strategy to improve your leadership qualities in a time-based, pertinent, achievable, measurable and specific manner. Learn something new every day, and progress steadily toward becoming a better leader over time.

  • Get a mentor's expertise and experience: Find a senior person in your organisation whom you admire, and ask if they would be willing to mentor you. You can learn from their leadership skills and qualities, and adapt them to your own situation. They have usually experienced similar situations to yours, so you can leverage their knowledge to become an effective leader yourself.

  • Learn patiently: It takes a lot of time, effort and experience to develop outstanding leadership qualities. On the way, you may make mistakes, but you should have the awareness and intelligence to learn from them. This open-minded and broad attitude can help you to improve your leadership skills and qualities over time.

  • Develop discipline: Order and discipline are essential for a good leader. You need to manage your schedule mindfully to meet deadlines, keep appointments and end meetings on time. Your company management and team members will judge your leadership capacity by the degree of discipline you show in your tasks. A good way to build self-discipline is to wake up early, prepare a list of important duties and allot the time to complete them.

  • Accept challenges: You can boost your leadership abilities by taking on greater responsibility. Seek to learn new things, take the initiative and request interesting new projects that can help you learn and grow.

  • Be a good listener: A skilful leader listens to feedback, ideas and suggestions from others, and develops the suggested characteristics. Listen carefully when others are talking, and motivate them to express their opinions honestly. An able leader is an active listener, meaning they not only hear the words but also notice non-verbal cues.


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