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- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
6 min read
By Nick Bell

20 qualities of a good leader


Leadership is something that doesn’t come easy to many but is highly valuable in working within and transforming an organisation. There are many qualities that make up a good leader and we’ll explore 20 of them here. When a leader possesses all of these qualities they are able to work with a business or with a team of people and bring out the best in themselves and everyone around them.


Communication is paramount when working with a business or a team of people. Communication styles can vary from person to person and include passive communication, aggressive communication, passive-aggressive communication and assertive communication. Passive communication tends to occur when an individual avoids expressing their needs or wants in front of others and fails to express themselves. Aggressive communication is emphasised by speaking loudly and demanding one’s needs rather than politely expressing them. This style of communication should be avoided as it can appear dominating and controlling.

Passive-aggressive communication occurs when a person feels powerless but has a strong sense of resentment beneath the surface. Shying away from confrontation, people with a passive-aggressive communication style primarily express themselves through body language. On the other hand, assertive communicators do so in a way where their needs, desires and wants are expressed clearly. Assertive communicators can also balance their needs and wants alongside those of others. Comparing all four, assertive communication is the most effective communication style for leaders as it is based on mutual respect.

Why? To communicate and lead well, you need to be able to develop one’s own needs, wants, plans and desires alongside the needs, wants, ideas and opinions of others. This is crucial for gaining the respect and trust of those around you. Caring for one’s self and others equally promotes a high-quality standard and helps the team and the business to work efficiently and highly effectively.


Empathy is the ability to understand, experience and share the feelings that others have. Empathy is important for a leader to have as it creates a rapport and respect with the client and team members that you are interacting with. Empathy creates trust and promotes well-being.


Vision is crucial for a leader as it takes the direction of the business toward its full potential. Vision involves taking an idea and seeing it through to completion. Vision moves a business forward and creates a plethora of new opportunities and new experiences for all involved.


Creativity is one of the most important qualities of a modern business leader. A creative leader enables an organisation and its staff to explore new ideas, to branch outside of what has been done before, and to take on new opportunities.


Accountability makes a good leader as it enables them and their team to stay focused and on task. If a leader can hold their team accountable for what they said they would do and what they had committed to, it teaches them the value of their work.  


Focus helps any business or person in leadership to be very clear on the goals that they have set for their team and the details that each goal involves. Focus keeps a business moving forward without losing direction and makes it easier to overcome any obstacles that may arise.


Confidence enables a leader to run their organisation in a way that creates respect and credibility. Confidence involves the leader being sure of themselves and moving forward knowing that they can do whatever they have set before them.


Delegation helps any organisation or business move forward. A good leader knows how and when to share tasks around that need to be done. Delegating tasks to others helps a business share the load equally among employees and makes it easier for the organisation to fulfil all the requirements of their mission and goals.  


Honesty builds credibility and creates the trustworthiness that is needed within any organisation and its leader. When a leader is honest about their workplace intentions and feedback, it creates an environment where employees trust the company and its initiatives.


Positivity helps any environment thrive. A positive leader boosts morale, aids workplace interactions and relationships and makes it easier and more enjoyable to complete tasks even when they are more challenging.


Decisiveness is crucial when running a business or an organisation and is exactly what makes a good leader. Being able to select a task, focus in on it and be clear about what needs to be done next is essential in a leadership role.  

Effective Communication

Effective communication brings everyone within an organisation together particularly when interacting with clients. It takes work and involves understanding the communication style of others in your team.  Relating to each person that you interact with in a way that they understand and appreciate and vice versa builds rapport and trust.


Humility breeds trust and respect. It enhances the reputation of a leader by being self-aware and appreciating the strength and contribution of others. You will undoubtedly have some fantastic ideas yourself but as a leader it is important to always be open to new ideas and feedback from your team.


Resilience is defined as the ability to recover and bounce back quickly from difficulties. A good leader is resilient and knows how to overcome obstacles which aids in moving any organisation forward.

Ability to Inspire

The ability to inspire must be at the core of how a leader operates. Inspiring others will lift your team members up, help them to develop a sense of confidence and further motivate your employees moving forward.


Integrity is also at the core of being a good leader. Integrity means staying true to what has been said and in the way that people are treated. A leader with integrity is built on honesty and in staying true to the principles that they hold. Integrity builds trust from other people and allows others to be honest and transparent with those around them.

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is essential for a leader to progress their company, team or business. Self-development is key and moving forward with continual growth not only inspires others but in turn improves their performance too.

Featured Program

Having a featured program places trust in the leader’s reputation because employees are clearly able to see the motivation and drive behind the organisation. What the leader values is in clear view and it is easy to determine where the organisation is headed.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication involves relating to the communication styles of others and responding accordingly. When done effectively, interpersonal communication builds rapport and is made up of skills that a leader can share with those around them. Effective interpersonal communication brings a team together and helps in serving the leader’s vision.


Flexibility is a skill that is highly valuable and helps any leader adapt to circumstances when they change. A flexible leader can bounce back from difficulties and move with change without being deterred by it. Being open to flexibility helps run a business knowing that whatever comes your way, you will have the skills and tools to adapt and continue moving forward.

About the author


Co-Founder of Lisnic.com 🔥 & Founder of 12 digital agencies 🎯
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