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15 Ways How to Know an Outstanding Leader

Updated on January 18, 2020
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Nitin is a certified life coach, executive coach, writer, husband, and father. His passion is to help people become their best version.

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Leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.

John Maxwell

If you are in a leadership position, you want to have great leadership qualities to be effective.

Even if you are a housewife, you are a leader at home, so you need to imbibe these qualities.

A good leader has many qualities. Given below are just 10 of those.

These qualities will help you to recognize an outstanding leader.

1. Character

A leader must have good character in order to lead.

He must have moral principles that he lives by.

A characterless leader is no leader at all.

2. Charisma

Leaders should be charismatic.

It is this quality that attracts people to him.

The leader should be attractive.

If the leader does not have charisma, he will not have many followers.

Every leader must have at least a little bit of charisma.

3. Commitment

A good leader should be a man of his words.

He should be totally committed to what he says.

The leader must be committed to his people, his vision, and his principles.

4. Communication

The leader should be crystal clear in his communication.

He should know how to communicate in a way that is simple and well understood.

Communication is the foundation of any relationship.

If a leader cannot communicate well he cannot be a leader.

The leader should be able to communicate in such a way that people hear him and follow him.

5. Integrity

Integrity is one of the most foundational characteristics of a good leader.

A good leader should be a man of integrity.

He should not be different when in front of the public and different when in private.

He should mean what he says and say what he means.

The leader who has integrity will win the trust of the people and they will follow him wholeheartedly.

6. A Good Role Model

The leader should be a good role model.

He should lead by example.

He should not be a dictator but should be humble.

Many great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi always lead from the front.

They never expected their followers to do something which they did not do first.

A good leader should be setting an example for his followers in everything.

7. Empathetic

Empathy is an essential leadership skill.

Empathetic leaders have a genuine concern about the lives of their followers.

They show this concern by asking questions about people’s lives, their work challenges, their dreams, their families.

They are very personal and deeply involved with their immediate circle of followers.

Because of their empathy, people feel a sense of belonging and thus they become very loyal and committed followers.

8. Transparency

Leaders should be totally transparent with their followers as much as possible.

A transparent leader can be trusted.

When a leader makes himself transparent, he also makes himself vulnerable. And it’s easy to trust transparent and vulnerable leaders.

9. Discipline

Discipline should be the hallmark of any leader.

Leaders should be self-disciplined.

Disciplined leaders know that there are many things to do, but he focuses on the important ones.

The disciplined leader knows that it’s hard to achieve anything without discipline in his life.

He is disciplined about his time. He is disciplined about what he eats

In short, he is disciplined in every area of his life.

10. Servanthood

The genuine leader has the heart of a servant, not a dictator.

His attitude of servanthood reflects in everything that he does.

He wants to serve his people and not lord it over them.

This is the sign of a genuine leader.

He wants to be found serving all the time.

11. Competence

Competent leaders have relevant skills and strong values in their lives.

They have the capability to lead people and organizations efficiently.

They are capable of handling any situations that may arise suddenly.

Competence brings confidence to the leader.

A good leader should be competent and should be capable of delivering in all situations.

12. Courage

Good leaders are courageous leaders.

There is a common denominator in the lives of all good leaders.

A courageous leader is one who does not give up easily in spite of insurmountable circumstances.

He stands like the Rock of Gibraltar against any onslaughts.

He displays courage not only when everything is going right but especially when things are not going as expected.

We can find many examples of courageous leaders in history like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Junior, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and many others.

These leaders have left their mark on the pages of history forever.

13. Generosity

Generosity is a trait that is found only in the best leaders.

A generous leader disseminates information, compliments his workers and doesn’t lust after power but shares it with his followers.

Generous leaders inspire generosity in the team as well.

He is generous with his praise. He is generous with his words and generous about giving importance to his people.

14. Takes The Initiative

A good leader is an Initiator.

An innovative leader does not just do the things that he is asked to do but finds innovative ways to do something more efficiently.

This quality of a good leader helps him to progress as an individual and lead an organization on the path to success.

An initiator is proactive and doesn’t wait for someone else to tell him what is to be done next.

He himself takes initiative to solve whatever problem is at hand.

They are always looking for opportunities to do something new that will benefit their followers' lives.

15. Listening

Listening is one of the most important leadership skills.

Actively listening to another person builds up mutual understanding and trust.

Listening to leaders displace this place is displaced engagement.

The listening leader very easily catches the pulse of the people.

The listening leader is very effective and builds a good rapport with his followers.

There are various levels of listening but a good leader is a deep listener.

He can understand his followers' heartbeat even if no words are entered spoken


If you find these characteristics in any leader, you can easily recognize him to be an outstanding leader.

You can yourself learn and acquire these qualities in your own life to become an outstanding leader yourself.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Nitin Khaire

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