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What Makes a Great Leader -10 important Qualities of a Great Leader

Updated on February 20, 2016

Qualities of a great leader

What makes a great leader?
What makes a great leader?

The qualities that lie in the core of what makes a great leader

Here in this post let me share my thoughts on what makes a great leader. There are certain distinctive leadership traits in an individual that make him stand out from the crowd to make him a great leader. You may not find mention of these typical qualities of a great leader in so called hr books giving lessons on how to become a good leader.

A good leader makes his team members feel that they are at the very heart of things and he or she makes a difference to the success of their organization. If I am asked about one single quality of a manager essential for providing effective leadership to his men, my answer would be, his capability to reach inside each employee of his team and release his unique talents into sustainable performance. My perception about 'what makes a great leader' discussed in this post is the outcome of my first hand shop-floor experiences which I gathered while dealing with various types of workforce in industries.

Qualities of a great leader
Qualities of a great leader

What makes a great leader?

According to me here are the 10 most important qualities, which lie in the core of what makes a great leader and make one stand out from others as a leader:

  1. When you are leading human beings, your objective is better work for tomorrow. The only way to get better work is to appreciate and believe in people’s good points. So, as a leader one should have the quality to avoid emphasizing the bad side of their work and you have a far better chance of hitting the target;
  2. A good leader does not make the mistake of thinking that it is the other fellow who is always in the wrong and that he as a leader is perfect. The man who has stopped criticizing himself has stopped developing. It is always best to be humble – to be ready to learn;
  3. Make the best of what you have got. That’s one of the main traits what makes a great leader. You can never get all the perfect people to work with. But a good leader just wades in and does the best he can with what he has got. That’s the reason why such leaders get results where others don’t;
  4. Inspiring his men is one of the key attributes of a great leader. A good leader motivates his people by example and guidance and not by issuing commands. Next time you find lack of initiative among your men, just look again whether you as a leader have a part in encouraging it. Have you ever got mad when someone took the initiative and things went wrong? A true leader inspires his men to take initiative. Initiative is like a tender plant. As a leader, unless you nurse it carefully you will never get people taking initiatives and coming out with suggestions;
  5. A true leader never imagines that he is the only man with a superior intellect who can think out ideas for improvement. He asks others for suggestions as well. It certainly makes his men feel good to think that their leader asked them for their suggestions;
  6. A good leader is always flexible in his attitudes. Things are continuously changing – new systems, new ideas, and new circumstances. With a flexible approach and adapting yourself to the changing conditions you can face things much better way as a leader;
  7. The leader’s attitude is most important for developing a good team work. A leader who is only interested in pushing his men is not going to get very far. Once the employees get thinking of their leader as one who is really interested in helping them, then there is no stopping them;
  8. A single most important quality what makes a great leader is his constant endeavor to keep himself out of the spotlight whenever possible. He emphasizes the talents and accomplishments of his men and gives them credit wherever possible. For this quality, his men are always ready do anything for him;
  9. One of the characteristics of a good leader is to show respect to his men by consulting them and giving them a chance to express their opinion. Even if they have little overall knowledge of the position, it makes no difference. They will accept any decision in a much better spirit if they think that they have participated and their views have been considered by their leader;
  10. A great leader is never never afraid of cutting right across the old practices and procedures held sacred by conventional wisdom. He should not be satisfied with just carrying on and should always think out something new to bring the best out of his men;


It is my strong belief that a great leader by effectively communicating a vision that enlivens, inspires and motivates people around him can transform his or her organization. A manager having the most desired qualities of a great leader described in this post can create a work environment where people are encouraged to give their best what they are good at. No books alone can ever teach you human relation, which I believe is in the core of what makes a great leader. You can have a whole library of books giving lessons on ‘good leadership qualities’ and yet be the worst leader under the sun. Human relations are much more a matter of feeling and heart. It’s not at all a question of being clever and smart.


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    • radharenu profile image

      radharenu 5 years ago from India

      Hi Viv,

      Thanks for your comments.You have rightly pointed out the common managerial mistake we make, which if avoided, can dramatically make the workplace more productive.

    • Viviannie profile image

      Viviannie 5 years ago from Timisoara, RO

      Great and very useful article! I like the part "A good leader never imagines that he is the only man with a superior intellect". In fact this is the most common mistake made by the most managers. A good leader takes out what is best in his employees and give them the credits.

    • profile image

      kavitha 5 years ago

      this is useful to my stuty tthanks to submitted