5 Essential Traits of GREAT Leaders

GREAT leaders inspire, motivate, and call to action those they lead.  Think about a leader that truly inspired you at some point in your career.  If you are having a difficult time thinking of one – you aren’t alone.  GREAT leaders are rare.  Imagine a room full of people and a GREAT leader speaking to the group.  The leader has everyones attention – people on the edge of their seats listening intently.  How do these GREAT leaders gain this type of attention?

Share the Why

People want to know where they are going and how their job contributes to the goal.  Sharing a vision for the company, team, or project inspires employees to get onboard and commit to action.  Be careful not to make this a one time thing.  On-going reminders of the importance of the vision and milestones of success are an important part of the process and will keep employees energized.

Active Listening

No one likes a leader that does all the talking.  Great leaders understand that effective communication requires active and focused listening.  Employees understand what’s going on in the trenches and can share valuable insight into how to improve upon a process and share new ideas.  Leaders who listen well are those that tap into this knowledge and craft questions that drive a meaningful dialogue that can uncover concerns or new possibilities.

Emotional Intelligence

Great leaders have a high level of personal and social awareness.  They are in touch with how they communicate and can adapt their message to increase understanding and better meet the underlying needs of others.  Valuable insight can be learned by completing the Emotional Intelligence EQ2.0 for Leaders or a communications assessment such as Everything DiSC Agile EQ.  These tools provide a wealth of knowledge to increase engagement, connection, and ultimately drive performance.

Can-Do Attitude

Enthusiasm and excitement is infectious.  Leaders that respond to situations with a ‘Can-Do’ attitude are those that find a way to make things happen.  Motivation takes a negative hit when a leader shuts down a discussion with a big fat NO.  Why not readjust and respond with ‘That won’t work, but what we can do is….’


Great leaders stand by their word.  We all know too many leaders that are all talk and no action – and we just don’t believe a word they say.  Great leaders reflect a high level of integrity and respect and can be trusted to follow through on commitments.

What kind of leader are you?  Adopt these 5 Essential Traits for Great Leaders and witness the positive impact you will make in your organization.