I haven’t always been  a shining example of these 12 attributes of great leaders. I’ve made every mistake a leader can make, which highly qualifies me to share some wisdom on leadership. A couple of years ago, a group of young managers asked me what it takes to be a leader. I shared the following list of attributes, and while this list certainly doesn’t cover everything, it’s a good start. These attributes are what I’ve seen the most renowned leaders use, and they’re what I’ve tried to follow and found to be true.

12 Attributes of Great Leaders

Leaders Share Vision and Provide Direction 

If you’ve worked with a manager who lacked vision, you understand how disheartening it can be. Developing and sharing a vision attracts loyal followers. Giving direction adds purpose to activities.

Leaders Show Character and Integrity 

I worked for a leader who I often disagreed with but never doubted his sincerity or honesty. You could depend on any commitment he gave. In an industry with high turnover, he had productive teammates that worked with him for years.

Leaders Plan For Growth 

Nothing is stagnant. Your organization is either declining or gaining. If you do not plan for growth, who will grow with you?

Leaders Take Responsibility 

They do not pass the buck by pointing fingers. A leader does not defend mistakes.

Leaders Make Decisions 

Remember, you do not always have to be right. Learn from your mistakes.

Leaders Set the Example 

If you want the team to show determination, enthusiasm, decisiveness, attentiveness, etc., it starts with you.

Leaders Know Their Team 

They take time to understand how team members communicate, learn, and what motivates them. Leaders know their team’s strengths and weaknesses, and their people’s goals and hopes.

Leaders Mentor

They train, allow for failure, delegate, and listen

Leaders Give recognition.

And they give it at every possible opportunity.

Leaders Share Information

And keep teammates informed.

Leaders Constantly Strive  to be Better

Leaders Set High Standards

And raise the bar.

There are so many great leaders to learn from. Here are three who have influenced me:




How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Businesses and universities use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.