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5 Characteristics of A Great Leader

Characterisitcs Of A Great Leader

What are the characteristics of a great leader?

Exceptional leaders should have exceptional qualities because ordinary traits are not going to help them achieve greatness in one way or the other. You can easily find many competent leaders, but only few of them eventually qualify as exceptional leaders. Of course, there are leaders who seem to have great ideas, but when you ask them to execute them in real life, they fail miserably. One might look like a great leader in ordinary circumstances, but once you get them out of their comfort zone, you will get to see who they really are. When the going gets tough, when the money is tight or the stakes are high, it is only the great leaders that live up to the expectation; ordinary people just quit it.

So, if you want to separate great leaders from ordinary leaders, you need to have a detailed understanding of the qualities that a great leader possesses.


Sometimes, it just happens that we have great ideas in our head, but when we try to communicate those ideas to the people who are going to implement them, we face the inconvenient truth that they are not getting it. Most leaders met with a blank expression from people when they try to communicate their ideas.

The ideas may seem great on paper, but making people act on it depends much on how you are communicating it. So, if you wish to be a great leader, you need to have great communication skill. There is no way around it.

How on earth the team is going to achieve its goal if the leader fails to communicate his ideas in plain and simple English.


A great leader should encourage fun at workplace because nobody wants to work in a dull and boring environment. It is important to keep your head high even when things are going wrong. There will be times when things will go horribly wrong like the funds may run dry, the client may stop responding or the company may incur heavy loss; but you need to take them as challenges without pressing the panic button.

As a leader, you have to accept the challenges as they come along; try to use humor to inspire other people to face the challenges. People make mistakes, but rather than crying a river over those mistakes, you need to face them with a smile in your face. This will create a positive vibe in the workplace and all you have to do is to encourage it.


Honesty is certainly one of the main characteristics of a great leader. Since everybody around you follows your order blindly, you need to be honest and straightforward. A leader needs to accept his faults if there are any; blaming others for your fault can demoralize people working with your team. Moreover, you will lose all the love and respect of employees working with your team. You should not do anything that can make people doubt your integrity.


If you want every member of your team to work really hard, you need to set an example first. Preach what you practice. You simply can’t expect people, working under you, to arrive at the office early if you are a late comer on a regular basis. There is nothing in the world that motivates the workers than seeing their leader working hard alongside. By showing your commitment towards the company, you will be able to earn the respect of the team members and also will be able to encourage them to deliver their best.


Sometimes, you will have to deal with problems that demand a different kind of solution. No, not the usual approach is not going to help here anymore. You will need to take some drastically different decisions to deal with those problems. This is exactly where the importance of creative decision making comes into play. A great leader needs to think outside the box, otherwise he will never be able to offer cool and creative solutions to complex problems.

For more information on being a great leader, here are 5 recommended leadership books:

The Front-Line Leader by Chris Van Gorder | Click here for a detailed summary according to Chris Van Gorder
Leaders Open Doors by Bill Treasurer | Click here for a detailed summary according to Bill Treasurer
MOXIE – The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership by John Baldoni | Click here for a detailed summary according to John Baldoni
The Best Place To Work by Ron Friedman | Click here for a detailed summary according to Ron Friedman
Lead To Succeed by Chris Roebuck | Click here for a detailed summary according to Chris Roebuck

What other leadership books have you read lately? Share your favorites in the comments below:

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Cody Faldyn

Cody is a blogger, social media specialist, graphic designer, and the Marketing Evangelist behind The Entrepreneurs Library. With a long time passion for personal growth, Cody helped create a website and podcast with the intent to educate aspiring entrepreneurs on the latest and greatest books on business growth and personal development.