Six Tough Characteristics of Top Leaders

Posted on Sunday, July 27, 2014 By ExploreGate Team

Leadership is one of today’s power words that everyone uses and few people define. Perhaps, some of the reason for the lack of concrete definition is the variations of leadership styles within given industries or organizations. What is considered a dynamic leader in one company might not define the same type of leadership in another company.


Most managers and employees hear daily about the need to develop leadership characteristics without any clear understanding of what characteristics make a solid leader. Although leadership styles vary from ruling by committee (passive leadership) to dictatorship (aggressive leadership), leadership takes on different meanings for different people.

Agreeable, these are six tough to develop characteristics of top leaders that are important for success:

  1. Confidence Not Arrogance – Confidence is a natural air of understanding a situation and knowing you or your team are able to handle it. While arrogance is more self-centered around a single person, confidence is a characteristic that great leaders pass on to their team – the knowledge that they are empowered to take action.

  2. Sense of Humor – Truly good leaders know when to smile – even through the pain. In times of trial, the ability to lighten the workload with a spot of humor helps to decrease stress and stimulate a positive attitude among other employees. A calm smile when things are not going well gives everyone around the storm a sense of peace and focus.

  3. See in the Dark – Leaders are known for their vision. When things start to fall apart or go awry, a top leader can give direction and motivate people to remember the goal. As well, great leaders can change the vision to overcome pitfalls while still sharing the view with those around them. In fact, many people tag communication of vision as the number one indicator of a strong leader.

  4. Promote Learning – The leadership trait that is most difficult is the ability to delegate responsibility and hold others accountable for their performance. For many, the strong belief in their own abilities leads them to think that “no one can do it as well as I can.” In truth, even the best leader can only do so much, so it is imperative that a leader surrounds himself with competent people willing to execute assignments and present opportunities with confidence. This not only lightens the leadership burden, but helps others to develop a strong leadership personality as well.

  5. Delegate Responsibility – Confidence is a natural air of understanding a situation and knowing you or your team are able to handle it. While arrogance is more self-centered around a single person, confidence is a characteristic that great leaders pass on to their team – the knowledge that they are empowered to take action.

  6. Inspire Aspirations – Almost everyone has been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It is odd that no one asks that once people reach adulthood. If employees or co-workers have personal or professional goals, then they often keep them hidden. Great leaders are constantly asking employees “what’s next for you? Or “where do you want to be in a year, 5 years, or 10 years?” By promoting the goals of those around them, leaders understand that goodwill and positive attitude are embedded in the hope of achievement and attainment as well as performance.

Leadership can be defined in many ways, but the truest test of a great leader is how he extends the leadership capabilities of others. A necessary part of leadership development always relies on the mentorship and example of others in a field. Increasing the overall attitude and development of those surrounding them, great leaders create as well as participate on winning teams.

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