7 Inspiring Leaders and the Leadership Traits That Made Them Great

Leadership needs to be studied, understood, put into practice, without fear, and honed to perfection. Understandably so, leadership traits consist of a constantly moving set of skills, which are both fun and challenging for you and your leaders to learn and embrace. Over the years, I have watched, whom I consider effective/great leaders and picked up, what I believe, are the most effective leadership traits and incorporated them into my style. I am still a work in progress, as I hope all leaders reading this are too.

John Maxwell says everything rises and falls based on leadership. I agree. I also agree with Robin Sharma, who said and is the name of his book “You Do Not Need A Title To Lead.”

Here are seven traits of leadership I’ve learned by watching leaders who exhibited them:

1. Vision.

This is the ability to see the future. The Bible says without vision, the people perish. I’ve learned to focus on one thing and simply work in that direction when I didn’t have any idea what do. Somehow, a way is found. A vision will lead to a plan and a plan can be communicated to those that matter. What time of day do you do your best thinking. How can you tab into your inner self, those higher levels of energy were there is non-judgment, absolute joy and creation?

2. Problem-solving.

Leadership is more than a huge idealistic vision. One of the greatest leadership traits includes problem-solving skills. No matter what you do, problems develop, and it’s up to the leader to figure out what’s wrong and to fix it. Dr. Mark Rutland, is a terrific problem solver, whose book ReLaunch has wonderful word pictures for diagnosing problems. When nothing happens, he says the gears have rusted shut and the leader must grease them to get them moving. Mark describes the leader as the air traffic controller that decides which planes to land now and which ones to keep circling until there’s time and money to let them land.

3. Constant growth.

A leader must constantly grow. Of course, we know that healthy things grow. An organization can’t grow, however, unless it’s healthy and the leader is also growing. Change in this world is constant due to technology. In a culture that seems to be shifting beneath our feet, a leader must grow or persish.

4. Motivation and communication.

A leader must be able to motivate. That’s what gets people to follow. You aren’t a leader unless someone is following. Note: In order to effectively motivate others, they have to trust you. Build two way trust as quickly as you can and be your authentic self (or they will see right through you). You must be able to communicate in such a way it motivates people to do what must be done for the vision to be realized.

5. Tenacity.

Winston Churchill famously said in the dark days of World War II, “Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” I believe too many people give up before they have a chance to succeed. When people say I’ve been successful in the media world, I remind them that I’m too stubborn to quit and that somehow I simply lasted longer than many competitors that went out of business. Tenacity is yet another of the most important leadership traits.

6. Generosity of spirit.

A leader must be a good and kind person. The old dictatorial leadership style went out long ago. But a leader can’t be loosey-goosey or the organization becomes like the insane asylum run by the inmates! As a leader full of integrity and authenticity, don’t you think for a moment that having a gentle demeanor represents soft leadership. If you’re clear on your vision and how to lead others with a generosity of spirit, you’ll be a unique and effective leader. We need more of you.

7. Comfortable in their own skin.

There are many leadership traits that could be included in a list like this. So maybe this last item on my list will come to you as a surprise. But I feel that every leader must be confident, able to take criticism and not worry about the people who will be unhappy with any decision that’s made. The leader must be comfortable in his or her own skin.

Better Leaders Embody Strong Leadership Traits

A Better Leader has decades of experience with employee engagement and retention problems and can help your organization as well! With consistent leadership training, you can create behavioral change as a cultural level. We’d love to be a resource for you to train your leaders to connect with, motivate, and support your workplace. 

Chris Craddock

As the leader of Projections' production team, Chris loves to inspire others to perform at the highest levels! From the most challenging leadership opportunities to brainstorming the latest topics leaders want to learn about, Chris provides clear direction and vision.