7 Essential Qualities All Great Leaders Possess

Everybody defines leadership differently, but irrespective of what a good leader is to you, they can often be the key figure in the difference between success and failure. A good leader tends to have a strong vision of the future and know how to turn their ideas into real-life success stories. Whether you aspire to be a leader in business, healthcare, or in any other industry, you will need a distinct set of qualities in order to inspire others and lead your team towards success. Here are some of the most important leadership qualities that set good leaders apart from everybody else.

Honesty and Integrity:

Integrity is the supreme quality of leadership, according to Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States. And, without integrity, no real success is possible, whether it’s in a business team, healthcare setting, an office, on a football field, or in an army. Integrity and honesty are two very important qualities of a good leader; after all, you cannot expect your followers to be honest when their leader is lacking in these qualities themselves. Leaders who are successful tend to be the ones who stick to their core beliefs and values, which would not be possible without ethics.


Effective leaders are individuals who are confident enough to ensure that others are going to follow their instructions and commands. Being unsure about your own qualities and decisions is a sure way to make sure that others are never going to be confident that your ideas will work or want to follow you. Leaders who gain the most respect from their teams and followers tend to be oozing with confidence. This doesn’t mean that you should be overconfident, but just enough that is required to let others know that you have faith in yourself, so they should too. This is especially important in certain settings like healthcare, where often, following clear instructions given by a leader is extremely important to the health and wellbeing of patients. That’s why nurse leaders, for example, spend a lot of time improving their expertise with courses like these DNP leadership programs online from Baylor University.

Inspire Others:

Persuading others to follow them is perhaps one of the most difficult things for a leader to do and being able to do this naturally and confidently is one of the biggest qualities of a good leader. It’s only possible if you can inspire people by setting a good example for them. When things get tough, people will usually look up to the leader and see how they react to the situation. How you handle it will have a direct effect on how they deal with it, too. As a leader, you need to be able to:

  • Think positively
  • Come up with creative solutions and ideas
  • Stay calm under pressure
  • Motivate yourself and others to keep going, even if it’s tough

If you are able to inspire others to learn more, do more, and become more, you are a good leader who will find it easier to overcome current and future challenges.

Passion and Commitment:

As a leader, you want your teams to be committed to and passionate about the work that they do, no matter what that might be. But bear in mind that your teams are looking up to you and if you want them to commit to giving it their all, you will first need to demonstrate this level of passion to them yourself. When your team members see you mucking in, rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty, they’ll be inspired to give it their best shot too.

This is often the biggest difference between somebody who is a leader and somebody who’s simply a boss; a leader is not afraid to give it their all and really get involved in making sure that things work out. This is what gains good leaders the respect of their team who will easily feel energized to follow when they see you are passionate about what you do.

Good Communication:

The best leaders fully understand the extreme importance of communication. If you are unable to clearly communicate your vision to your team and outline the strategies in place that they will need to follow in order to achieve a goal, getting the results that you want will be difficult. In order to be a good leader, it’s imperative that you are able to effectively communicate your message to them. Words really do have the power to motivate people and make them do amazing things; if you can use your words effectively, you’ll achieve better results. But, a good leader also understands that communication isn’t about words alone. You’ll also need to be skilled in:

  • Listening
  • Understanding non-verbal communication
  • Adapting your communication style based on the person or people you are communicating with

Decision Making:

Aside from having a clear vision of the future, good leaders are people with a strong ability to make the right call at the right time. Any decisions that leaders make can have a significant impact on the success or failure of their team. A good leader understands just how important it is to make an informed decision and think long and hard before deciding on something. They also need to know when to stand by their decision once it is done, and when it’s best to back down. Many leaders make decisions on their own, but they also know the importance of consulting other key people and getting advice before coming to a firm conclusion.


A good leader is somebody who is humble and accountable. They are not afraid to admit when they make a mistake and as a result, earn the respect of their team who understand that everybody is human and sometimes, mistakes can happen. Leaders don’t shy away from mistakes but rather, find a way to turn it into a positive learning experience for themselves and their team while holding themselves fully accountable for any decisions that they make and their outcomes.

Do you possess these leadership qualities? Or would you like to improve them and work in a career leading others? We’d love to hear from you!