Top 10 Must Have Characteristics of a Great Leader

Top 10 Must Have Characteristics of a Great Leader

Do you have what it takes to be a great leader? I bet you do. I believe everyone can attain the great qualities and characteristics needed to be an effective leader. The objective behind being a great leader is this: Helping people and/or organizations who are doing poorly to do well. Helping people and/or organization who are doing well but want to get better. The whole idea of great leadership is to get results. To bring them to a whole different level of success. Below are the characteristics of a great leader.
A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better~Jim Rohn

The Best in People

The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already~ John Buchan
Being a great leader means bringing out the best in people. Everyone wants to be the best they can be. It’s our job as leaders to do that. We need to find and focus on the strengths of people not their weaknesses.
In my previous career of Law Enforcement, I was surrounded by good and bad leaders. The good leaders focused on making people better while the bad leaders would focus on making people worse.
It was astounding to me that the bad leaders would come to work everyday and do nothing but negative leadership. What do I mean by negative leadership? They would focus on the mistakes of people. Instead of making them learn from their mistakes they would punish them and never give good advice and/or training to make that person better. They would lie in wait like a lion hiding from a zebra getting ready to attack.
This would happen day in and day out. Just waiting for their people to make mistakes. Being totaling reactive instead of proactive. They would focus on the negatives and not the positives in people. This type of leadership is a sinking ship. This will make any organizations morale go into a tail spin. And if you were ever part of an organization withe horrible morale, you know exactly what I mean.
If you want a successful organization, no matter what industry, you need to have great leaders that focus on the strengths and not the weaknesses. To learn, grow and achieve results a great leader must focus on making their people successful by focusing on their strengths.
Leadership: the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Here are the TOP 10 Must Have Characteristics of a Great Leader:

1) Be a Role Model

You must lead by example and you should never ask someone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself. You must be seen by your people, and the public as being an expert in your field and an expert in leadership.

2) Have a Mission

Leaders know what their mission is. They know why the organization exists. A great leader has a well thought out (often written) mission describing the purpose of the organization. That purpose need to be descriptive, clear and understandable. Every employee should be able to identify with the mission and strive to achieve it.

3) Have Vision

Where do you want your organization to go? A vision needs to be descriptive enough to encourage people to imagine it but concrete enough for followers to see it, understand it and be willing to climb onboard to fulfill it.

4) Be Goal Oriented

How is the organization going to achieve its mission and vision and how will you measure your progress? Like a vision, goals need to be operational that are specific and measurable. If your output and results can’t be readily measured, then it will be difficult to know if you have achieved your purpose.

5) Have Integrity

 Do the right thing all the time. Not sometimes but all the time.

6) Be Passionate in all you do

You must love what you do. You must want success for the organization and the people more than you want the air you breathe.

7) Be Compassionate

Successful leaders are comfortable relating to other people; they easily create rapport and are more extroverted than they are introverted. These factors help leaders seem approachable, likable, and comfortable in their position. Those qualities contribute to staff wanting to interact with their leader. They also help motivate employees to do a better job. When workers can relate to their boss, they believe that their boss is more concerned about them, with their performance, and with their output. Furthermore, they believe that they can go to their boss with problems they encounter on the job without fearing consequences for not knowing how to resolve issues.

8) Great Communicator

It does little good to have a strong mission, vision, and goals if the leader cannot easily and effectively convey his ideas inside and outside of the organization. He must regularly be in touch with key individuals, by all forms of communication. Of course, the best way to ensure other people receive and understand the message is with face-to-face interactions.

9) Be Inspiring

Employees need someone to look up to for direction, guidance, and motivation. A great leader needs to be that person. Nevertheless, there are times, when many employees need the boss to inspire them by word or action.

10) Be Ambitious

Nothing builds a picture of success more than achievement, and achievement is the number one factor that motivates just about everyone across all cultures. When employees see that their leader can lead and direct, has a clear vision and attainable goals, and actually gains results in a timely manner, then that person’s credibility increases throughout the organization. Great leaders must modestly demonstrate their skills to give their constituents valid reasons to appreciate and value their efforts.
All of these can help you gain the characteristics of a great leader.
I’m John R. Salkowski, Founder of Achieve Success Academy, Leadership Expert, Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Retired Police Officer and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Survivor.
I can be reached via email at
Copyright 2012 Achieve Success Academy All Rights Reserved

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