How To Be a Good Leader: (20 Traits a Leader Should Have)

Want to know how to be a good leader at work? Then you’re in the right place.

Leadership is not easy. Still, if you are reading this post you have a desire to learn. Many people have leadership aspirations while some success just comes easily and others must work for it.

Is there a secret for succeeding in business? Is there any one strategy that is key. No, leadership is built on a strong foundation and involves many different traits and skills.

You must possess a number of these skills to be successful as a leader.

It is often said that leaders are not born they are made. Each and every individual is shaped by the experiences in their lives. Although some people find that leadership comes easy, many others find that it does not.

Unfortunately, not everybody has what it takes to be a leader. Some individuals just do not have the personality or skill set.

It is not that they were born this way, but it is the habits that they developed over the years. They can evolve into a leader over time with lots of hard work.

Whether leadership comes naturally or with lots of hard work you can be a successful and productive leader. What traits must a successful leader possess?

Here are the 20 traits that a leader should have:

How To Be a Good Leader At Work:

1. Taking Initiatives

Taking initiative is all about taking charge and really show a persons true character. An initiative starts with taking one action in a series of actions. Taking initiative is a good way to develop additional skills.

It involves taking on extra projects outside the job description. Generally, an individual will learn more when engaging in more work. Taking more responsibility can help a person to move into a leadership role in his/her workplace.

2. Listening Effectively

Effective listening is one of the most important skills for a leader. And a key aspect of listening is that you must listen to hear not to respond.

You will also want to maintain eye contact so that you make the person who is speaking feel important. You want the person speaking to you feel that what they are saying has meaning and they are valued.

Receiving feedback from your team will be beneficial to your growth as a leader as the team’s success. If you are not listening it will be even hard to get a sense of what team members think about the projects they usually work on.

Listen to understand and you will strengthen your team and be admired as a leader.

3. Conflict Resolution

Good leaders have the ability to handle difficult people and resolve conflicts that arise. They have to be straight to the point and honest. Handling conflicts is not easy because it requires a lot of courage to point out a problem.

Once a conflict has become known the leader will be responsible for analyzing the situation and deciding which course of action they feel will be appropriate.

Taking advantage of your team will be very important at this point. Knowing your team and the skills will guide you to know how to utilize those skills to resolve issues.

4. Delegate

A good leader knows how to delegate work to his/her team. This helps team members to feel more involved and creates an opportunity to develop new skills.

Delegating allows a leader to free up their own time so that they can concentrate on specific goals and objectives to be achieved.

Delegating to your team allows team members to evolve and feel empowered. And successful leaders know and understand each team member’s skills and weaknesses.

This is important because it helps the leader to know who should be in charge of what. Having individuals you trust and can rely on makes your job a lot easier.

5. Ask For Help

Asking for help when it is needed can be one of the hardest things a leader can do. Some leaders just cannot do it because of their pride. It is natural for us to want to figure everything out for ourselves.

A good leader will know that not only can he not do everything yourself but you have people who can and will do a better job than you.

We discussed delegating and often times what gets delegated is what the leader does not want to do or tasks they find boring or beneath them. But many times the leader would be better off asking for help with a problem they are having.

If you are a leader you have some issue that you have to work out. The best leaders I have seen will ask for help. This help could be a meeting one on one with a certain employee or it could be just asking someone to figure it out for you.

Asking for help does not diminish the respect team members have for you. Actually it will usually get the leader more respect. Team members respect a leader who asks for help instead of doing it themselves and doing it wrong.

6. Be Genuine

Genuine people are more or less the same on the inside as their behavior is on the outside. Being genuine is also a rare quality.

In the world full of phony fads, media hype, virtual personas, positive thinkers, and personal brands – where everyone wants what they don’t have, nobody’s content to be who they are, and, more importantly, nobody’s willing to admit to any of that – it’s becoming rarer all the time.

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7. Continuous Improvement

As a leader, you want to continuously work on improving yourself. This is not a once a week goal this is a daily goal.

Every day you want to ask yourself how can I do better today. It is also important to learn something new every day. It can be something as simple as a new word from the dictionary or a new way to complete a daily task.

Learn to be curious how something works or why someone does something a certain way.

You should be surrounding yourself with people that will raise you up. It is also very important that you have someone in your life that challenges you.

This person will help you to improve by challenging you. This challenge should not be negative, but it should make you uncomfortable at times.

8. Competence

Competence is the key to a successful leader. In order to have influence over others you must build trust. In order to have trust, you must show that you are competent and are deserving of trust.

9. Character

Your character is who you portray yourself to be both mentally and morally. If you are of sound character you will be followed and admired. Treat your team fairly and with respect, as you would want to be treated.

Let your teammates know that you have their best interests in mind; even putting their interests before your own many times will show great character.

As a leader, you also need to be passionate (1). Your team will show a greater loyalty to you if they believe in your cause and see your energy. Your energy will be contagious and the loyalty felt towards you will grow exponentially.

You will also need to be honest and trustworthy. No one will follow someone whom they do not trust or feel is dishonest. You may not always be right but if you are honest and have a high ethical code your mistakes will often be overlooked.

10. Empowerment

A great leader empowers their team by giving away his power. This is done because the leader trusts and has faith that their team will be successful and makes him look good.

Less micromanaging is managing better because empowering team members to make decisions at lower levels increases confidence, creativity, and productivity.

Tell your team what you want and then get out of their way. This is your team have faith that they can be creative and get the task accomplished.

The more you empower them the hard they will work to keep the trust that you have given them. If you have members that don’t fit into the team dynamics it’s best to let them go so they do not drag down the whole team.

11. Recognized/ Respected

Recognition and respect are crucial to successful leaders. Without both, you are just ordinary.

One way to be recognized is if you are considered an expert within your industry. This will often earn you a certain level of respect. Speak well of their staff.

Successful leaders are positive when speaking of their team. They feel that they should encourage them and give them their due recognition. These leaders also follow through on promises and make their needs clear.

If mistakes are made they stand up and take responsibility while offering and asking for input for solutions on ways to successfully move forward.

12. Energized

A positively energized leader will be contagious. His/her team will be confident and energized which will increase their productivity. A leader is not just someone who sets the goals and sees the people accomplish their given task, but also someone who must set an example of being energetic and full of life.

When a leader shows people under their leadership that they are an energized confident person, they won’t shy away from a challenge, they will respect him more.

They will work longer and harder because they will respect not only the leader but their opinions. Positivity and optimistic energy will be seen in the working environment.

13. Capable

Capable leaders able to perform motivate and guide others in an efficient way to reach the company’s goals.

Only when a team is convinced that the leader is capable enough, they will be able to perform well and provide their optimum performance. A leader has to ensure that the team has ultimate faith in their leadership capacity.

Once the team is convinced that the leader will be able to guide them properly there would have a vigor and energy that is visible throughout the team.

They have to be able to believe that the leaders capable and trust that they can take them through the kind of problems that would be appearing during the course of their work. It is this faith and belief in the capacity of a leader that is essential for the morality any team.

14. Creative

Creativity is a huge attribute of the leader and despite it being central to the making of a leader, being creative is a huge challenge for most professionals. But what exactly makes a creative leader so appealing?

Technology has come a long way, making the working environment highly complex and raising the need to find solutions based on specific situations.

Situations usually arise in which doing things do not guarantee results. As a leader, it is always important to come up with a new way of going around the existing protocols to remedy this situation.

A leader who uses their creative edge to move things forward commands the respect and loyalty of underlings, which is a key driver at the highest levels.

15. Take Responsibility

A lot of debates continue to rage on whether leaders are born or they are made. That notwithstanding, any leader must possess some traits that make him stand out from the people he is supposed to lead.

One of these traits is about taking responsibility.

Every leader must be able to take responsibility for the individual account or the group. Since the leader is seen as the head, anything that has to deal with being accountable for some actions taken, they shall assume responsibility.

When a leader has to take responsibility, it means that he carries the burden of any loss caused by him or the group of people he is leading.

16. Failure

If you don’t fail you will not learn. Failure and risks are a part of life that you will always deal with. You must fail part of the time so you take risks and hope for the best. If you do not take chances you will never move forward.

Difficult experiences lead to revolutionary transformations. Failure tests and expands our resilience. It is not far-fetched to say that failing well is the key to success.

Risk takers are more creative and self-aware which increases the chance of success. Of course, no one wants to fail and while you must do your best to avoid failure you cannot let the fear of failure keep you from your potential.

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17. Constant and Consistent Communication

A great leader does not just come about. Among the traits of a great leader, constant and consistent communication is one of them. How to great leaders communicate?

They tell their people of the goals and plans on how to achieve these goals. They motivate and encourage their employees to be creative and take an initiative. They remain in constant contact through meetings, phone calls, and emails.

With constant and consistent communication leaders gain respect that is needed to successfully lead the team. As a result of clear communication, a leader knows the needs of their team. And the team knows the needs of the leader and works to meet those needs.

18. Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness is an extremely important trait that a leader would need to process to be a successful leader. Your team must have trust that their leader will be reliable, honest, and able to focus in the right direction.

Trustworthiness is the root of a successful leader that establishes a firm and strong environment with a team.

It is an extremely important test to be able to lead a team to success and provide a team with the essential guidance to be able to achieve success properly.

A leader that is trustworthy will lead the team to a better cooperation between the leader in the employees, establishing a trust and work relationship with the employees, allow for more effective communication, and an overall better environment.

A leader that is trustworthy can prevent many problems in the workplace.

Common issues that could arise from a leader that is not trustworthy and crew include fraud, deceitful work environment, and then unbalanced environment.

19. Decisiveness

The ability to be decisive and not waste time and money trying to make the right decision is often very difficult. A decisive leader needs to make decisions none else is willing to make. And once these decisions are made they have to be strong enough to stick with and defend the choice.

Being decisive does not mean you will make the right decision. It just means you were willing to make the decision. Remember failure is part of life and many times your decision may have been the wrong decision.

The important part is that you made the decision. If it was wrong make a new decision and move forward. Don’t dwell on your failures, look to the future.

20. Build on Strengths

A good leader is one who is able to identify their natural strengths as well as their teams. A leader inspires by example (2). By building on strengths, he is able to motivate others as well as provide them a direction.

Rather than focusing on the drawbacks or the weaknesses of people, a good leader will always look at the innate strengths. The role will be to mitigate the weaknesses with these strengths. And if they are successful they will not only help their team to grow but also themselves.


Leadership is important skills that even though some people are just naturally good at there are still areas that they need to learn about and continue to improve.

Thank you for reading this article about how to be a good leader at workand I really hope that you take action my advice.

I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here