What are the qualities of a good leader?

1 February 2023

Speakers Gym

What makes a good leader?

Together, we’ll analyse the qualities of a good leader and how strong leadership can empower others around you to discover their own purpose and drive.

The true qualities of a leader

We’re firm believers that a quality leader can not only inspire growth, productivity, and profitability, but on a much more human level, they can inspire others to achieve their own lofty ambitions and goals. Such is the power of a great leader that once people are imbued with the belief that they can do more, it permeates through the workplace, creating a positive, thriving, and supportive culture that your people can’t help but thrive in.

But, what makes a strong leader? What qualities are fundamental to great leadership? What makes them able to rally people around a common cause?

Let’s find out.

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Personal Top Ten Good Leadership Qualities

There’s a lot to be said about good leadership qualities.


It’s simply not possible to be a great leader without integrity. This essential core quality means that they inspire others, hold themselves accountable, don’t take shortcuts, and choose to develop others over their own personal gain. Having the good leadership qualities to deliver what they promise pays dividends for the workforce and the business as a whole as this establishes trust. Read out blog covering why integrity in the workplace matters more than ever.


Good leaders have the ability to listen to others, giving them their undivided attention, listening without interruption, and responding with sincerity. A good listener will focus on the message and the person delivering it and care about acting responsibly and decisively on what they are hearing. Being a good listener will build trust, form deeper relationships, and encourage people to speak up. This is a skill that requires a lot of humility to achieve.


If leaders cannot communicate effectively then they will be unable to motivate, discipline, and instruct others. Good orators express their ideas and instructions with confidence, presence, and authority, use appropriate language and tone of voice in different situations, yet still leave room for others to express their opinions and ideas. A good leader knows the power of good communication and the consequences of being poor at it.


Good leaders are decisive. They understand that their decisions are vital to the success or failure of the business and that perceived indecision can portray weakness. A strong leader can evaluate any given situation, analyse it, and then relay their decision in a way that is best for the business, its employees and its customers. A great leader must also be prepared to hold themselves accountable if their decisions don’t work out and have the humility to own up to them.


Empathy is linked to many different aspects of being a leader, but it is most associated with job performance. Being able to show empathy and emotional intelligence is key to leadership effectiveness. Empathetic behaviours are also critically important when dealing with sensitive situations, such as the death of a family member. Empathetic behaviours toward direct reports and the workforce as a whole mean that you’re more likely to be perceived as a strong leader.

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Potentially controversial, but people follow people that they like. The best leaders are approachable, friendly, and can command an audience. Not only this, but a great attitude is infectious and generates a positive feeling throughout the workplace. If the leader is relatable then that inspires others to be the same.


It’s funny; we don’t immediately associate humility with the qualities of a good leader, but it is a massively underrated skill that all the best leaders have. Being grateful for your opportunities, for the people that you get to work with, and for changes that you get to oversee will not only make you a more approachable boss, but it can even reduce your own stress and anxiety levels. Practising humility and gratitude for others to see is inspiring and will make others want to follow your lead.


Enthusiasm is infectious. Passion is contagious. If a leader is truly excited about the business, its people, and its products and services then this transfers onto everyone else. Passion can elevate productivity and unite workers to a collective vision. Goals and objectives are achieved far easier with an enthused workforce behind them – and that all starts with good leadership qualities.


There’s an old saying that a fish rots from the head. Resilient leaders have the ability to overcome challenges without negatively affecting the rest of the workforce, have the reserves of energy to stay enthused and focused, and can bounce back strongly from setbacks and adversity. Resilient leaders are perceptive enough to know how to handle themselves in any situation, good or bad. However, this capacity to adapt and overcome must not be confused with stubbornness.


The ability to empower others is an incredible tool to have for a leader. Empowering others to lead autonomously, to come up with ideas to help the business run better, and inspiring people to progress within the company can supercharge productivity and make the workplace a true pleasure to be in. Empowerment increases self-worth, enhances positive traits, inspires strong leadership qualities in other senior staff, and encourages decision-making that benefits the company and its clients.

Integral leadership qualities

Being a great leader is not a prerequisite; dedication is required, both on a conscious and unconscious level, in order to earn the level of respect and influence that only good leadership can hope to accomplish. Leadership skills must be nurtured, practised, and, finally, earned.

If we look at bad management it’s well documented that a third of employees don’t trust their management. What do these companies all have in common? High staff turnover rates, low productivity, stagnant growth, an unattractive brand proposition, and a general lack of enthusiasm from the workforce. Compare that, then, to those companies with great leaders; record profits, a happy workforce, people wanting to stay with the company and climb the ladder, and the ability to lure the best people to the company.

Enhance your leadership skills with our bespoke executive training courses

If you recognise that our ten traits of positive leadership are lacking within yourself or your business then we can help. Our three leadership courses help to turn your leadership weaknesses into strengths. From internal communication and public speaking coaching to creating trust and learning how to work more effectively, we can transform your leadership team from passive to positive.

The Speakers’ Gym is a change management consultancy have worked with some of the biggest companies in the world on this, all of whom have reported positive results. Contact us for more details on these transformative courses and let us inspire you with better leadership qualities to lead your people better.

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