The Qualities of a Good Leader

Leadership is critical to many organized activities, and managerial positions always require the person to have the ability. However, the ability to lead is usually loosely defined due to the massive variety of leaders that have succeeded throughout humanity’s history. Nevertheless, scholars have been able to analyze many different leaders and determine the fundamental traits that allow a person to lead a team successfully. These do not necessarily correspond to the popular understanding of a leader or the type of person that tends to assume the job. With that in mind, the author has been researching literature to determine essential leadership qualities.

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There is a widespread perception of leaders being outspoken and assertive, but introverted people such as Bill Gates achieved massive success as managers. Hougaard and Carter (2018) claim that the only qualities strictly required are understanding, mindfulness, selflessness, and compassion towards oneself as well as others. With these traits, a leader would be able to see the needs of his or her followers and have the strength and will to address them. As a result, the entire team would operate better due to worker satisfaction and positivity.

As long as the team’s members are content and confident that the leader is looking out for their interests, they will have the motivation to put in the utmost effort. Other characteristics can improve one’s leadership skills, such as the ability to inspire people, but they should be seen as secondary because they are not critical to success. An ignorant, inattentive, selfish, or uncaring leader can ruin a team’s performance by overworking his or her subordinates for no good reason. As such, these four qualities should be prioritized above others when choosing a leader or learning to become one.


Hougaard, R., & Carter, J. (2018). The mind of the leader: How to lead yourself, your people, and your organization for extraordinary results. Harvard, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

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