While successful leaders may exhibit these 10 leadership qualities to varying degrees, all good leaders leverage at least some of these characteristics. Together, they make up the backbone of strong leadership across organizations, industries, and continents. Without these qualities, true leadership is impossible.
If you fear that you lack some of these characteristics of a good leader, don’t panic — there are ways for you to improve on your leadership capabilities, including all 10 of these core traits. At CCL, we believe that leadership is a skill that can be developed and that leaders are molded through experience, continued study, and adaptation.
In other words, you can strengthen any of these 10 characteristics of a good leader if you’re open to growth and you put in the time and effort towards self-improvement. Similarly, organizations can help their people hone these leadership qualities through development and real-world experiences.
It’s also essential to realize that leadership is a social process. It’s less about a strong or charismatic individual, and more about a group of people working collectively to achieve results together. If you demonstrate several of the characteristics of a good leader but fail to grasp this, chances are you won’t get very far on your own. You may be well-liked and respected, but it will be challenging to accomplish team or organizational goals.
Also, leadership isn’t a destination — it’s something that you’ll have to work at regularly throughout your career, regardless of what level you reach in your organization.
That’s why at CCL, we say that leadership is a journey — different teams, projects, situations, and organizations will require you to apply these leadership characteristics in different ways throughout your career.