Qualities of a Good Leader

What qualities must leaders possess that motivate employees, peers, and the people around you at work? Is it your can-do attitude, building trust with coworkers, or your likable personality? Effective and strong leadership is necessary to guide employees, provide feedback and boost overall employee engagement.

But what types of qualities and characteristics create the best leader? According to Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends of 2015,

“Organizations should continuously develop a robust portfolio of leaders who are ready to engage employees, push forward growth strategies, drive innovation, and work directly with customers.”

Which is true. If companies don’t invest in developing the best leaders, how will they grow? Check out these top 5 driving leadership qualities that cultivate employee engagement within companies:

1. Communication

Communication is more than just our spoken words; it’s understanding intentions and emotions behind the information received. Strong leaders understand this and can differentiate the meaning behind what a person says to what a person does. For example, if an employee says everything is “okay” is it really okay? Does their nonverbal communication add up to their verbal communication?

  • Non-verbal: signals, body language
  • Verbal: spoken language

Reading between the lines of actions and words helps in becoming an effective communicator as a leader. You may even call yourself a mind reader after mastering the two.

2. Respect

Earning and giving respect as a leader is crucial. If your employees don’t respect you, how will they trust you? As Aretha Franklin put it… R-E-S-P-E-C-T:

  • Recognize – Call out behaviors aligned with core values and business objectives.
  • Engage – Taking your team out for lunch or having a fun game day at the office helps employees engage and connect.
  • Show appreciation – Everyone has a birthday, anniversary, or kids at some point. Try to remember special dates and let people know you care about them and their lives.
  • Pay attention – Take a break and listen to what your teammates are saying.
  • Earn respect of others with honesty and humility – Don’t be boastful: Being a boss of a company and having that CEO title is rewarding, but don’t let it get to your head. We are all equal as humans.
  • Cooperation – Lead by example and participate in projects. Roll-up your sleeves and join the trenches on occasion.
  • Trustworthy – Be transparent and do what you say.


50 Behaviors to Recognize

3. Showing Appreciation

According to a 2013 study done by Glassdoor, 80% of employees wanted to work harder if their bosses showed appreciation for their work. That’s over half! Appreciation goes a long way for employee motivation. Giving a simple pat on the back for a job well done keeps employees driven to do their best every day. However, recognition doesn’t always come from the top down. Showing appreciation is just as important on a peer-to-peer basis too.

4. Confidence

A leader sets up the office vibe on a day-to-day basis. Confident leaders set up a comfort zone for employees. Think about your previous boss for a minute. If they didn’t have a clue what was going on, would you feel comfortable going into work? Become a confident leader:

  • Carry yourself how you carry your company.
  • Fake it till you make it! Remain calm and collected during conflicts or setbacks to set the stage for your employees.
  • Appear confident when leading in order to steer employees in the right direction.

5. Positive Attitude

Your employees should wake up and be energized and pumped to come in to work every day. It shouldn’t be a chore on their to-do list, but a privilege they look forward to. A positive attitude drives the culture and energy of the company. A positive attitude has an impact on creativity, productivity, and the bond you have with your employees. Happy employees foster better work delivery and positive peer-to-peer engagement.

Value of a Good Leader

Leaders can be anyone, but certain characteristics make the best leaders. Leaders value and respect their employees, provide effective communication and have fun while bringing positive energy to work every day. Have the confidence to uphold your company and also the culture within it. Be the leader your employees want to share their success with, not because they have to but because they want to. As Deloitte put it,

“Companies that fail to invest continuously in the leaders of tomorrow may find themselves falling behind their competitors.”

Good leaders not only help grow their company, but also everyone within it. Build an army and fight together. Share your success with everyone you work with while becoming a friend and a role model in the process.