Leadership qualities are talents, characteristics and capabilities that are associated with effective leadership. These are commonly used in job descriptions, resumes and as decision criteria in areas such as recruiting and performance management. The following are illustrative examples of leadership qualities.
IntelligentIntelligence including verbal, visual, spatial, mathematical, logical, social and emotional intelligence. Some leadership roles may focus on a particular type of intelligence. For example, a leadership role in nursing that requires social, emotional and verbal intelligence.The ability to push through stress and problems without loss of energy and direction.
Self-DirectingAn ability to find direction on your own.An individual with high ethical standards and the character strength to uphold these standards.The bravery to take calculated risks in an environment of ambiguity and change.
CompetitiveAn intense motivation to win and willingness to make sacrifices to do what is required to win.
StrategicThe ability to develop and execute long term strategic plans as opposed to being stuck in a reactive or tactical mode.The recognition of the factors that contribute to your success such as other people.
CandidAn openness and directness in communication. For example, the ability to criticise.
FairTreating people impartially without favoritism or discrimination.
ConsistentLeaders provide stability to a group such as a consistent long term strategy.
DecisiveThe ability to make reasonable decisions quickly without hesitation in an environment of change and unknowns.
AdaptableThe ability to quickly adapt to change and to change your mind when you are wrong.The ability to generate non-obvious ideas that are valuable.
InfluentialBuilding relationships and influencing the ideas and actions of others. This includes the relational capital and cultural capital of a leader.
ManagementA talent for controlling resources and directing people.
MeasurementThe discipline to measure results, improve and measure again.
TransparencyManaging relationships with stakeholders and providing them with transparency. For example, providing investors with an accurate picture of the current financial and strategic position of a firm.
KnowledgeLeadership requires knowledge of the domain in which you are leading.
LearningThe fluid intelligence required to learn, develop and change. For example, a leader who constantly learns from their team.
CommunicationHighly developed communication skills including a talent for public speaking.The ability apply storytelling techniques to make information interesting.A talent for making change happen including the ability to defeat resistance to change.A formidable personal presence that people respect such that they are willing to follow your direction.The bravery to build-up others and support their success without feeling threatened.
MotivationThe ability to motivate others. This can include an ability to inspire people to build intrinsic motivation, provide teams with incentives and manage poor performance.
DelegationThe ability to delegate work and allow people the freedom to work as they want as long as they produce results in a reasonable way that is ethical. This allows a leader to be productive at the big picture level.
DiligenceExercising diligence in confirming that work is done properly. This may require attention to detail to manage issues and remain in touch with working level realities.
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