10 Characteristics of Good Leadership (Repost)

(This time of year I typically share the most popular posts of the year.)

Leadership Ahead

Here are 10 characteristics of good leadership:

Recognizes the value in other people, so continually invests in others – Good leaders see a large part of their role as developing other leaders. Leadership development takes place in an organization as good leaders begin to share their experiences, good and bad, with others.

Shares information with those in the organization – There is a tendency of some leaders to hold information, because information is power, but a good leader knows that the more information the team has that collectively the team is better, which directly benefits the leader.

Has above average character – There are no perfect people, but for a leader to be considered good, they must have a character that is unquestioned within the organization. Leadership always draws criticism from someone, so a leader may not be able to get everyone to believe in him or her, but the people who know the leader best should trust the leader’s character.

Uses their influence for the good of others – Good leaders are as interested in making a positive difference in people’s lives as they are in creating a healthy profit margin. This doesn’t mean that balance sheets and income statements aren’t important, in fact they are vital for the success of an organization (even non-profits), but a good leader doesn’t separating a desire for helping others from the desire for financial success. Good leaders find ways to leverage financial health to strengthen the well-being of others.

Is skillful and competent – Good leaders can be depended on for their professionalism and follow through. You don’t question whether a good leader is going to be able to complete a task. If they don’t know how to do something, they will find someone who does, but they will ensure that a job is done the best way it can be done.

Not afraid for others to succeed (even greater than their own success) – Good leaders realize that some followers will outgrow the leader’s ability to develop them any further. Good leaders, however, aren’t threatened by another’s success. They are willing to celebrate as those around them succeed.

Serves others expecting nothing in return – Good leaders have a heart of service. They truly love and value people and want to help others for the good of the one being helped, not necessarily for personal gain.

Continues to learn – Good leaders are always learning and implementing those learnings into the betterment of the organization. That could be through reading, conferences, web-based learnings, or through other leaders, but also through people who report to the leader.

Remains accessible, approachable, and accountable to others – Good leaders don’t isolate themselves from people regardless of the amount of responsibility or power he or she attains. Good leaders willingly seek the input of other people into their professional and personal lives.

Is visionary: Thinks for the organization beyond today – Good leaders are always thinking beyond today. “What’s next?” is a common question asked by good leaders, knowing that someone must continually encourage change, growth and strategic thinking for an organization to remain healthy.

What would you add to my list?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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32 thoughts on “10 Characteristics of Good Leadership (Repost)

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  3. Thanks Ron for this excellent article. Maybe the best description of a what you wrote above is leaders must be self-less. A leader thinks first and foremost for the welfare of his her subordinates/ employees. He must also be knowledgeable, but humble enough to acknowledge that others are more informed and doesn't hesitate to ask for help. He always on the side of truth, even it entails that in doing what is right, the organization's profitability might suffer.

  4. “good leaders think beyond today” i adore this part… Thank for such wonderful words, i wanna be a good leader somedays

  5. Really that is great, I impress. These above 10 points are very valuable for a leader. It is impossible for everyone to be a leader. Some people between us can become a good leader. The leadership quality is an inner quality and only one can make sharp it not create it. To be a good leader is a hard tax.

  6. That's a great list of Leadership characteristics! Probably the best list I've read in a long time. Thanks for sharing it!

    It's good to have short and sharp descriptions to help people really take on board the characteristics necessary to be a great leader.

  7. above average xter, uh! that is a biggie. that i pray God ll give me as i climb on 2 leadership position in my job & work place. Great insight Ron. God bless you

  8. " Not afraid for others to succeed " is really a great guideline for some leaders to review their own obligations & real performance.

  9. hello Ron, thanks for sharing your articles i really enjoyed reading it…its something to ponder how to become better leader ..

  10. Ron, thank you. i have taken on a leadership and governance role in the rebulding of Christchurch New Zealand after their devastating killer earhquakes. i am using your "top 10" list often as we grow our recovery. thank you for enabling this to happen.

    Ross Butler

  11. I enjoy reading your articles both on leadership and on family. I am a grad student at Liberty University and will soon graduate with a MA in Human Services, specializing in Executive Leadership… much of my Human Srv. courses have been in Marriage & Family counseling and I recently finished courses on vision and strategic planning… so, your articles cover my favorite topics. Thanks.

  12. really like your "not afraid for others to succeed" –I think that's telling. They won't feel threatened or see the other as competition but genuinely be glad for them. Takes a lot of character.

  13. Great list. I would add something like "They know it's not about them". A good leader knows that they are only one part of the equation that makes their organization successful. Leadership is an important part, but it's not the only part. And that helps a leader to value and invest in others and not fear their success.

    Learning a lot from you.