5 Important Qualities of Leadership

Written by Dr. Eric Perry
Image Credit: Pixabay

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~John Quincy Adams

Whether we are trying to lead a country or a household, we must remember it is both a privilege and a challenge to be given an opportunity to lead. Leaders are not born but molded by the waves of life. Daily life truly is the best classroom and we must treat every obstacle as an opportunity to hone the skill of leading not only ourselves but others too.

Here are 5 qualities necessary to be a good leader:

1. Courage
“Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.” ~ Aristotle

One of the most important traits a good leader must have is courage. One must possess courage to accept the position as well as the responsibility that comes with it. Leadership is not easy. There are both positive and negative rewards. As a leader, a person will receive praise, criticism and even ridicule. It requires courage to make and stand by difficult and often unpopular decisions. A leader must have the courage to step up and initiate the course of action without wavering. The position of leadership can be rewarding but also extremely stressful. A perfect example of the toll the responsibility of leadership on a person is the before and after photographs of individuals who have assumed the presidency of the USA. The “after” photo always seems to show a stress-taxed person who has been drained of energy.

2. Listen
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” ~Winston Churchill

A wise man once said, we have 2 ears and one mouth, so we should be listening more and talking less. If we are always talking and interrupting people when they speak we are missing out on valuable opinions and feedback from the people we intend to lead. Pay close attention to what is being said. Listening is important to create an air of mutual trust with your team. Repeat back to them what you hear to make certain you are understanding them clearly. It is not uncommon to hear what we want to hear and miss what was actually being communicated. Stop editing what you hear!

3. Communicate
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” ~Plato

One only needs to listen to a toddler practicing speech to know that talking is different from communicating. To communicate effectively, speak in a calm manner and present your points in a linear manner. State one point at a time. Explain each point thoroughly. Try not to jump from point to point to avoid confusing your audience. If they do not understand what you are saying you will have a difficult time getting anyone to follow you. Keep your words simple and to the point, there is no need to use pretentious or negative language.

4. Inspire and motivate
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” ~John F. Kennedy

To be a good leader we must be able to inspire and motivate others. We can inspire and motivate others by being exemplary. It is important that a person is fully aware of how they are being perceived. This is different from how a person sees themselves. If we are expecting loyalty from others but are perceived as disloyal then we will have a difficult time inspiring loyalty from others. In the home setting if a person expects their children to be truthful and forthright then as a parental figure they must display those behaviors. One cannot expect a child to tell the truth when they are seeing the parental leader figure repeatedly lie to them. In order to  motivate a person one must be able to establish a clear goal. This uniting goal should be ambitious and attainable. By having a clear and reachable goal your team will want to follow you. If the goal is outlandish and out of reach, no one will bother listening. For example, if your message is that hard work leads to good results then set performance goals for all and reward those who reach the goals.

5. Flexibility
“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” ~Tony Robbins

A good leader will not be afraid to be challenged. One must have an open mind and be flexible to new ideas that are different from their own. Perhaps a person has a goal to increase yearly sales and the implemented approach is not working. An effective leader will be courageous enough to admit their approach is wrong and consider new ideas from others for meeting the goal. When leading, we must have the flexibility of a rubber band and be able to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the group. We must be able to break away from the norm and away from “the business as usual” routine and try something new and innovative. Apple did not come to represent more than a fruit by playing it safe!

I would love to hear your thoughts on what makes an effective leader. What does a great leader look like in your household, your workplace or anywhere else in your life?

The thoughts expressed in this blog post are my own and are not meant to create a professional relationship with the reader. This blog does not replace or substitute the help of a medical professional. Please note, I am unable to answer your specific questions as I am not fully aware of all of the circumstances.

Dr. Perry

Copy of Dr. Eric Perry

“I help ambitious and high achieving individuals manifest a life of success and fulfillment in order to achieve the life they truly desire.”

Dr. Eric Perry | drericperry.com

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105 responses to 5 Important Qualities of Leadership

  1. Dear Eric,

    Very well worded and well thought through 🙂

    If you allow me to add some more points:

    A good leader should also have a good UNDERSTANDING with those subordinates (employees, soldiers, pupils and wherever there is a hierachic system). He should be wise enough to handle the “problems” of his subordinates and should be able to settle disputes for example.

    He should not be just a boss but a living example for his team to give some good and strong food to their minds. (Set Good Examples)

    Able To Teach And Lead With Patience.

    Thanks for sharing and enjoy a nice Sunday, dear friend

    Liked by 8 people

    • MakeItUltra™ says:

      Hi Didi, glad you liked it and thank you for your insightful comment. Have a great day✨✨✨

      Liked by 5 people

    • MakeItUltra™ says:

      Hi I am so happy you enjoyed it, thank you for the comment and have a wonderful day✨

      Liked by 3 people

    • MakeItUltra™ says:

      Hi Rita, thank you for your insightful comment. I agree those are 2 very important points ✨✨

      Liked by 2 people

    • MakeItUltra™ says:

      I am so glad you liked this and thank you for your comment. We can all use some enlightenment from time to time including myself!✨✨

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Leaders are not born, but molded by the waves of life. This is the line that hits the nail on the head. People who become CEOs etc in young age do not always take the best decisions for their organizations. Very interesting article. Thanks for sharing this piece and stopping by at my blog.

    Liked by 8 people

  3. livingbythemoonlight says:

    This is a fantastic post! It is well thought out, to the point, and really encapsulates the necessary qualities well. I would just like to add morality to the list because I think it absolutely enables everything else. It also adds a splash of normativity to the term good.

    Also it’s worth mentioning here that you emphasize the means. I’m so glad you do because the “leaders” we consider unsuccessful or bad is because their means are immoral, ineffective, steeped in arrogance, carelessness, and self-serving motivations. Its clear here what makes a leader respected. Thank you for writing this!

    Liked by 8 people

  4. thelongview says:

    Great article, thank you! I would like to add one quality – a sense of humour. I don’t mean that a leader has to be a joke machine, but an ability to see the funny side of things, to laugh off minor irritations, and just have a smile on her face: these things make people want to follow her lead.

    Liked by 7 people

    • MakeItUltra™ says:

      Hi, that’s a very point! Humor is very important indeed. I actually just wrote an article in humor 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Eric, thank you. These quotes especially touched me. The John Quincy Adams ones is fantastic. Just went to a workshop on women and leadership. Appreciate this. 🙂 Blessings, Debbie

    Liked by 6 people

  6. tigre23 says:

    Thanks for sharing, it was a great list and one that resonates with great leaders I have worked with and ones not so great that proved what characteristics were lacking! I feel great leaders continually learn, evolve and continuously improve by reflecting on what has happened in previous situation whcih enable them to approach the situation differently the next time which may improve thier response/ managment of that situation.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Leonard says:

    I think the other big thing is that Leaders should have ‘Knowledge’. Knowledge in the sense of being adaptable to change in time, generation and status quo.

    As a leader myself (I am still a follower) nothing is more frustrating than being ‘outdated’. I read a bit about everything so that I can stay extremely relevant to those I’m leading. People deserve our best.

    I really enjoyed reading this Eric. Thank you.

    Liked by 7 people

  8. KJ Smith says:

    This could fit into #4 but I think a good leader should be willing to serve, or get their hands dirty. You said “if your message is that hard work leads to good results then set performance goals” and as the Leader, be willing to pitch in and help get the work accomplished.

    Liked by 7 people

  9. JESSY ROSE says:

    I loved the references to quotes at the start of each passage! They added a really nice though to the article. Courage is certainly important in leadership 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I believe another important part of being a leader is the ability to delegate responsibility and with it the authority to carry out that responsibility. It takes courage to surrender the urge to micro-manage once authority is given. Then trust the delegate to do their best.

    Liked by 5 people

    • MakeItUltra™ says:

      Great addition ✨ thank you for sharing this insight!


  11. Eric, I really enjoyed reading this. I didn’t grow up as leadership quality, but I have learned a lot through my Christianity, my marriage, my children, and my peers how to have the courage to be a good leader. I love what you said in the five steps. Current is controlled fear. Once I learned that I had more confidence. Thanks for the post! Good encouraging reminder.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. notdonner says:

    A great read. Tonight in my small group we explored humility as an empowering aspect for leaders, a couple examples who overcame challenging circumstances but thrived; great leaders make personal choices that engage the best in people. My focus is bible-driven, but leadership contains your five aspects.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. I always love when I hear or read something that I’ve been thinking/ talking about recently.

    Good leadership is not easy to come by these days (speaking for myself). These 5 qualities certainly would make up for an excellent leader, and human in general.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. laholmberg says:

    Very enjoyable read! For those who are wondering if they are leaders, let me ask you this: are you a parent? You’re a leader. Are you working with/helping/inspiring others in any way, shape, or form? You’re a leader. Now, you may not feel you’re worthy, skilled at it, or even welcoming of the title, but that’s beside the point. If your eyes have been opened, it’s time you took the call. Jump in where you’re at, work diligently at it and you’ll learn as you go. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  15. Liz says:

    So wanting to post this on the board at work. So many in leadership roles keep the status the way they’ve found it. Scared to make waves by making change.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I have worked for some people who consider themselves a leader, but I would never want to follow them.

    You can’t be a leader without followers. A title doesn’t give you that right! Thanks for sharing these important points! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Flexibility is certaintly a good attribute of a good leader. The dial phone was used at one time now its all about the cell phone. Imagine that leader(mind) not being flexible? Thanks Doc!

    Liked by 3 people

  18. I got my first management position at aged 19 and the best piece of advice that my mentor gave me was ‘never ask anyone else to do something that you wouldn’t be prepared to do yourself’ – served me in good stead for many years. Thanks for a really interesting post :O)

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Laura says:

    This is great! Thank you for such wonderful and succinct insights. The listening part is so important. I also think that a good leader must, first and foremost, understand the main responsibilities are to serve the group they are leading. Some people have a different view of leadership owing to, unfortunately, the poor model they have been shown all their life or perhaps what they see in society – that leadership is more about glory in power and lording over people.

    …anyway…another fantastic post to really think about 🙂

    Laura x

    Liked by 3 people

  20. This is great! A good leader needs to take time to know and understand his / her team. Its the only way s/he will know how to lead them. Most people ignore the strength of their team members on an individual level and hence applying a “one size fits all” leadership style may not be effective. It’s the best way to gain loyalty and trust.

    Liked by 5 people

  21. What a great points about leading! I have been studying info about leading…a person does not have to be management to be a leader! This is so good…I would like to reblog!

    Liked by 4 people

  22. That was a great read….very valid and important points made, leadership comes with challenges and stresses but, also fulfillment and excitement. Fantastic post!

    Liked by 4 people

  23. I believe what makes an effective leader is someone who can lead by example. A leader sometimes has to lead even when no one follows them. A leader has to carry a lot on their shoulders, but they also provide help and encouragement to others. It’s hard to be a leader. Sometimes choices have to be made that are really hard, but as a leader you make them. It’s okay to be flexible, but there comes a time when you have to be firm (not nasty) and stand firm in your convictions. It’s not easy to be a leader. It’s extremely hard. I’ve had to be a leader once or twice in my life and it wasn’t always easy. I didn’t ask to be leader, but I did it. In one of my jobs I was a leader, but most of the time I didn’t ask for it. Lastly a leader has to take gumption and do things without someone telling them to do it. I’ve had to do that a lot. Through these experiences I have learned what it takes to be a leader and I am happy to step and be one if I am needed. Thank you for sharing this post. I really enjoyed it. The quotes were really good.

    Liked by 5 people

  24. Biggeneralblog says:

    I love the qoute you included,I believe it shows how being a leader is a positive thing that anyone can do at any level.
    “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~John Quincy Adams

    Liked by 4 people

  25. dprastka says:

    Excellent post!! Very insightful. I’m a supervisor so all these things are great reminders to be an effective leader! 😃👍 Kindly, Diana

    Liked by 3 people

  26. krish says:

    Yes…these five qualities go a long way in establishing one as a leader…
    Other qualities which matter are the ability to make decisions..take risks and lastly the willingness to empower the men you lead..

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Laura says:

    Point 4 is especially poignant. If you want to find what you need in others, you must first cultivate it in yourself 🙏

    Liked by 3 people

  28. jouyoz says:

    Thank you so much. Can I add that an effective leader through their deliberate actions allows others to grow no matter their position in the team?

    Also, permission to reblog, please.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. paranoidjay says:

    Nice work. Indeed we should listen more and speak less. I like to think in the way that, speaking is giving away energy, and listening is taking energy. Now we should take as much energy as we can, but give it only in cases where it’s really required. 👍

    Liked by 3 people

  30. “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” ~Plato

    Or to put it in other words, “Shallow Brooks babble loudly.”

    Liked by 4 people

  31. T C Robinson says:

    Thank you for sharing such instructional inspiration. I think you said this, but my key phrase lately is make the determination to succeed. Be determined. Thanks again.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Trupti says:

    Hello Dr. Perry
    Very well articulated !!
    I would like to add one more quality i.e. positive attitude. Ups and down, adverse situations are part of life and a great leader should keep positive outlook in every condition. He should be able to convert negativity in positivity.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Thank you for this great article. Very true. These really makes a leader stand out from the rest but getting there is not all that easy. We have to work ourselves into it continuously like always in a state of a work in progress. Cheers!

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Vibe Nami says:

    I seriously love your post … you always have something to teach and inspire…. A leader should have all those qualities …. in the world that we are living today empathy should be one of the things a leader should have……☺️☺️☺️ thanks again for sharing an amazing content….

    Liked by 4 people

  35. Sang says:

    Lovely Dr. Perry

    1. Courage
    2. Listen
    3. Communicate
    4.Inspire & Motivate
    5. Be Flexible

    Great 5 points. Coupled with 5 great quotes and a brief but perfect explanation.

    Very Inspiring. Thanks a lot.


  36. iamvhardik says:

    A lot of people fear stepping up and grab opportunities fearing failure. Courage is not only about making hard decisions in the physical world. It is also an internal process. Great article that speaks on leadership and also helps in calming down nerves so that people can fulfil their potential.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Patti says:

    Great point! “An effective leader will be courageous enough to admit their approach is wrong and consider new ideas from others for meeting the goal.” It’s hard for many people to change this approach and be flexible. Thanks for the advice!

    Liked by 1 person

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