28 Leadership Qualities That Build Successful Teams

by Tracy Jackson

Last Updated on May 16, 2021 by Tracy Jackson

28 Leadership Qualities

A leader is someone who motivates other people to move towards a common goal.

Great leaders have a similar set of skills and traits that allow them to lead people to success.

Why Is Leadership Important To An Organization?

Leadership skills enable ordinary people to use their talents to inspire other people. Human nature is such that some people need to take charge and guide others to a common goal.

Without leadership, an organization cannot have unified goals and make progress.

Good leadership helps large groups of people stay organized. It helps them achieve things that otherwise would never have been possible.

What Are Some Of The Greatest Leadership Qualities?

Here are 28 leadership qualities that will inspire others to follow you:

28 Leadership Qualities That Help Build Successful Teams

1. Accountability

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A good leader leads by example.

Be responsible for your actions and decisions. This will help you breed a culture of responsibility within your team.

Acknowledge the successes of your team members. Never be afraid to ask for help.

When everyone on the team has equal responsibility, it fosters mutual respect.

2. Active Listening

The roots of effective leadership lie in simple things, one of which is listening. Listening to someone demonstrates respect; it shows that you value their ideas and are willing to hear them.” – John Baldoni

Active listening involves giving someone your full, undivided attention.

Making the people around you feel heard is an important quality of a good leader.

Centre for Creative Leadership lists 6 active listening skills as shown below:

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By practicing active listening, you learn to understand people from their perspectives. This allows you to lead according to each team member’s personality, needs, or challenges.

3. Awareness of Self

HubSpot defines self-awareness as “..the ability to focus on yourself and how your actions, thoughts, or emotions do or don’t align with your internal standards.

When you are self-aware, you can identify your strengths and improve yourself.

Self-awareness helps you manage your emotions and align your ideas with your actions.

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As a leader, practicing self-awareness couldn’t be more vital. When you can understand your behavior, you can understand your team members better.

4. Care And Consideration

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A good leader understands work-life balance.

A company is only as strong as its employees. Appreciate and respect your team members and value their health and wellness.

Provide your team members with an environment where everyone can flourish.

When you put your team and their families first, it will affect your company’s success. Your employees will work for you because they want to.

5. Confidence

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Leaders are sure about their competencies.

They believe that they can make a difference.

Confidence allows you to take risks and reap the rewards from them. When you are confident, you can make life-changing decisions and lead your team to success.

A confident leader earns respect. People listen to what you say and follow you because they know it will bring success.

6. Creativity And Innovation

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs

A good leader not only is creative but fosters creativity within the team.

As a leader, you need to have the will and determination to try out new things. You must also give your team members the freedom to develop their thoughts and ideas.

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Listen to others and inspire them to think out of the box.

A successful team works through creative thinking and constant innovation. Once you’ve decided to look for new ways to do things, the sky’s the limit.

7. Decisiveness

Decision-making is one of the core qualities of a good leader. Your decisions affect your business.

A good leader can calculate risks. You should take decisions keeping team members and the business’ success in mind.

Test a situation from every angle and gather information before you make a decision.

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Look towards the future and choose the right time to make decisions. Stand by your decisions. Consult key stakeholders before you take any major decision.

8. Delegation

Delegation is a practical skill.

You need to delegate tasks according to your team member’s abilities. Too much work could cause overload, yet too little could lead to a lack of motivation.

Proper delegation leads to better teamwork, improved decision-making, and growth.

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Empower your team with everything they need to be successful and get out of the way. Set clear expectations without micromanaging.

Assigning projects and tasks to others allows your team to invest in the goals of the company. It frees you up to continue strengthening your leadership skills.

9. Discipline

Great leaders always have self-discipline – without exception.” – John C. Maxwell

As a leader, you need to be able to make the most of your day.

Discipline is not gained overnight. It takes wisdom, hard work, and persistence to cultivate good habits.

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When you display discipline and time-management skills, you inspire others to do likewise.

Discipline helps build an individual’s character. Discipline in a team helps you achieve more together.

Set routines and team activities that build discipline within your team.

10. Emotional Intelligence

As a leader, you need to understand the role of emotions in people’s behavior.

Emotional Intelligence allows you to recognize and control emotions in yourself and others.

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You can understand yourself, stay in control of circumstances, and make calculated decisions. Emotional intelligence keeps you motivated. It helps you develop strong social skills and build healthy connections with others.

It will also help you resolve conflicts and figure out the best way forward in times of crisis.

11. Empathy

Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.” – Oprah Winfrey

Being an empathetic leader helps you be more perceptive. You may not always agree with other’s views, but are willing to appreciate and understand them.

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Empathy allows you to forge deep personal connections with your team members. You can make better predictions, streamline workflows, and inspire loyalty within your team.

Empathy facilitates a more human environment that allows for more productivity and engagement.

12. Empowerment

As a leader, you need to empower your team to be the best they can be and do the best they can do.

Empowerment leads to higher morale and better productivity. It helps you succeed at both an organizational and individual level.

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Allowing your employees the opportunities to make crucial decisions helps them be more responsible and think outside the box. It instills self-worth in an individual, making them more committed to the organization.

Empowerment helps you nurture the unique skills of your employees.

13. Fair Attitude

A good leader needs to think and act beyond personal biases.

Fairness is an important trait that sets apart great leaders from the rest. When you are fair to your employees, you can thrive as an organization.


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Be careful to keep your opinions and decisions fair and unbiased. Doing so will help you build a better foundation for your company and maintain steady growth.

It’s best to nip politics and favoritism in the bud so that you promote a healthy and fair work culture.

14. Gratitude

Gratitude makes you a better leader.

Gratitude, like many other qualities on this list, can be practiced.

Learn to be more appreciative of your employees. Be mindful of the little things that matter the most.

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Make it a habit to reflect upon the things that went right at the end of every day.

Be specific when expressing gratitude to a team member. Instead of offering a plain ‘Thanks’, you could say something like “Thank Amy, for completing the task ahead of the deadline. I appreciate it.”

Gratitude keeps you humble and helps you develop a growth mindset.

15. Honesty And Transparency

Honesty makes you trustworthy and reliable as a leader.

Your followers know what to expect from you and therefore trust what you have to say.

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Being honest and transparent can take you a long way as a business leader. You stand as an example for others to follow – that encourages transparency within the team as well.

Don’t be afraid to admit your faults. Foster honesty and transparency within your team by valuing these traits in your team members as well.

16. Humility

Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.”—Thomas Merton

In his book ‘Good To Great’, Jim Collins says that all great organizations have leaders who were first to own up to mistakes and the last to take credit for success. They are what he calls ‘Level 5 leaders’.

Humility is one of the most essential leadership qualities. A humble person leads to usher transformation – even if it means he doesn’t get all the credit.

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Be more concerned about the well-being of others. When you put others before yourself, you gain a growth mindset and therefore improve yourself.

Humility helps you focus on what matters the most. It helps you take selfishness out of the equation and acknowledge your mistakes. This is the best way to grow as an organization.

17. Influential/ Inspirational

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When others look up to you, you need to be thoughtful in your actions. More than your words, it is your actions that draw people to you.

Being influential doesn’t mean you can manipulate people into doing what you want them to do. It means that people look to you for inspiration, and are drawn to your character and habits.

  • Be clear in your instructions.
  • Take time to listen to others, connect with them, and make them feel heard.
  • Don’t hesitate to show your vulnerabilities.
  • Reach out to others for advice