6 Traits of a Great Leader in the Workplace

Robust Theme

Hybrid Facilitation? Remote Facilitation? We've got you covered!

6 Traits of a Great Leader in the Workplace

6 Traits of a Great Leader in the Workplace

by Chris Daily

Good leaders lead their team up the mountain.  Great leader traits can be improved.

When we think of leadership, we sometimes think of epic moments like George Washington crossing the Delaware, or Martin Luther King Jr. speaking on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. But what makes a leader great in a less epic venue, like work? Are you occupying a leadership position? Where do great leaders come from? Fortunately, developing leadership skills, like emotional intelligence, are essential to being a great leader. Check out these 6 Great Leadership traits.


The most effective leaders communicate effectively, which is one of the most important qualities.


An effective leader at work is a good communicator and clearly spells out expectations. Not only that, an effective leader fosters good communication between their team. A great leader goes above and beyond leveraging chats, emails, and texting groups to bring their team together around workplace issues. Providing the big picture is one way of building trust by providing a clear vision, and allowing the team to develop their own goals.

They don’t just offer tools for networking—they help develop a sense of how to communicate effectively. Utilizing important leadership qualities like Active Listening help the best leaders inspire their teams and demonstrate mutual respect. Communication is one of the critical leadership qualities.


Stong leadership in the workplace demonstrates the best leaders care about their employees and show it. Empathy is one of the essential leadership qualities. Remembering the details of their lives and asking follow-up questions (in a non-invasive way) about spouses, children, parents, and life events show that they care about their employees and view them as more than just human chattel. Walking in their shoes is one of the great leadership qualities that connect leaders with their teams.


A good leader is someone who people are not afraid to approach with a question or concern. Sometimes the office door needs to be closed. But when it doesn’t, leave it open, and maybe even have a bowl of candy or some coffee for visiting employees. They shouldn’t dread your office like they did the principal’s office; they should know it’s a safe haven they can turn to for help. Great leaders create a safe environment where a direct report can feel heard and can share new ideas without fear of repercussions.


A good leader does what is right, not what is easy!  Gnererosity is one of the important qualities for a good leader.


Everybody loves a boss who does nice things for the team, whether it’s renting a food cart for lunch or taking everyone to a movie. Bosses and managers who use rewards to motivate their team rather than threats and punishments will find they have a much more effective workforce under their employ. Most leaders will spend time developing their direct reports, instilling the most important leadership qualities that can help transform direct reports from a good leader into a great leader.



Passion is one of the positive traits that true leaders posesses.


As the captain of the team, successful leaders find that leading by example is the best way to go. If successful leaders are plugged into the mission of the company or care about what their business does, that enthusiasm will be contagious and spread to their workers. As a great leader, read up regularly on your field, network at events, and attend conferences to be a cutting-edge leader in their line of work.


Strong leadership, in the form of granite pillars, is a key leadership quality.


Nobody wants a tyrant for a boss, but they also don’t want a pushover. A good leader needs to demonstrate leadership skills by being firm and resolute and also knowing when to put their proverbial foot down in a respectful way, whether it’s breaking up a water-cooler party or discussing mismanaged time with an employee.

As a good leader, clarify your principles and rules and stick to your guns—although per our earlier points, know when to bend the rules for extenuating circumstances. Strong leadership, when combined with the appropriate level of self-confidence and humility are powerful leadership qualities

The good news is that leaders can be great leaders by developing effective leadership qualities. As you develop your leadership style, additional skills like self-confidence, active listening, a positive attitude, being self-aware, and effective communication are desirable leadership characteristics that can be refined and improved. Being self-aware, effective leaders take the initiative to develop these good leadership qualities and leadership skills as part of their professional development by taking the initiative.

Often, the difference between good leaders and great leaders is the leadership qualities that are acquired, not because they are dictated, but in preparation for a leadership role. If you're looking to be a better leader, check out AgileMeridian.com for ideas on how you can become a better leader.