7 Traits of Well-Respected Leaders

Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

What type of leader do you want to be known as? Declaring is a lot easier than becoming for most. So, to help, we examine the 7 character traits for which well-respected leaders are best known, traits that, through development, allow leaders to stop leading by the standards of others and become the best version of themselves. The natural result, of course, is loyal followers.

  1. Self-confident—Don’t let yourself confuse self-confidence with egotistical. True self-confidence is simply someone who is secure in his or her own abilities. Such self-confidence exudes from them and motivates others to achieve the same.

  2. Sensitive—To be sensitive does not have to be synonymous with emotional. Instead, sensitive leaders are always aware of the people around them, the potential issues they may be facing, and the repercussions of those issues. As such, they are able to manage people with empathy.

  3. Organized—A disorganized leader is actually one of the characteristics of a poor leader. After all, when you are late to meetings and can’t meet your own deadlines, you’re not only hurting the company’s business plan, you’re setting a poor standard for others. Organized leaders demonstrate the importance of commitment and responsibility by meeting their own deadlines, showing up on time, and being aware, in general, of how business is progressing.

  4. Passionate—Passion in the company comes from the top. If you want your followers to be passionate about what they are doing, it begins with an example in senior leadership. You can read about how to develop passion here.

  5. Dependable—Employees want to know they can trust the person or people they work for. They want to feel the loyalty that can exist between a hardworking employee and his or her company, and that’s a trust that is initiated by good leaders. Employees also want to know they can depend on leaders to practice what they preach. A leader who walks the walk is much more likely to earn trust and respect than one who does not.

  6. Reasonable—In his book, author Ken Chapman, PhD, defines a reasonable leader to be “a leader who brings a good measure of common sense to all issues. This means, among other things, that a rational leader will not require team members to be super-human – working long hours for an indefinite period of time, isolated from family, friends, and normal, healthy, life-enriching opportunities.”

  7. Humble—A humble leader not only knows how to handle his or her successes with grace, he or she knows how to give credit where it’s due.

The bottom-line? Leadership is a never-ending process of personal growth and development.