Got Leadership Qualities?

format_quoteThe best leaders treat their people the best! —Kent Julian



According to, the top ten leadership qualities of a great leader include:

  • Honesty
  • Ability to delegate
  • Communication
  • Sense of humor
  • Confidence
  • Commitment
  • Positive attitude
  • Creativity
  • Ability to inspire

Solid list. All great leadership qualities. But is the list missing something?

What's Missing?

Notice how most of these leadership qualities are focus on the leader? The center of attention is on the inward understanding of these qualities rather than on the outward expressions or results of these qualities.

Don't get me wrong. The ten items above are fantastic leadership characteristics. Every leader should strive to develop these qualities if they want to be an effective leader.

The best leaders treat their people the best.
But shouldn't a Top Ten List say more about how a leader impacts the people he or she leads? Shouldn't it say more about how a leader treats his or her people? Haven't you found the best leaders treat their people the best? Even more, haven't you found the best leaders make the people they lead one of their highest leadership priorities?

Granted, I'm probably being nit-picky with the Forbes list. For instance, being honest with the people you lead is a great way to demonstrate respect and dignity for people. And the ability to inspire your team is definitely one of those effective leadership skills that enables you to bring out the best in the people you lead.

But still…

There's that nagging frustration that most of the leadership qualities listed above are leader-focused instead of team-focused. They are definitely traits of a good leader, but do they sufficiently represent what makes a leader great?

What Would Make Your Top Ten Leadership Qualities List?

If you wrote out a Top Ten List of leadership qualities, what would be on it? Give us two or three examples.