Top 7 Qualities of a Successful (and Respected) Leader

Some people seem to be born leaders. They simply know how to be the change agent needed to move others out of stagnation and into a place of action. These individuals have the drive within them that motivates others to want to follow. They are charismatic and influential people that enjoy the trust of others.

When closely evaluated, these individuals display certain qualities that can help turn almost anyone into a successful and respected leader, and fortunately, many of these qualities can be learned.

Respected leader discussing business matters

The top seven qualities of successful leaders are described below.

1. Successful Leaders Are Confident

In order to be effective, leaders must demonstrate confidence in their abilities and their ideas. This gives others a reason to believe and trust in them, too. A lack of certainty or self-doubt will cause followers to lose faith in the leadership abilities of the person in charge.

2. Successful Leaders Are Trustworthy

Respected leaders are often described as being trustworthy. This means the leader is reliable and credible. In addition, the individual is personable and intimate in an appropriate way.

Truly successful leaders lead by example. This establishes credibility. These individuals are people who can be counted on to do what they say they will do – they are dependable.

When information is shared with successful leaders, the information is safe. Relationships are kept emotionally appropriate.

3. Successful Leaders Have a Vision

Successful leaders see the big picture. Hence, having a vision is an essential quality for any effective leader.

A vision gives a sense of direction – it gives a purpose and simplifies the process of goal setting. Leaders communicate their vision, which describes the future. People appreciate leaders who can clearly communicate compelling visions.

4. Successful Leaders Are Fair-Minded

Successful leaders know that being fair-minded involves a multitude of things. It does not always mean treating everyone the same; in some instances, that is simply not possible. But it does mean the leader will act free from prejudice, favoritism, or self-interest.

Being compassionate and showing empathy is an extension of fair-mindedness and leadership. It’s a way of nurturing the people who are being led.

Leader in a meeting

5. Successful Leaders Are Honest

As they say, actions speak louder than words. When it comes to leadership qualities, being honest refers not only to being honest with what is said, but also, being straightforward and open with your actions. People want leaders they can trust and rely on to behave in a way they expect.

6. Successful Leaders Are Flexible

Leaders deal with change on a regular basis – it’s part of what leading is all about. With that, successful leaders have to be flexible and open-minded. They have to be able to quickly assess a situation and make decisions.

Many times this will involve changing directions and moving forward in a new way. Depending on the need and the situation, a true leader can just easily go with the flow or ‘travel upstream.’

7. Successful Leaders Are Proactive

In order to avoid problems and unpleasant situations, successful leaders are proactive. They take the steps necessary to prepare and plan ahead for circumstances and conditions that could be troublesome. In this way, the trouble can be completely avoided or at least minimized and handled in an efficient way.

With effort and dedication, it is possible to develop these and other qualities that can help make you a successful leader. If you have tips or ideas about these or other qualities that define leadership, please share them here.