17 Traits of a Leader

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

​Once I was lucky enough to talk to the vice president of one of the multinational companies. My question was: “What do you consider to be the most important goal for HR?” he replied it was important that we help managers to be more effective leaders.

Of course, this is not the only goal of HR, but it was this answer that made me think and reconsider my mission. Looking back, I would say that this goal should be the leader’s goal – to be even more effective.

All my life I work with people, most of them are managers, loads of them are real leaders. They have their own “style” and methods. Sometimes these methods worked, sometimes they did not. The theme of leadership is eternal and interests many to this day: both beginners and top leaders, as well as those who work individually and demonstrate informal leadership.

Therefore, I wrote down 16 points based on my experience. ​So, based on my observation, the leader demonstrates the following:

1. A leader does not necessarily have a team. And still, they can be a Leader

2. A leader always takes responsibility for their decisions and actions.

3. A leader can listen

4. A leader is a human (and not afraid to admit it)

5. A leader understands that you are a human too with your personality

6. A leader is constantly learning. And they never say, “I am a super-leader” (although perhaps they think so)

7. A leader considers the success of his team to be their success. And takes a hit upon themselves when the team made a mistake.

8. A leader develops other leaders and helps them succeed. You may ask, “How about the competition?” Answer: A leader will always come up with or create something new and useful because they always learn.

9. A leader always has a point of view. But they do not believe that their opinion is the only one.

10. A leader does not expect you to answer the letter late in the evening or during your vacation, because they understand the importance of the rest.

11. A leader is not afraid to hire employees better or more capable than themselves, see paragraph 8.

12. A leader is sometimes mistaken. But they accept it and turn their mistake into a training case for others.

13. A leader is not afraid to ask for help, because they cannot know everything.


14. A leader does not blame. They are trying to understand the cause of the error and want to help you to avoid this error in future.


15. When a Leader is quiet (no, they are not sleeping with their eyes open), they are observing or listening. But very often they allow you to step up and demonstrate your skills during a meeting.


16. A leader gives feedback for more than 2 times a year. And they do not wait to be asked about it, especially when it is positive feedback.


17. A Leader brings culture of diversity and inclusion and steps-up against any kind of racism.


Does it look anything like you? Congratulations, you demonstrate leadership behavior and your colleagues are lucky to work with you. Perhaps you inspired me to this post. Did I miss something? Add to the list, please.

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