Top 40 Leadership Traits

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Becoming a good leader is not all that hard. It’s a matter of paying attention to a lot of little, solid, fundamental habits and traits.


Below are 40 fundamental traits of great leaders, which everyone should seek to emulate regardless of his or her position on the totem pole.


  1. Leaders have pep in their step.
  2. Leaders are disciplined.
  3. Leaders arrive early, stay late.
  4. Leaders have a sense of humor.
  5. Leaders are consistent.
  6. Leaders follow the Golden Rule.
  7. Leaders don’t put themselves above others.
  8. Leaders don’t show favoritism by hanging out with subordinates
  9. Leaders can be counted on.
  10. Leaders answer their own phone.
  11. Leaders return phone and email messages promptly.
  12. Leaders dress the part.
  13. Leaders respect others regardless of position or social status.
  14. Leaders say thank you…a lot.
  15. Leaders cut through the chase; get to the point.
  16. Leaders listen because they know others have great ideas too.
  17. Leaders understand the word “We” vs. the word “I.”
  18. Leaders pull others up not put them down.
  19. Leaders don’t work in fear of their jobs; they coach people “up” to take their jobs.
  20. Leaders do what they say they will do when they say they will do it.
  21. Leaders pick up after themselves…and others.
  22. Leaders know what they know and know what they don’t know.
  23. Leaders take the blame when something fails and they give others credit when it works.
  24. Leaders communicate then communicate some more.
  25. Leaders help establish vision and direction.
  26. Leaders remove obstacles interfering with production, not create them.
  27. Leaders attack a problem now, rather than letting it grow into a cancer.
  28. Leaders seek ways to simplify, not complicate.
  29. Leaders seek knowledge, they learn, then they coach others.
  30. Leaders make the tough decisions now, not later.
  31. Leaders don’t tolerate a fearful workplace.
  32. Leaders are enthusiastic.
  33. Leaders set the accountability standard.
  34. Leaders have controllable passion.
  35. Leader detest the statement “we’ve always done it that way.”
  36. Leaders accept mistakes as a part of forward progress.
  37. Leaders see a problem as an opportunity to “fix it.”
  38. Leaders guard the processes but recognize when they are not working.
  39. Leaders are optimistic realists.
  40. Leaders lead from the front and they push from the rear.