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10 Characteristics of Great Business Leaders

It can be a difficult question to answer considering that leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Each leader has his or her own strengths that enable their followers to trust and respect them. Here are just a few of those strengths.

1. Communication

All leaders must know how to effectively talk to their followers, employees, partners, and audience members. This is a skill that comes in handy for nearly every single aspect of business. Whether leaders need to give orders to their workers, pitch an idea to investors, or discuss strategy with executives, knowing how to communicate is critical for success.

Remember that communication comes in several forms. Talking and listening are the two most obvious aspects of communication, but leaders should also know how to effectively communicate through writing and e-mail.

2. Confidence

Every leader must face risk, especially if they are an entrepreneur. No matter what the risk is, leaders must act confident when handling obstacles and problems. Imagine what it would be like if a leader was scared and nervous. Their attitude would spread to employees and nobody would ever be productive. Morale would drop and turnover would increase.

3. Honesty

Nobody likes a liar. Leaders always tell the truth, even when it is unpleasant to hear. Followers deserve to have a clear and unbiased picture of what is going on, even if this means that the leader must deliver bad news. Followers will appreciate harsh truths over comfortable lies.

4. Empathy

Good communication comes with good empathy skills. Leaders who can relate to what others are feeling are far more effective at bonding with their followers and understanding how their decisions affect everyone. Empathy is essential for developing deep and authentic bonds with other people.

5. Passion

A leader who is enthusiastic about their work is one that everyone wants to follow. Leaders set examples for their subordinates. Nobody would ever want to work for a boss who is dull and unmotivated. Passion is an infectious emotion and a leader who always shows passion will have an easier time motivating employees.

6. Critical Thinking

A good leader does not rely on his or her emotions to make decisions. Instead, a leader should carefully weigh all the options and think about the pros and cons of each. A great leader is a planner who prefers making thought out and well-informed decisions over hasty and impulsive ones.

7. Time Management Skills

A leader is very busy and often has a cluttered schedule. Terrible leaders often find themselves unable to meet deadlines or working twice as long to finish tasks. On the other hand, quality leaders carefully plan out what they are going to do and make time for it. They know when to be productive and when to relax.

8. Self-Awareness

Leaders know their own strengths just as well as they know their own weaknesses. They know the areas they will perform best in and know which areas are best handled by someone else. Great leaders are aware of their limits and never try and tackle a project that they are ill-equipped to handle.

9. Respect

Quality leaders know that being respectful to others is one of the best ways to earn respect. A great leader doesn’t judge or hold biases. They don’t gossip, slander, or insult other people, especially their employees. Instead, they give everyone a fair chance and treat everyone equally.

10. Can Handle Stress

Being a leader is no easy job. It comes with its own set of challenges and obstacles that most people can’t even begin to imagine. For this reason, it is important for all leaders to know how to cope with stress. Some blow off steam by going for nightly jogs. Others take a deep breath and count to ten. Regardless of what methods are used, a great leader must know how to manage stress to avoid becoming overwhelmed.


Leadership is not for everyone, but those who do want to become good leaders will need to possess all of these traits. These traits are essential to not only helping your followers, but they are also essential to make sure that you learn from your mistakes and improve as a leader. High quality leadership is essential for the success of any company or organization, so leaders must learn to hone their skills and properly look after their followers. Without these traits, any leader is doomed to fail.

Craig Cecilio is the CEO and Founder of DiversyFund, Husband, and Father to three daughters. Craig’s mission is to break down the barriers that keep most Americans from investing like the wealthiest 1%.

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