Leadership traits

The Traits of Great Leaders

What makes a truly great leader? We all deal with range of different leaders every day in different parts of our lives but how many of them really inspire you – what are the traits of truly great leaders?

Howard M. Shore identifies five character traits of great leaders.


Having integrity means that have the strength of your convictions to put personal interests aside and ‘take the right action’.


Being humble and curious, recognise that personal success is almost always the result of the efforts of many others.

Expressing Care

Everyone deserves care, a great leader can put themselves into someone else’s place and deeply empathise with their underlying motivation and desires. Weak leaders are oblivious to others points of view and don’t care about them.


Leadership consistency sets the tone for the team, erratic or inconsistent leadership behaviour creates team stress and disharmony.


Having a positive impact on others is a superpower, empowering others and serving others is possibly the most important trait of great leaders. Poor leaders believe that staff are there to help them.

Key Takeaways

  • Leadership is not a title, leaders are the people we choose to follow because of what they represent.
  • Great Leadership can be boiled down to five core traits – if you are not strong in each of these leadership traits, you may be very successful but others are unlikely to see you as a great leader.
  • In every interaction we make choices, a persons individual character is the sum of the choices they make.
Synopsis of an article from SmartBrief
A person's character is the foundation of great leaders
by Howard M. Shore
Published: 9th October 2020

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