The Best Qualities in a Leader

What does it mean to be a great leader? When you hear the word, you may jump to thinking about the greatest leaders in history - the revolutionaries like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa. But, when considering the qualities of a great leader, neither the size of their audience nor their global recognition should matter. It’s their character, their attitude, and their actions that make them the influential beings we turn to for guidance (don’t worry - we’re not comparing Gandhi to your junior high school soccer coach).

What we’re saying is: you don’t have to be globally influential to be a great leader. In fact, you don’t even have to be a founder of a great company or successful sports coach to be a good leader. Effective leadership is happening around you nonstop because the world is full of badass, committed, down to earth people who are willing to sacrifice ego and pettiness for the things they believe in.

So what leadership characteristics do you respond to? Passion? Intelligence? Empathy? Encouragement? Think back to the people who’ve affected your life in the most profound ways. Whether it was a speech you watched in history class or an experience with someone close to you that propelled you onward to greatness, we’re willing to bet the most effective leaders possess the traits we’ve compiled in this list of leadership traits.

Not all leaders have the same leadership traits, and not all people respond to the same leadership styles, but as the votes come in, we’ll learn which leadership qualities on this list are deemed most important to you. So don’t pass up the opportunity to be heard! Read it, think about it, vote on it, then add to it.

Ranked by
  • Honesty
    206 votes


  • Respectful
    192 votes


  • Integrity
    186 votes


  • Good Listener
    159 votes

    Good Listener

  • Effective Communication
    176 votes

    Effective Communication

  • Hard Working
    169 votes

    Hard Working