Eight Qualities of Great Leaders

All leaders have a number of shared skills, traits and qualities that contribute to their success and make them effective in their role. Here are eight qualities of successful leaders and influencers.


If you are shy, lack confidence and lead a team, how are you going to inspire and motivate the people around you to be successful? Good leaders display a lot of confidence in their ideas and it translates onto the people they are leading.


When a leader shows passion for a particular thing and expresses that passion, it positively affects the people they are leading. Whether this is through also making them passionate about it, motivating them or even happy to help with the thing they are passionate about. Nelson Mandela was passionate about making South Africa more peaceful, and that passion helped in making it a more peaceful place.


The whole, ‘Never give up!’ attitude ties in with determination. If a leader is determined to make a project or movement a success, they will almost certainly make it a success. Simply through never giving up, which translates to the people that they are leading. A great quality to have.

Positive Attitude

Being negative can demotivate people around you. If a leader of a team is negative, everyone else is going to be negative as a result, then nothing gets done! That’s why a positive attitude at all times is so important. Bill Gates when in the public eye and asked about Apple, remains positive about the Microsoft brand, despite Apple’s success. That has a huge effect on Microsoft employees.


Leaders will be constantly faced with challenges, so it’s about making a firm decision on how to move forward and overcoming the challenge. If a leader just kept people waiting because he hadn’t decided what to do yet, impatience and annoyance will set in. Also, being indecisive can demotivate people, and slow down everything you are doing. That’s why good leaders make a decision quickly and wisely!


If a leader is dishonest, and the people they are leading find out about this, it just spells trouble. That’s why good leaders are honest if they make a mistake – in turn the people they are leading are a lot more appreciative. For example, if a football manager is honest and admits that his tactics were poor and that’s why they lost the game, it keeps the players motivated and they appreciate their manager’s honesty.


A good leader is aware of what’s going on around them. A business leader will be aware of who they are employing and aware if there is an issue within their business. This awareness can allow a leader to make decisions based on the current situations in their business/team. A key quality to have.


If a leader can inspire the people they lead, bingo! When a leader inspires people, the results that you get in return are fantastic. I’m sure people at Apple were inspired by Steve Jobs and his ability to innovate…and look where they are now! A unique quality that the best leaders have.

There you have it, eight qualities that great leaders have! Any other qualities that you think all great leaders should have? Let us know.

The Apprentice Academy have a dedicated team focused on helping organisations to understand and make the best use of the apprenticeship funding available to them, and deliver Leadership and Management apprenticeships for aspiring leaders. For information on programmes due to start over the next couple of months please visit our timetables page.