Over the last 15 years, we have started every single one of our High Impact Leaders classes and Creating a Team Culture sessions with an informal survey. We start with the simple question, “What are the Traits of a Good Leader?” The first time that I conducted this survey, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Granted, as a leadership development consultant for quite a few years, I had a rough idea. However, the results that I got from that first survey were eye opening. So, in future sessions, I asked the same question. I expected the results to change over time. However, the results from our current surveys are almost identical to the very first surveys almost two decades ago. Here is what we found.

Traits of a Good Leader by Category

Since we allowed each of the thousands of participants to write in their own leadership traits, we found that it was much easier to group the items by category. We found that the three main categories were Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes.

  • Knowledge: Knowledge is all of the technical information. High school, college, on-the job training. The items that came up in this category included Graduate Degrees, Knowledge, Intelligence, Wisdom, etc.
  • Skills: Skills are the abilities to apply the knowledge in the “real world”. Items that came up in this category included Time Management, People Skills, Communication Skills, Delegation, and the like.
  • Attitudes: Attitudes were not only the attitudes that we had about ourselves and other people, but more importantly how we control our attitudes especially when under stress. Items that appeared in this category included Integrity, Compassion, Charisma, Organization, and many, many more.