There are many leaders across the globe, but there are far fewer truly great leaders. When it comes down to it, practically anybody can achieve a leadership position, but this doesn’t guarantee they’ll actually be great at the job. You’ll notice that many of the greatest leaders throughout time share a handful of traits that play a large role in their leadership success. Here are a few commonly seen traits in great leaders.


Leaders in higher-level positions, such as managers and executives, work at a higher level than other team members, meaning sometimes they forget what it’s like to be an average employee. A great leader will try to be empathetic towards their team, openly discussing their woes and doing what they can to alleviate some of the pressure from the team. Empathetic leaders will often have check in’s where they get an idea of how their team members are doing, and how they can help.


Leaders who understand that schedules, goals, and plans can change at any time are more likely to be able to pivot as needed. Developing a strong sense of adaptability is very important for leaders, as it allows them to manage their time and keep their goals and plans intact. One of the most effective ways to improve this trait is by practicing being able to accept and overcome unexpected obstacles.


Every leader should instill a sense of confidence in their followers, as it allows them to reach their goals and improve their performance. Leaders can show that they’re confident by staying calm when obstacles impact the team’s progress and looking at the bright side when things go wrong. Being confident as a leader can also help you build trust quickly between you and your team. 


Leaders who are great at their job are expected to take full responsibility for the performance of their team, regardless of the outcome. They should praise their team for their efforts, and they should also take responsibility for any actions that go against their goals. Being able to identify and address areas of improvement is also important for leaders, as we are all prone to making mistakes. Being accountable is also another great way to build trust between you and your team.


As a leader, you’re bound to get distracted by the little things. This means being taken away from important tasks you have to do. Unfortunately, there’s no avoiding this, but a great leader will be able to find the focus to get it all done. One great way to get better at this is to schedule alternating blocks of time where you work without interruptions as well as blocks where you have less intensive work and are able to focus on any issues that need to be addressed.