Mapping Your Future: Four traits of a great leader


Four traits of a great leader

By Catherine Mueller

March 01, 2022

It could start a philosophical debate.

Opinions vary when considering what or who makes a great leader. But you've probably had experience serving under great leaders or even had success as one yourself.

When we try to define what makes a good leader, perhaps the best definition can come from experience and, in my experience, one of the best leaders I worked with had these traits:

  • Vision – The purpose the organization was well-defined and communicated to employees. The leader's message of the vision inspired employees and let them know how their work served a greater good.
  • Empathy – Employees were more than just cogs in a wheel to this leader. The leader understood that employees' lives were sometimes filled with celebration, sometimes with heartbreak, and sometimes just with the mundane.
  • Attitude – The workplace culture was positive. The leader recognized there were problems, but the attitude and work culture told us we had the ability and knowledge to overcome those problems.
  • Humility – A leader is not always perfect – no one is or can be. The leader was self-aware, enough to admit mistakes and seek guidance from others.

Hopefully, you've had the opportunity to work with great leaders or are one yourself. And whether you agree with this list or would revise it, there's likely no debate that we all need good leaders.