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What are the essential qualities of a good leader?


There are too many books on leadership and management in the market. Over the years I have read quite a number of them, and as a result, have ended up more confused than before about the topic.

This is because if I were to combine all the points together, I can build a ‘mountain of things’ from the qualities a leader needs to possess!

This makes me wonder whether a good leader needs to have a super-human number of skills. So, my question to you as a coach is: could you sum up the qualities that a good leader should possess?


There are a number of qualities that I expect all good leaders to have. They should, ideally, have a clear vision and are focused on doing the right things to get there, with their followers in full support behind them.

In view of this, there are five key conditions that a leader needs to fulfill.

More than just having a vision, the first condition is ensuring that everyone is 100% clear of what is absolutely important to the organisation so that they can concentrate on what matters most.

The second one is to be adventurous and entrepreneurial. A good leader goes out looking for opportunities to make things happen, so that they always create new strategies that excite their people, while surprising their competitors at the same time.

Another quality to possess is the courage to be different. This should be made as a requirement for others under the leadership too, so that they challenge themselves to make innovative changes as well.

The fourth is a strong self-belief to push on despite criticism and opposition from others.

Finally, leaders should also be influencing and persuasive to garner cooperation from the majority of people, in order to gain support for their vision, direction and delivery of goals.

Powerful Questions You Can Ask Yourself

• How clear are your people in knowing what to do, and what not to do?

• How curious are your people in looking for new ‘excitement’ in their roles?

• To what extent is innovation a way of life in the organisation?

• Do the majority follow the direction that the leader is taking them?

Article by Dr Michael Heah, an ICF Master Certified Coach with