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Six dominant traits of an outstanding leader

23 Aug 2016

Six dominant traits of an outstanding leader

Outstanding leaders are positively contagious, inspire and motivate others. They share their vision, purpose, and plan with others to create an impact.

Every leader has his own unique skills and specialisations.

And, here’s what is required to make the leap from a leader to an outstanding leader.


A leader’s vision will define how an organisation will look like in the future and how it will grow. Visionary leaders clearly set out a strategic plan of action and communicates the same to their team members. They work methodically and encourage the team members to participate and contribute to the team-goals. They are open to suggestions and thrive on innovation & change.

"Without strong visionary leadership, no strategy will be executed effectively - Robert S Kaplan"

Lead by example

Leaders are viewed as role models, they influence the behaviour, attitudes, and thoughts of others. They are self-driven and live by what they preach. Leaders who say one thing and do another eventually lose the trust of their team members. By walking the talk, leaders encourage others to adopt the same standard as well.

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way - John C. Maxwell"


Integrity is one of the most important attributes of a leader. Every individual is born with a conscience and has the ability to know what is right and wrong. Choosing the right path even when nobody's watching, regardless of the situation is the hallmark of integrity. Leaders with a strong foundation of integrity are honest, treat people fairly, and share information necessary for getting the work done. They demonstrate integrity by reflecting openness in all their dealings.

"In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you - Warren Buffet"


Self-confidence is a core trait that a leader should have. It is the ability to be certain about one’s ability, competencies and skills. Confident leaders are able to make tough decisions, they lead their team with authority, and take responsibility without waiting for rewards. By exhibiting confidence, leaders gain trust and build a positive relationship with others.

"Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong - Peter T. Mcintyre"

Develop others

Leaders motivate and develop the people they lead. They provide constructive feedback and encourage open dialogue to enhance performance. They invest time and resources to support continuous learning and professional development of others. They create a sense of common purpose and direction for the organisational growth and success. Outstanding leaders encourage a collaborative culture which is more “we" driven and not "me" driven.

"Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish – Sam Walton"

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you, to get the best output from the stakeholders. Leaders with high emotional stability, are able to make tough decisions, and can handle stress. They are empathetic to the team members, and provide them with the support and resources needed to grow and succeed. They have good social skills, are good communicators, and naturally find themselves resolving conflicts diplomatically.

In light of the above traits and characteristics, it is important to assess the leaders and their skills. Leadership skills can also be nurtured and developed over a period of time. Using a range of professional indicators when recruiting or internally reorganising allows you to reach to an informed decision about an individual. Our online psychometric tests bring this objective insight to your organisation.


Author: Hema Nankani
Communication Specialist at Central Test