5 Characteristics That Will Make You a Good Leader

By Hayriye Simay Tunçkılıç

Being an acknowledged leader is the aspiration of many as it represents power and rising to the top. However, if you were described as a “bad” leader, you would not feel the same way about it. So, what are the qualities you need to become a good leader?


We all want to become leaders; someone to inspire us, guide us and help us improve. Indeed, leadership requires effort, determination, and many sleepless nights. In other words, leaders shape companies, ideas, and even societies. If you would like to become such a leader, there are some inevitabilities that you have to embrace. People might call you a bad leader, since it is much easier to describe one. But, how does one describe a “good” leader? Do we know the traits that make you a good one? Let us find out together!

A Good Leader is Self-Aware

Not to rank the traits in any particular order, but I would like to discuss the issue of self-awareness first. A leader who is not aware of one’s self is like a ship without a mast. Leaders should be aware of their habits and characteristics. Then, it is much more possible to improve. It will also shape your interactions with others, and you have a bigger chance to be respected. In brief, self-awareness is paramount to the traits.

The first step to becoming a great leader is to lead yourself.

A Good Leader Shows Empathy

One of the key features of good leaders is empathy. It is directly related to occupational performance and skills as well as the effectiveness of leadership. If you show empathy and try to understand your employees’ problems, you are more likely to be seen as a good leader.

Moreover, even if you think that you are not capable of showing empathy, it does not mean you cannot develop it. Showing empathy is a total life experience and you will learn step by step. After some effort, you will also realise the change in the inner you as well as that of the people around you.

Communication Skills are a Must for a Good Leader

When it comes to effective leadership, communication is a must have skill! Honestly, if we consider examples of good leaders such as Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos, they all have something in common. They have very effective communication skills which led them to be successful.

Communication skills vary given the circumstances. Talking is not enough; you should express your ideas and insights clearly, thus learning different ways of communication that are needed to affect both the people around you and the ones who are miles away. Conveying information can be a very solid start for communication, but mentoring your employees combined with narration is the next and the utmost stage for effectiveness. You wouldn’t describe a “good” leader as non-communicative, would you?


A little respect (just a little bit) says Aretha Franklin (she is an idol). Yet, a little respect would not be enough for good leadership, you need more than that. You might ask what the formula is: well there is no formula for respect. However, all you should know is that approaching people with respect on a daily basis is one of the signs that says you take leadership seriously. Why is the respect that important?

  • It will ease tensions and possible conflict.
  • Generate trust and strong bonds.
  • Develop relationships and increases productivity.
  • Amplifies positivity.

Similar to communication skills, respect has many forms. Why should we show disrespect when there is a vast presence of respect, right?

Inspire People

This trait is also one of my future goals, inspiring people is priceless and it should be! Inspiring needs passion, making efforts to influence people is one of the clear signs of passion for effective and creative leadership. Without creativity, you cannot inspire people.

Inspiration and influence are in a way intertwined. One comes after the other. Good leadership demands the capability of convincing people by using emotional and logical means. Yet, do not confuse influence with manipulation; they are very different. While manipulation ends up with distrust, influence ends up with building much stronger trust bonds. So, we should ask ourselves – why don’t we take the first step to become someone’s inspiration?


In this week’s article, we tried to discover some of the characteristics that make one a good leader. Shaping communities, companies, making large-scale decisions look magnificent from outside. Yet, there is much more than just the glory of being on the top. A good leader has Self-Awareness, Respect, Communication, Empathy, and Inspiration; these traits will not manifest overnight, you will have to work hard. Yet, at the very end of the day, being described as a good leader will be worth your efforts. So, try them, they won’t cost you anything, you will be rewarded. See you next week!

Inspired By:

What Are the Characteristics of a Good Leader? via Center for Creative Leadership

Aretha Franklin – Respect : For some cheer up! 🙂