Leadership Attributes that Shape Potential

Leadership attributes are the personal qualities in a person that constitute effective leadership abilities. These attributes exist in large quantities in some people and need development in others. These attributes comprise of characteristics such as values, character, motives, habits, traits, competencies, motives, style, behaviors, and skills.


Several key leadership attributes that must be developed in order to lead at a high level and postively shape other people’s potential are as follows:


Personal character and integrity


Leadership is important to corporate performance. However, leaders with integrity are not just preferred but are of great importance in order for businesses to succeed in today’s economy. A person who possesses integrity exhibits absolute honesty and ethical values when dealing with people. This is the kind of person that people admire and aspire to emulate. Integrity is a leadership attribute that lets a person live in truth with themselves, which in turn leads to wholehearted and sincere commitment.



When a person is able to empathize with another human being, a bond is forged that motivates and inspires. This quality of empathy allows the person to obtain an insight into what others may be feeling or thinking. It helps the person to understand how or why certain people react to certain situations in a certain way. Empathy sharpens our people acumen and informs our decisions. Empathy is extremely critical in leadership development when dealing with young, independent, highly marketable, and mobile workers. People who are naturally and consistently empathetic can easily forge positive connections with others because they listen.


Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence refers to one’s capacity to be aware of and to recognize self’s feelings and the feelings of others. This attribute is extremely valuable as it helps in self-motivation and allows the person to manage and motivate others. Based on research statistics, emotional competencies comprise 67% of the essential core competencies that are part of effective leadership in today’s world.


Organizational ability

This leadership attribute is a deal maker or breaker in most companies. Even with all other valued leadership attributes, if a person does not possess organizational capability, then the processes, practices, and activities that create value for the organization will not be converted to action. This attribute is what helps a person to build organizational infrastructure and leverage employee diversity to deploy teams and design human resource systems. This is the attribute that makes change happen.


These four traits of course are critical for a true leader, however, these are just a tiny sampling of the skills that professionals should work to foster and nurture in themselves and their people. What are some other traits you feel are critical for real leaders to exemplify?