Leadership: These character traits make for a good leader

Being a leader in a company or any team setting requires a range of skills and also certain personality traits. Let’s find out which of them are associated with being a good leader.

© Jason Goodman

In the early 2000s, a meta-analysis examined dozens of studies and determined that there were personality traits associated with being a good leader. While a link had been established between extraversion and leadership, Ronald E. Riggio, the Henry R. Kravis Professor of Leadership and Organisational Psychology, found that this result was not entirely accurate. In fact, he believes that shy people can also lead a team effectively. He said in a conversation with Psychology Today:

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More introverted people with good social skills were just as likely to be effective leaders; good news for introverts.

Emotional stability

According to the professor, a good leader has to be emotionally stable above everything. So, the opposite of neurotic and anxious. This trait will help you take on responsibilities, manage teams, and deal with the unexpected.

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There is a definitive link between consciousness and leadership. People who are self-aware tend to be good employees in general as they are more careful with their work. They tend to have an eye for detail and make it a point to complete all their tasks. This can help them in management positions as they have an advanced ability to analyse certain situations and plan a course of action.


Having an open mind is positively associated with leadership because it also shows that you are flexible, creative, innovative and that you are a risk-taker. Highly open leaders usually involve others in the decision-making process and encourage the sharing of information.

This trait is particularly important for leaders of organisations that value innovation—like start-ups.

Keep in mind that these personality traits are not an exact science. It is important to note that effective leadership starts with the development of communication, relationship management, and decision-making skills. While personality traits can foster good leadership, it is still a skill that can be learned and perfected over time.

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