Top Leadership Traits for the Workplace

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Effective leadership traits can help employees to engage their coworkers to accomplish common goals. Learning more about these traits can help you become a better leader, which many employers find to be valuable to their company’s success. This article explores the different types of leadership traits and why they are important in the workplace.

What are leadership traits?

Leadership traits are characteristics that help an individual encourage a team to achieve goals. While leaders may vary in style and technique, many share particular characteristics that can shift based on what is best for the situation. Effective leaders focus on their objective, provide motivation and recognize that working toward goals is a team effort.

Top leadership traits

Here are some of the best leadership traits that are beneficial in the workplace:


Integrity means doing what’s right regardless of the situation. It is about being honest with others and with yourself. Leaders must have the integrity to understand their own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of others. They also must have the integrity to make the right decisions and set an example for what they expect from their teams.


Vision is having a clear definition of the future and the goals the team should achieve. Leaders must have a clear vision of the results they expect from their teams, and they should be able to effectively communicate this vision. Vision inspires action and establishes the reason for a teams’ effort.


Self-motivation is the ability to stay productive while accomplishing goals without the need for external pressure, such as deadlines or quotas. Having self-motivation can help leaders meet an objective and inspire others to do the same. 


Confidence is the ability to trust in yourself, your vision and your decisions. Effective leaders must have the confidence to inspire others in pursuit of a common goal. They must also have the confidence to know they made the best decision given the available information and to uphold that decision. 


Decisiveness is the ability to make decisions without feeling unsure. This trait involves a lot of confidence in your ability and that of your team. You should be decisive when you make a decision, even if there are similar options available. 


Accountability means taking responsibility for your actions, decisions and the consequences. Leaders must be accountable for their actions, including the actions of their teams, as well as the consequences, good and bad, of the decisions they make. This can encourage team members to be more confident in their own actions. 


Focus is the ability to hold your attention on a specific target or goal without being distracted by other options. Effective leaders much have an excellent focus in pursuit of their vision. This focus helps guide decisions, drive progress and inspire teams.


Empathy is the ability to relate to others’ experiences and emotions by considering ideas from their perspective. Leaders must be empathetic toward their teams and understand the work involved with accomplishing a goal. 


Persuasiveness is the ability to inspire action in others. Leaders must be persuasive to inspire others in their vision and the pursuit of a common goal. This could involve making compelling arguments for others to join your cause or make contributions. 

Team building

Team building is the ability to encourage cooperation and teamwork from others. Leaders must be able to encourage teams to work together toward a common goal. This also means they should recognize their team’s strengths and weaknesses and help individual members develop skills to excel. 

Types of leadership

Here are some of the different types of leadership:

Managerial leadership

Managerial leaders are those who are in a position to manage others and view leadership as their responsibility to direct the actions of others. Although managerial leaders may earn respect on their own merit, most teams respect these leaders as a result of their appointed position rather than their leadership abilities. Managerial leaders may have the competency and skills to understand the work, but may need more time to develop effective leadership skills and traits. 

Relational leadership

Relational leaders are those who build relationships with others to inspire action. They earn respect from their teams through relationships, but may not have a full understanding of the work their team performs. Relational leaders can be effective at persuading teams and encouraging teamwork. 

Motivational leadership

Motivational leaders focus on producing benefits in all aspects of the business including for their team and the organization itself. They are capable of building relationships with their teams and have the skill set required to support departmental goals with decisive action.

Inspirational leadership

Inspirational leaders focus on personal development to inspire others to grow as individuals. They encourage character development and inspire managerial and relational leaders to grow into motivational leaders.

Transformational leadership

Transformational leaders have strong character themselves, inspire character growth and help others to develop as leaders. They have a reputation for transforming others into the next generation of leaders. 

Why is it important to list leadership traits on a resume?

Listing leadership traits on your resume can make you stand out from other candidates. Even if you’re not applying for a leadership position, showing that you have the right traits can indicate that you have the potential to grow within the company.