12 Traits that Define the Perfect Leader

Leader pointing into the paper while looking at the team member


The world is full of horrible bosses and leaders who can’t lead.  We have all worked for one, and all we can do is shake our heads and wonder how they can be so clueless and ineffectual.

Typically, their team is made up of unhappy drones just waiting for an opportunity to move on. Being a manager is not an easy job, but the best leaders make it look effortless.  Rare indeed is the person who can pull this off, but the really good leaders share certain characteristics that differentiate them from the others. You can spot them instantly.  Here are the 12 traits that a perfect leader possesses:


Nothing is more draining than a negative personality. The best leaders radiate positivity.  Although everybody has a bad day or has to deal with adversity from time to time, a good leader knows how to roll with the punches and sees a glass as half full rather than half empty.


Whether it is with a team member who just isn’t getting it, or waiting to see anticipated positive results from a project, the perfect leader knows how to exercise patience. This calm demeanor that is displayed brings a sense of contentment to the workplace.


Knowing that things generally don’t go as planned and always being ready for a Plan B should the need arise is a key factor in being the perfect leader. No need to dwell on what didn’t work, just find a way to keep on moving and resolve any conflicts.


Customers can hear it and the team can sense it. A great leader knows how to treat all people with respect and consideration.


The ability to laugh at one’s self and lighten a situation helps to humanize the managerial position.


Okay, we all know good leaders who have poor organization skills, piles on their desks and can still function. Organization separates the good from the great.


If everybody knows what to expect and can count on that consistency, it brings a closeness to the team and helps solidify employee relationships.


The perfect leader is never done learning. This could refer to continued education, learning the latest technology, or even attending self improvement classes.


Staying at a task until it is completed, showing a team by example that you don’t give up when something is difficult.


Often one of the hardest things to master, the perfect leader has to be able to let things go to the competent people who make up the team. Easier said than done, but not only does it lighten the already heavy workload and responsibility, it says to the team members, “I trust you.”


Team members may butt horns from time to time, and a great leader knows how to reel the employees in as necessary and deal with things before it gets too out of hand. It is not about figuring out which team member was right and which was wrong, but effectively diffusing a situation while treating each person involved with dignity and respect.


A great leader doesn’t have to be psychic (oh, wouldn’t that be helpful), but should possess overall insight and intuitiveness. Being constantly tuned in and aware gives an upper hand and keeps the leader always in the loop.

A manager can make or break a project, an office, or even the business.  To some these 12 traits come naturally, but with continued practice and effort anybody can learn to become the perfect leader.

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