5 Important Traits of the Most Admired Leaders

As a leadership coach, I have the privilege of working with some of the best leaders around the world, and I’m able to see firsthand the consistent attributes that make them the kind of leader that people admire.

These traits are surprising in their simplicity. Even so, they’re not easy to cultivate—but if you make the effort you’ll not only earn admiration but also inspire others to work together toward your shared goals.

Here are the five most important attributes shared by admired leaders:

They say what they mean and mean what they say. They encourage confidence and demonstrate consistency to everyone in the organization at all times. This straightforward honesty is among the strongest traits anyone can bring to leadership.

They take ownership of their mistakes and failures. The most admired leaders own their own decisions and actions—good and bad. Many people are quick to hold others  to account, but admired leaders hold themselves accountable above all. They don’t blame anyone else or downplay the consequences of their failures and mistakes. Whatever the situations, they hold themselves to high standards.

They develop solutions and solve problems collaboratively. For those who lead from ownership, the next step is seeking solutions to organizational problems. That doesn’t mean micromanagement but collaboration, a system in which everyone is included in developing a solution. And because everyone has a voice, people better understand the proposed solutions and everyone can move forward together to execute the desired outcome.

They leverage assets, relationships and resources to get the job done. The most admired leaders know that solving problems and creating solutions require that they make use of their most important assets, relationships and resources to get the job done. Because they have worked to maintain a store of goodwill at every level, they are able to bring together people and resources to accomplish extraordinary things. It takes a compelling person to rally an organization to work together toward a common goal.

They check their ego at the door. The last trait, and maybe the most important, is that of leading with humility. These leaders have built a culture of trust—one in which they know they can depend on their people, and their people know they can depend on their leader, as they work together to accomplish the needed results and support the organization’s mission. 

These traits may sound like things that are easy to develop, but they are not—they take commitment, drive, and the will to forge strong connections with the members of your team.

Working to build the attributes of admired leadership is challenging, but if you put in the effort you and your organization will benefit—no matter what kind of industry or organization you’re working in, whatever your leadership position or title. When you lead with these traits your outcomes will be consistently successful—and you will be consistently admired.

Lead from within: An admired leader is the thread that ties people together and aligns everyone to succeed as a unit.


N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now


Additional Reading you might enjoy:


Photo Credit: iStock Photo

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Bret Simmons

    30. Mar, 2019

    Lolly, this is a great list. Tried to think of something to add but all these are critical. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Hamilton Lindley

    24. May, 2019

    Humility changes everything associated with leadership. With humility, the rest of those traits fall in line. A humble person has integrity, collaborates, and owns mistakes. It can sometimes be hard to remember. But that humility is a trait that, paradoxically, creates confidence.

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply