There are a number of different qualities that a leader must possess, but broadly, they can be classified into these 10 categories. Possessing these traits will make an individual a good leader, and these leadership qualities should be present in a leader naturally.
This is possibly the most important characteristic out of all the qualities of a leader. The primary goal of a leader is to motivate his followers to achieve their results, and fulfill their goals. This can only be done through proper means of motivation. Everything else that follows is simply a way of motivating individuals or teams. Read more on leadership development.
Leader always leads teams, or groups of individuals. So, he has to have the ability to inculcate good team spirit within the members of a team. He has to ensure that there are no problems between the various team members, and that everyone is working for the betterment of the team, and in tandem with each other. No one person can be bigger than the team and it is the leader's duty to make sure that everything is working smoothly. The qualities of a team leader should enable him to keep every member of the team happy.
The nature of the job of a leader requires him to interact and speak with many people. As a result, he should possess effective communication skills and should have the ability to get the message across. Being ambiguous is not advisable, and he should be able to clearly state what he needs to say. The best qualities of a leader are those which enable him to be stern and friendly at the same time. Read more on effective leadership qualities and skills.
The primary task of a leader is to assign tasks to people. It will therefore be a big help if he knows his team members well. Good knowledge of his team's strengths and weaknesses will assist him in deciding who must do what. The manner in which this delegation of responsibility is carried out, will go a long way in determining the success of the team. If a person is doing a job that he is not suited to do, the leader must shift him somewhere where he will be better suited.
A leader must know that he is responsible for the team's achievements. If the team fails in a certain endeavor, he must have the courage of taking responsibility for that, and should then take steps to remedy it. He must not blame his team members unnecessarily if they have failed. This is the only way that the members of a team can come to trust a leader.
There are some more qualities of a leader that are more personal in nature and take the leaders characteristics into consideration. It goes without saying that a team leader must be honest and truthful. It will be impossible to achieve the best results under a dishonest or unscrupulous leader. Read more about leadership traits.
The qualities of a good leader that make him/her likable to team members all revolve around how approachable the leader is. If any team member is experiencing some problems, or has any complaints, that person should feel free to approach the leader and talk about it. This can be achieved only if the leader encourages this quality, and only if people who have approached the leader before have received an amicable solution.
This is one of the qualities of a leader that is often overlooked by many. A leader who constantly changes his or her tune will confuse the team members and this will lower their productivity. A leader must therefore be consistent in his actions, his words, and in his thoughts as well. Leaders who are biased never make good leaders, so he should be completely neutral and should display consistency that amazes everyone. See more on leadership skills.
No one likes a slack leader. It goes without saying that the best performer, or the person who is most passionate and committed should be made the leader. This ensures that a level of professionalism is maintained, and that no one starts taking it easy at any point in time. It's easy to get carried away with a position of power, so the best leaders are those who use their power for the betterment of everyone, not abuse their power for their own personal betterment.
Lastly, a leader must also know how to have fun. He should get to know his team members and should not appear as an overly strict and rigid personality. The team members should see that the leader is after all just human, and there is a fun side to him as well. The best leaders are those who combine these qualities of professionalism and personalization and still manage to keep their team members motivated and happy.