Top Traits that Employers Want: Leadership

Whether you have just completed your degree and are ready to enter the workforce, or have been working away for a while now and want to move up the ladder, you’ll find one of the main traits that employers look for consistently (and yet often cannot find easily) is leadership potential.

Candidates who can demonstrate they have the top leadership qualities, and/or have experience heading up teams, will typically put themselves in very good favor with recruiters straight away.

No matter what industry you are in, and whether you have picked up skills from education specialist degrees, business workshops, on-the-job training or other ways, you must be able to convey your abilities in an interview. Read on for some key qualities that every good leader needs to posses.

Communication Skills and the Ability to Inspire

One of the most important traits of successful CEOs, managers, and other leaders is the ability to communicate well. This is important for a wide variety of areas. For starters, you must be able to get your requirements across to your team, and clearly and succinctly communicate goals, details, and the venture’s mission and vision so that everyone is working towards the same things.

Communication skills are a necessity when it comes to training and managing staff members, as well as in creating a productive environment at work, and inspiring the team to greatness. It is important to make your workers feel like they are invested in the accomplishments of the business, whether they work in house or are on the other side of the world.

You also need to be able to use your words and body language to entice top job candidates to join your organization. Investors need to believe in the venture enough that they part with their cash. And customers need to engage with your brand and be convinced to spend their money with your business.


Another characteristic found in most top leaders is confidence. After all, if you don’t seem to be confident in your venture, why would other people engage in, be interested in, or invest in it too? Being confident not only helps you to impress interviewers, but to help everyone else you come into contact with for work believe in your skills and your leadership.

Confidence also helps you to get through the hard times. All leaders have challenging days, weeks, months, or even years, where it feels like an uphill battle to get results or to simply keep going. Having confidence not only in your own abilities but also in those of your staff and in the venture itself will help you to stay the course. Your confidence will rub off on your team (after all, they take their cues from their leader), and will help ensure morale is kept high when it is really needed.


Watch or read interviews with some of the world’s most renowned CEOs and other leaders, and you’ll find that they all typically have a very strong level of focus. Being focused on goals and on the tasks at hand help leaders to plan for the future and avoid being distracted, plus stay organized, achieve more, and become the absolute experts in their field.

By having laser-like focus, you will more easily see potential risks and opportunities well ahead of time. You will also understand the various impacts of your decisions, be able to put processes in place to keep the business or your department on track for success.


Creativity is another important trait that a good leader should possess. With markets and situations constantly changing and evolving, managers must be able to deviate from their current course if needed, and come up with alternative solutions to problems or new ways of looking at things.

Thinking outside the box will help you to stay ahead of, and outmaneuver your competition, as well as to come up with new products, services, or processes that grab the attention of customers and increase revenue and your client base.

Commitment, Patience and Persistence

If you want to be a top leader and help your firm achieve success, you also need to be committed, persistent, and have plenty of patience. When you are working your way up within a company, you will need to show your skills and knowledge and prove yourself over time. This means you must be committed to the firm you work for, persistently work hard, and be patient while you wait for promotions.

Once you are leading an organization, you still also need to have these qualities in spades. Things often turn out differently than you expected, or are much more challenging than you thought. During these times you need to hunker down and work, staying committed to the “cause” and having patience when you and your team may not be achieving goals as quickly as you would like.

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