Below is my list – just the opinion of one man. (I for example, left out intelligence, because it is a pre-requisite for many of the attributes I did mention.) No one leader has all of these 20 qualities. But he or she would certainly need more than half. However, every leader needs to have the first two – to be values driven and to take responsibility. A person can learn how to be a leader.


1) Values-driven: A sense of mission and calling.

2) The willingness to take responsibility.

3) Vision: passion for your project.

4) Strong emotional intelligence: an ability to get buy-in from others to that vision.

5) Strong Emotional Intelligence – ability to project into and feel empathy with the feelings of others, to anticipate the reactions of others, self-awareness, self-regulation and social skill.

6) Ability to create organizational culture.

7) Action plans, and evaluation criteria.

8) Ability to manage change and conflict, to move best practices through an organization.

9) Belief in other people: Ability to empower them (and not just delegate), get a buy-in on increased responsibility and increased accountability.

10) Ability to develop a team: A sense of community, information flow, rejoicing in successes, and personal relationships and warmth.

11) Succession Management: Nurture organizational depth.

12) Staying power, determination and resilience.

13) Courage/willingness to take risks.

14) Good political, financial and other judgment; good at predicting outcomes of situations.

15) Handles stress well; Knows how to manage short and long-term burn-out.

16) Ability to change, to seek out mentoring and continue to grow, and to achieve personal growth in a professional setting.

17) Ability to problem-solve.

18) Creativity.

19) Humility balanced with positive self-image.

20) Mastery of management skills: Organizational structure, fiscal responsibility, prioritization, boards, and modern technology.

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