Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader

Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader

Abstract: A team is as great as its leader. Leaders must guide and inspire effectively, efficiently, effortlessly. Here are the Top 10 Qualities of Outstanding Leaders.

Outstanding Leaders, Great Teachers and Inspiring Parents possess the following 10 Qualities. They guide, mentor and inspire their wards effectively, efficiently, effortlessly and with effervescence. There is a lot of goodwill, confidence, enjoyment, happiness, peace and productivity around these outstanding people.

Here are the Top 10 Qualities of Outstanding Leaders:

  1. Has Personal Integrity Deals Honestly and Gains Trust
    The glue that holds all relationships together including the relationship between the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity.” ~ Brian Tracy. “Faith in the ability of a leader is of slight service unless it be united with faith in his justice.” ~ George W. Goethals.Honest dealings, predictable reactions, well-controlled emotions, absence of tantrums and emotional blackmails, respect for others all these characteristics help a manager gain the trust of his people. He then becomes the leader of his team.What is the use of conquering the entire world if you have lost your soul? A person without personal integrity cannot predict his own reactions to various situations. Build success from within yourself.

2. Has A Clear Long Vision; Executes 1st Things First; Inspires Others to Action
The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision.” ~ Theodore Hesburgh “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” ~ Jack Welch. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams.

A great leader can visualize the future, to imagine himself already having accomplished his goals and going on to the next set of goals. The further a person can see into the future, the greater his leadership abilities.

The leader directs his actions and that of his team towards the visualized future. The great leader has both vision and discipline to work towards achieving his vision.

Freedom to be your best means nothing unless you’re willing to do your best.” ~ Colin Powell. “Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.~ Mahatma Gandhi. “Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. Don’t fall victim to what I call the Ready Aim Aim Aim Syndrome. You must be willing to fire.” ~ T. Boone Pickens.

The key is to ACT … and to inspire others to action.

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” ~ Stephen Covey,

Being a mere dreamer will not get results. It is only when the leader disciplines himself and his team to take action with patience and perseverance that sweet fruits can be achieved.

3. Is Positive Enthusiastic Committed; Has Focus-ability.
“The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale.

Having gained the team’s trust, the manager needs to keep them motivated, enthusiastic about the task on hand. The best way that he can do this is by example. Therefore, a manager should be positive and enthusiastic if he wants to become a great leader.

“If you try to catch two hares, you will get none.” ~ Proverb

A great leader knows to focus on the right activities. He communicates, educates, and teaches his group members to focus on the important things. Sometimes he directly tells them what to focus on; at other times he gently leads them towards the right activities.

4. Is Solution-oriented
Creative; Makes Top Management Efficient; Empowers Others
“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” ~ Henry Ford “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” ~ Colin Powell.

The great leader admits his handles any problem in this manner: He is always innovative & creative in his thinking, encourages and fosters creativity in others, teaches his team to be bold, and take calculated risks.

A great leader focuses on searching for and discussing solutions and does not harp on the reasons for the problem. This solution-oriented thinking results in a feeling of abundance and plenty from which the great leader operates.

This attitude empowers others to think positively and discuss their suggestions a participatory decision-making environment prevails where people are not blamed; nor are victims or scapegoats slaughtered.

Together the team compiles a list of possible solutions. Next, they brainstorm the pros and cons of each suggestion and narrow the list to the 3 most attractive solutions. The top 3 list, along with the pros and cons, will help Top Management to make better decisions faster.

Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens, people feel centred and that gives their work meaning.” ~ Warren Bennis “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Anonymous. “It’s not empowerment that’s magic, it’s accountability. Give people responsibility and the resource to get something done. Let them understand that they will be held accountable for it, that you are expecting those results, and that they are going to share in the success. Then watch what happens.” ~ Brian Tracy “ Start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” ~ Ralph Nader.

5. Is A Catalyst; Creates Pygmalion Effect; Fosters Self-Motivation
“I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.” ~ Stephen R. Covey. “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.” ~ Johan Goethe “Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens, people feel centred and that gives their work meaning.” ~ Warren Bennis.

Read the Pygmalion effect live case studies to see this aspect of a teacher’s influence in action. Refer The leader – team member relationship is discussed at .

The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.” ~ Walter Lippmann “The ultimate leader is one who is willing to develop people to the point that they eventually surpass him or her in knowledge and ability.” ~ Fred A. Manske, Jr.

People love to achieve more than they thought they were capable of. Going through this process of overreaching himself (while in the presence of his leader) just once in his lifetime is very often sufficient to ensure that the staff member acquires the habit of driving himself to greater heights. This leads to self-motivation, removes the dependence on the leader and feeds back into the cycle of excellent performance.

Thus “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

6. Strives for Excellence Always; Is a Transparent Influence
“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go but ought to be.” ~ Charles A. Cerami “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” ~ Dwight D Eisenhower “As for the best leader, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honour and praise. The next, the people fear, and the next, the people hate.” ~ Lao Tzu.

A great leader exhibits excellence in his activities and expects only the best of outputs from others. He will not tolerate slipshod work, negligence, and oversight. He will create an environment where lack of knowledge is bridged through training, mentoring or coaching. Once this is done, he will not tolerate incompetence and carelessness.

You may have noticed attributes 4, 5 and 6 are three phases in the maturing of the leader and his team members. At first in step 4 the manager creates a participatory environment and empowers subordinates, peers and superiors alike. In Step 5, the leader is a catalyst helping to speed up the process of progress and success. Finally, in Step 6, the leader goes completely into the background and his presence is not noticed except as a feeling of security and existence of a safety net.

7. Is a Good Communicator; A Great Negotiator; Nurtures Relationships
“Knowing when to keep your mouth shut is invariably more important than opening it at the right time.” ~ Malcolm Forbes “One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears by listening to them.” ~ Dean Rusk “The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.” ~ Warren Bennis “Skill in the art of communication is crucial to a leader’s success. He can accomplish nothing unless he can communicate effectively.” ~ Norman Allen “Outstanding leaders go out of the way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” ~ Sam Walton “Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.” ~ Thomas J. Peters “Learn to help people with more than just their jobs; help them with their lives.” ~ Jim Rohn.

8. Is Kind-hearted, Generous and Giving; Serves Others
“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolutions.” ~ Cahill Libran “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” ~ Arnold H. Glasgow.

“When you get right down to it, one of the most important tasks of a leader is to eliminate his people’s excuse for failure” ~ Robert Townsend “Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.” ~ J. Donald Walters “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith “True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leaders.” ~ Robert Townsend.

“You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too.” ~ Sam Rayburn “All veterans know that leadership, at its best, is never autocratic, abusive, or arbitrary. Rather, it relies on commitment, communication, and character.” ~ Robert A. Lutz.

“We will receive not what we idly wish for but what we justly earn. Our rewards will always be in exact proportion to our service.” ~ Earl Nightingale.

9. Balances Confidence with Caution; Adapts Management Styles for War & Peace

“Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” ~ Winston Churchill.

A great leader can balance confidence in his abilities & that of his team with the fuzzy information available to him. He can take good decisions in a timely manner, adapting his decisions according to the level of information available about the project, i.e. Project Clarity (High/Low) and Skills of the Team (High / Low).

Decision: Accept or Reject Task Based on Team Skills vs. Task Clarity
Decision: Accept or Reject Task Based on Team Skills vs. Task Clarity

With High Skills and High Clarity, the leader says, “Our plan is on target. I have every confidence that we are on the right track” and accepts the task.

With High Skills and Low Clarity, the leader says, “We have never done this before, there are areas to research as we proceed … but together we can get through it. There may be changes in project scope and/or schedules which can be re-negotiated as and when required”. The team then estimates the margins for error and accepts the task. He is transparent with the customer and with his team.

With Low Skills and High Clarity, the leader says, “I know what to do. But the team does not. We will extra time to train the team members. This can work if we get cooperation from the client and the team members,” and he may decide either to take up or drop the task.

With Low Skills and Low Clarity, the leader says, “This is a high-risk task. It is better not to accept it” and drops the task.

“A leader or a man of action in a crisis almost always acts subconsciously and then thinks of the reasons for his action.” ~ Jawaharlal Nehru “The ability to find meaning and strength in adversity distinguishes leaders from non-leaders. When terrible things happen, less able people feel singled out and powerless. Leaders find purpose and resolve.” ~ Warren Bennis.

The needs of War & adverse business situations require a management style very different from that required during times of peace & prosperity.

During adversity, the leader should feel the pulse more often, make and break decisions frequently; manage the resultant change and turmoil; take a more active part in operations; remain optimistic and resilient; combine the capability to adapt to change with the ability to size up situations and people in ways that help them make good choices and avoid pitfalls.

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” ~ Thomas Jefferson.

In a stable environment, an outstanding leader should
(a) have all the answers yet be willing to empower people
(b) be in charge yet delegate effectively
(c) set clear directions and guidelines
(d) then get out of the way to allow subordinates and peers to manage the operations
(d) develop strategic plans that remain valid over a longer time.

  1. Rejuvenates Self; Sharpens his axe; Transforms his Strengths into Talent
    “To have the sense of one’s intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything.” ~ Joan Didion “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” ~ Goethe “To know yourself is the first and most important step to pursuing your dreams and goals.” ~ Stedman Graham” Act as if you were already the person you want most to be.” ~ Brian Tracy “Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dare to believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.” ~ Bruce Barton. “Make continuous learning and growth a part of your daily routine.” ~ Brian Tracy” The leader who exercises power with honour will work from the inside out, starting with himself.” ~ Blaine Lee “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” ~ Lou Holtz “Take time to sharpen your axe.” ~ Stephen Covey


[1] Naseem Mariam,  “10 Traits of a Good Team Member

[2] Naseem Mariam, Article “10 Steps to Create Winning Teams … Out of Self-Centred Individuals

Also, view this article at Silicon India Blogs 

 About the Author: Dr. Naseem Mariam Ph.D. (Acu) heals people using Alternative therapies for over 10 years now. Earlier, she has worked for 24 years as a Senior Software Manager in Wipro and Aricent Technologies in design and testing of applications and systems, managing large projects for customers worldwide.  During 2001 – 2003, she wrote many articles on self-development, personal health, project management, and customer satisfaction. Revisiting that treasure trove and republishing those articles. She has authored an eBook called “Project Serenity – How to gain happiness and peace” and 3 books on Lifestyle and Wellness: “Serene Wellness: Daily Practise in 7 Areas”, “Belly Loss Blueprint: Come N.E.A.R. Vibrant Health” with its companion “Belly Loss Habits: Workbook to Vibrant Health”.

4 Steps To Become A Smart Prosperous Expert

4 Steps To Become A Smart Prosperous Expert

By Dr. Naseem Mariam

Abstract: You know you are a Smart Prosperous Expert at something when you complete the task quickly, with ease and joy – like enjoying an evening walk. Yet the deliverable or outcome amazes the client and your team. Let’s learn the 4 Steps To Become An Expert in Any Field.


The world loves a Smart Prosperous Expert. A newbie is paid less than an Expert. So, how do you know you are an Expert? An Expert is one who asks questions, does some analysis, and gives a simple, perfect solution to the problem at hand. He does this so effortlessly that you may be fooled. You know you are an Expert at something when you complete the task quickly, with ease and joy – like enjoying an evening walk. Yet the deliverable or outcome amazes the client and your team.

Let’s listen to the story of the Expert Plumber. One day, in a huge mansion one pipe had got clogged and water was not flowing into all the 20 rooms on the north side. An Expert Plumber was called in.  He asked for the house blueprints, studied them for some time, and walked around a few corridors listening and tapping on the pipes. Within ten minutes he located the problem pipe, replaced it, and packed up his tools. He presented the mansion owner a bill for $5000. Astonished, the butler was indignant: “But you worked on only one pipe.”

The plumber said, “$10 for fixing the pipe, and $4990 for locating the correct pipe to fix.” That is the value of a Smart Prosperous Expert in any Field.

So, how can you become an Expert?

It’s a 4-step process. Ever heard of Deming’s PDCA or PDSA: Plan- Do- Check- Act or Plan-Do-Study-Act? This was a sound strategy for the Information Age. Do-Check iterations would be many and finally, only the best solution was implemented. This was like taking a position, taking your own time aiming at the bull’s eye, experiencing a few misses, and then hitting the bull’s eye with a great solution.

Earlier, during the Information Age it was Take position, {Aim, Fire} until Success.
Note: {..} implies a repetitive loop

In the Digital Era we do not have the privilege of shooting at a stationary target. Change is the new normal. The environment keeps changing: today Reels replaces Tik Tok, Google keeps upgrading their SERP algorithms, Facebook changes its Ad rules, a social media platform Instagram gains popularity and the old myspace is forgotten.

By the time we take aim, the target would have moved away, and we would have lost yet another great opportunity. Today, we need to Fire, correct the trajectory of the flying bullet, and ensure it land bulls-eye on the moving target.

There are 3 Phases you go through in your journey towards Expertise in any field:
Newbie, Budding Expert, and Expert.

The 4 stages to become an Expert in any Field

The 4 stages remain the same whatever phase of expertise you may be in. The 4 Stages are: Learn –> {Do + Do + Review} -> Publish & Teach -> Repeat i.e. Learn once more cycle round … until you always hit the moving target.

  1. Learn

Learning Pyramid
Learning Pyramid: Auditory, Visual, Kinesthetic along with average Retention Rates

To pick up speed and avoid “common” mistakes, you need a Mentor and an Accountability Partner. Search for a person who has achieved success in the field you desire to become an expert. Surrender to his guidance if he agrees to be your Mentor. Join his community. Be a contributor. Learn what works and what does not from many peers around you in this safe environment. Find an Accountability Partner to remind, motivate, and cheer each other towards your individual goals.

Why you must have a Mentor

Roles of a Mentor
Roles of a Mentor: Advice, Motivate, Train. Goal Tracking. Support, Coaching, Direction, and Success
  • Too much information exists, it leads to information overload and encourages procrastination. You need structure and focus for quick, sustainable results.
  • Mentor has a community that is a safe haven for experimentation, review feedback, and help.
  • Your Accountability Partner prods and challenges you,
  • The Mentor watches over, sets challenges, and provides timely feedback.
  • To get the list of the best resources to use while creating your work: this saves you time, money, and effort.
  1. Do {Do + Do + Review}

You discuss your strategy and calendar with your Mentor and/or his team. Then put in massive action to complete all the tasks.

Why you must have a strategy and work calendar

Work Scheduler
Plan your work into a schedule. Then mark the Most Important Task MIT. Finish it in 1 chunk of time. Then select the next MIT
  1. There are many avenues to explore, the learning stage is addictive and encourages procrastination.
  2. Practise. Practise. And More Practise. Consistent, Daily Practise is a must.
    “It’s pure habit. I write from probably 7:30 till noon most days.” ~ Stephen King.

Create at least 2 chunks of 2 hours every day and decide which task, if completed, will move you fastest towards your goal of becoming an Expert. This should be your modified lifestyle for always: devote a minimum of 4 hours daily to develop and polish your art in 3-day cycles.

For example, if you want to become an Expert in content writing.
In these 2 time-slots you must do these 3 steps in 3-day cycles:
Step 1: Mind-map or write down the skeleton and Write on any topic

Write Daily
As a Content Writer, write Daily: Journal, Gratitude list, your thoughts on any topic, structured thoughts into articles for blog, chapters, or sections of a book.

Step 2: Write on another topic once more with an outline

Step 3: Polish your writing of days 1 and 2 by doing the following:

  • read it aloud to yourself & rewrite
  • read a lot esp. to get out of writer’s block,
  • use the Hemmingway app & rewrite
  • get it reviewed & rewrite

Another example, if you want to become an Expert in FB Ads: in these 2 time-slots you can Design FB Ads on day 1, design FB Ads on day 2, polish your design with a look into the FB Ads library of competitors

  1. Publish & Teach

You have to publish what you have done, be ready to receive compliments and criticisms. “When you face both compliments and criticisms with the same attitude of gratitude, then you are sure to become an Expert” ~ Dr. Naseem Mariam

Critiques and complaints teach you a lot more lessons and trigger your thoughts towards continuous improvements. The key here is to develop un-shakeable self-esteem and faith in your calling to be an Expert in your chosen field.

Content Calendar
Content Calendar Sample for a week. For a Content Writer with different task types

You could repeat “I am enough. I am awesome. I love my work. Work relaxes me. I love myself and am happiest when working. I am an Expert in my field”. These affirmations are commands to the unconscious 80% of your brain that usually lazes around doing nothing. Put it to work. Say your affirmations at the beginning of every hour that you are at work in the field you want to be an Expert in.

Why you must Publish

You are now familiar with using your work calendar. Enhance it now with the dates and times when you will publish your work.

Let us imagine that, as a content writer, every Tuesday at 11 am and Friday at 4 pm you post a new article on your blog, consistently. You send out your newsletter informing your email list about the new blog article posted. Human beings like consistency and persistence. So does Google.

If your audience knows when to expect new content from you, they will visit your blog/website to read it. Google & Social Media Channels loves comments, the earlier the better.

If your clients know that you won’t miss the deadline for sure, you’ll get more work. You can charge a premium and earn more.

Because discipline trumps skill most of the time. And skill + discipline is the surest combination to succeed.
~ Digital Deepak

As soon as you have completed a week of Step 2 ‘Do’ and have at least 2 articles published; you must teach others how you did it. Grow your tribe of believers in your work ethic around you. It’s easier to hold onto a work ethic that is the new normal among your new friends.

Another reason why you need a Mentor and his community. Gaurav Gurbaxani has built just such a marvelous community at Come on. Hop in. Join us on this happy, rewarding journey towards becoming an expert in your field.

  1. Repeat (same as 1. Learn)

Now that you have mastered discipline with a work calendar and improved your skills using the publishing calendar, you can go ahead and work SMART too.

Next Steps

Customer Avatar
Customer Avatar Template sample with Goals and Values, Challenges and Pain points, Sources of Information, and Role

You are ready to do the ‘usual’ Digital Marketing steps to find out Market Need:

  • Select your niche, micro-niche, identify your avatar
  • Do the competitor analysis, keywords research
  • We have a great team of experts at who can help you compress time by doing your market research for you. Request for a Market Analysis, top 100 titles for your blog, content writing, FB Ads, etc.


Thus, Discipline + Skill + Market need = SMART Prosperous Expert

About the Author: Dr. Naseem Mariam Ph.D. (Acu) loves to heal people. She helps super-busy, over-worked housewives maintain health and agility with custom-designed acupressure routines. She has cured 1000+ ladies in the past 10 years, and they now perform at their best level mentally and physically.

As a freelancer, her areas of expertise are Content writing, Testing & Project Management consultancy. For 24 yrs., she was in the IT industry as a systems Tester, in-house Faculty & Senior Project Manager. She is an author of articles and books on Health, Wellness, and Lifestyle since 2001. Visit her blogs at, and