Leadership dispositions – common traits of successful leaders


Leadership dispositions – common traits of successful leaders

Leadership dispositions – common traits of successful leaders


A successful leader is easy to spot. They tend to give off a certain energy, one that often makes us like them instantly. They can captivate an audience and greatly impact the lives of those they lead. Successful leaders tend to behave in a certain way under certain conditions and usually have a number of similarities regarding the way they interact with others and approach both their day-to-day work and long-term goals. These dispositions are the makeup of an effective leader.


Ultimately, the success of a leader comes down to a person’s character. Successful leaders are open, friendly, flexible, honest, social and humble. They make conscious choices that leave a deep and meaningful impact on others. If we choose instead to make poor choices, we will not develop the type of character that compels people to follow. Evidently, good character and strong leadership dispositions separate the successful from the unsuccessful.


Leadership Dispositions - Common traits of successful leaders

As mentioned, successful leaders share a number of common traits. These leadership traits can be learned with time and practice and development of these traits will aid in building success. Successful leaders are:


Self-managing and self-aware

Leaders need to be able to manage themselves before effectively managing others. Successful leaders are self-managing, meaning that they can prioritise their own goals, are responsible for accomplishing them and are able to effectively regulate their time, attention and emotions.


Additionally, successful leaders are self-aware. They are completely at ease with themselves and take the time to acknowledge their smaller wins, rather than focusing on bigger failures. It is a leader’s sense of self-awareness that draws others to follow them.


Effective communicators

In order to be a successful leader, you must be able to communicate effectively. Successful leaders can communicate on all levels, are approachable and work to involve people from all different work levels.

Furthermore, successful leaders know when they should talk and when they should listen. They have the ability to clearly and succinctly explain everything from organisational goals to daily tasks to their employees, ensuring that all workers are aware of expectations.

Read - Power, Leadership and Listening


Accountable and responsible

To be a successful leader, you must understand how to use your power and authority appropriately and without abusing it. Successful leaders hold themselves accountable and take responsibility for their own mistakes. They take ownership of their actions and expect their employees to do the same.



Successful leaders are able to look forward into the future and from there establish clear and tangible goals that will benefit their organisation’s future. As a visionary, leaders must be adaptable and agile, as they incorporate change without losing sight of their original goal.


With this, successful leaders are confident and optimistic, as they inspire enthusiasm within their employees to strive for the future.


Creative and innovative

Successful leaders are courageous in that they risk experimentation and encourage creativity amongst their employees. To be an effective leader you need to foster innovation, as doing so will drive your organisation forward and allow you to successfully navigate the changing business landscape.


Able to work in a team

Effective leaders understand that it takes more than one person to create success within an organisation. Strong leaders are open to the ideas of others and delegate work to increase productivity.


Ultimately, successful leadership is built from the people around you and powerful leaders know how to build a team that inspires and creates success.



To successfully lead, you must be able to understand the perspectives and feelings of others and acknowledge the impact your actions may have on your team. Without empathy, a leader will be unable to communicate effectively with their employees, resulting in fragile team morale. Successful leaders are empathetic towards others, approachable, willing to listen and contribute to raising the morale of those around them. It is their capacity to care about their staff that makes them beloved by their team.


Evidently, all successful leaders share a number of traits and dispositions. Their possession of these is ultimately what allows them to inspire and motivate others and by developing these traits, you too can become a powerful and successful leader.


V-Teamwork can help you develop your leadership dispositions

Our program is designed to help you develop your leadership disposition. We look beyond simply developing your skills and instead aim to transform the way you lead. Find out how we do it.