12 Traits of a Great Leader



“A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.” —Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

What does it take to be a great leader?

Bill Sims (author of Green Beans and Ice Cream) teaches a leadership course, and whenever he asks what are the core traits of a great leader, he gets a common set of answers.

People actually agree that a great leader has the following 12 leadership traits:

  1. Good Communication Skills
  2. Trustworthiness
  3. Willingness to Listen
  4. Knowledge and Experience
  5. Good Attitude
  6. Accountability
  7. Ability to Motivate
  8. Integrity
  9. Courage
  10. Ability to Stay Organized
  11. Ability to Inspire Respect
  12. Leadership that Sticks (Positive Reinforcement)

Most people usually miss #12 – Positive Reinforcement.  And, yet, according to Sims, it’s THE most important trait.

Positive Reinforcement is the trait that trumps them all.

He even provides the following clues to help remind us why Positive Reinforcement is so important:

  • If every employee gave us perfect human performance, we wouldn’t need managers.
  • The Measure of a Leader is what the followers do in the moment of choice when nobody is watching
  • The most important ability of leaders is the ability to change the behavior of their followers.

Leadership that Sticks is your ability to deliver and sustain Positive Reinforcement to drive high performance.

What are the traits of your favorite leaders?

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