qualities of a good leader

In a time where anybody can portray themselves as anything they want, especially with social media, many of the foundational values we should admire no longer seem to matter. But as we look to the skies to celebrate another year of independence, these lost values should be bright in our eyes like fireworks. 

The morals and characteristics exhibited by a great leader like George Washington are more important than ever in order to combat the chaos that reigns in the world today. We’ve seen actors and businessmen become politicians with nothing more to offer than instant name recognition. During Washington’s era, elections were won based on a candidate’s merit, not popularity.

He did not reach the pinnacle of success without help, and you shouldn’t have to either. By engaging a leadership keynote speaker and embracing some of Washington’s top leadership qualities I’m sharing below, you can be the leader of your team, and exactly what our world needs today. 

Top Leadership Qualities of George Washington

As a leader, you must disrupt the status quo and ensure your organization doesn’t become stagnant. This will lead to eventual disintegration. 

Anything that is not growing is dying.

By incorporating the characteristics of a good leader like Washington into your leadership style, you will lead your organization and find opportunities in any challenge and achieve success. 

Not Afraid to Show Vulnerability and Humility

One of the characteristics of a good leader exhibited by Washington was his ability to show vulnerability and humility. He leveraged these leadership traits to build his strength as a resilient leader.

He utilized empathy to bring people together and find common ground. People respected and felt connected to him because he showed them his human side.

By exhibiting these traits, Washington established himself as a compassionate and effective leader. He understood that vulnerability doesn’t mean weakness, but rather allows him to control his emotions and accept when things are not going according to plan. He recognized how to bounce forward through challenges, rather than getting stuck.

As a modern leader, you can tailor these more traditional traits to your own style. The qualities that made Washington such an exemplary leader stand the test of time and can be seamlessly implemented in today’s workplace to bring you and your team even greater success.

Being Authentic is a Characteristic of a Good Leader

Being authentic may sound simple, but we all wear masks at times to hide our true selves. People can tell when someone is being inauthentic, and they will return the same energy they receive. When a leader is open and honest, it inspires loyalty and trust in their team.

Washington was incredibly authentic in his vision for the country. He wholeheartedly believed in the principles of liberty and democracy, and he modeled those beliefs through his actions. His openness inspired others to join in the fight for these values. 

In a time when politicians were known for being dishonest and manipulative, his honesty and integrity set him apart from the crowd. He earned the respect and trust of those who followed him by showing that he was a man of his word. 

Having strong morals like these are important qualities of a good leader, ones that will be recognized and valued by your team. In a day and age where individuals are quick to follow new ways of thinking, bringing back traditional values will be a much-needed change of pace. And when you infuse your leadership style with these exceptionally effective traits, your team will follow your lead.

Strong Resiliency

If you’re familiar with my work, you will notice that resiliency is a thread woven into almost every topic. It is a crucial characteristic of a good leader and one that can be built with hard work and dedication. In fact, resilience is the core trait of transformational leadership. 

George Washington was a resilient leader.

He was never afraid to face challenges head-on and always found ways to bounce forward through them. His resilience inspired public trust and enabled him to lead our country through unbelievably difficult times.  

In addition to being a resilient leader, Washington was compassionate and always willing to help those in need. By treating others with respect and understanding, he gained their loyalty and inspired them to follow him into battle. These top leadership qualities made Washington an effective and inspiring leader.

By engaging a resilient keynote speaker to guide you and your team into building resiliency in the workplace, you can feel confident knowing you are leading them in the right direction and providing them with all the tools they need to succeed. In many ways, the workplace is like a battlefield, and by supporting your team’s resiliency, you are being strategic in your plan to emerge victorious. 

Put His People’s Welfare Above His Own

One reason Washington is memorialized as one of our country’s greatest leaders is that he always put the welfare of his people above his own. When a leader shows their team they care about their well-being, they exhibit one of the most important qualities of a good leader.

Washington was willing to put in the hard work necessary to ensure that his people and country flourished. This trait should be shared by anybody who holds power either in their country or in their organization.

As a leader, you have an opportunity to incorporate this selfless attitude into your leadership style. When you face uncertainty with humility, authenticity and resiliency, you will inspire loyalty in your team and they will be willing to go to (figurative) battle with you.

How You Can Incorporate These Top Leadership Qualities into Your Company Culture

The great thing about being a leader is that you have the power to create and foster your company culture. True leadership starts at the top and trickles down, so when you model the qualities of a good leader, your team will match your effort. 

No matter where your organization is on the road to building a culture of resilience and positivity, now is always the perfect time to begin incorporating the qualities of a great leader

When I guide leaders like you toward reaching even greater pinnacles of success, I recommend that they follow the steps listed below.

Lead by Example

A few times during my slightly rebellious youth, I questioned my parents when something they told me to do didn’t align with their actions. Back then, I didn’t realize how complicated parenting truly is, so when they told me, “do as I say, not as I do,” I would just scoff because I was sure I knew best.  

Just like parenting, being a leader doesn’t mean we are always perfect, but when you try to model the behavior you value, those efforts will pay off greatly. 

George Washington was a model of resilience. 

He set a remarkably high standard of excellence for himself and expected the same from his team. He was always willing to put in extra effort, whether that meant staying up late to study military strategies or working tirelessly to build relationships with other leaders. His dedication and commitment inspired others to follow his lead, and his example continues to be a north star leading the way today.

In today’s world, true resilience is not about endurance, it is about how we bounce forward through challenges. One certainty in this uncertain world is that we will always encounter setbacks, disruptions and changes. A great leader who is change-proof embraces these as an opportunity for growth.

It’s important that your actions match your intentions. When you demonstrate a strong work ethic rooted in honesty and integrity, you will inspire others to do the same. By showing your team how you find the strength to bounce forward through challenges, you cultivate organizational resilience. 

Leading by example is one of the qualities of an effective leader you can strive for.

Embrace Uncertainty

Nothing is more certain than uncertainty. Change is always on the horizon and you can use it as an opportunity for growth by encouraging your team to embrace it.

The best leaders become change-proof by swimming with the ever-moving tide, rather than fighting it. Instead of passively waiting for change, you should invite and encourage it by challenging the current models and systems that constitute the status quo.  

Leaders that aspire to be courageous like Washington need to navigate through uncharted territory despite the unknowns. When you turn obstacles into lessons for improvement, you open yourself up to new ideas and perspectives which lead to success for your business.

Respect Everyone

Washington believed in the value of individual freedom and had incredible faith in his people. No matter their stations in life, abilities or circumstances, he felt everyone should be treated with respect. 

Demonstrating respect is an invaluable way to support and empower your team. By being honest and truthful in each of your relationships, you will inspire others to give you their best. 

Believe in Your Team

Washington is the most influential political leader in American history, and his belief in achieving a strong democratic government through trust and collaboration was rare. 

In order to be successful as a leader, you need to believe in your team. 

When you have faith in their abilities, employees will feel encouraged to take on more responsibility. They will also be inspired to approach tasks with a positive attitude and be resilient through challenges. Believing in your team demonstrates that you are willing to invest in their development, which will profoundly impact their growth and success.

Create Opportunities

It is rare that opportunity just falls into your lap. The most successful individuals create or maximize opportunities, rather than wait around for them.

One of the qualities of a great leader exemplified by Washington was his willingness to discover opportunities to improve the lives of those around him. Rather than giving up when times got tough, he created and encouraged growth. 

As a leader, it is crucial to encourage your team to find the new and exciting opportunities that exist in any situation, rather than just accepting or tolerating challenges. Inspire your leaders to model this behavior by showing you believe in their abilities to overcome and achieve shared goals. Make sure they know you are available to support however possible. 

When you find ways to be positive and supportive, your team will see the silver lining in every cloud. Together, you’ll be able to weather any storm. 

Drive Organizational Success with a Leadership Keynote Speaking Event

Don’t you wish you could invite George Washington into your inner circle and witness firsthand how he approached different situations, or gain his perspective on your most important leadership questions? Sadly that’s not possible, but by following the revolutionary leadership traits above and bringing in a leadership keynote speaker, you can make a powerful impact. 

Even though you can’t have Washington by your side, your leadership keynote speaker can be your mentor, helping you implement these qualities of an effective leader so that you can be just as inspiring to your team as George Washington was to our nation.