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Leadership traits that count

July 2013

By Liza van Wyk

To be an effective leader, you need to know, understand and demonstrate traits associated with leadership and translate them into desired action on a daily basis.

In this competitive environment where companies fight for a slice of the economic pie, researchers and leadership gurus have identified 10 traits or qualities which must be consistently applied to survive.

The 10 leadership traits are integrity, strategic purpose; empower others; courage to take measured risks; creating a healthy company culture; being humble and transparent; passionate and determined to succeed; surrounds himself or herself with great people, and never stops learning and is humble and transparent.

There is no doubt that leading with integrity fosters trust across the corridors of companies. This inspires employees to work hard and eager to serve as ambassadors of the company. If people believe that their leader is always going to do the right thing, they'll trust his or her decision even if they don't immediately agree with it.

An effective leader sees the big picture and links to the company’s internal and external expectations. Anybody who is going to lead has to be visionary, have a view of where they're going and how they are going to get there.

Leaders prioritise the empowerment of staff. Empowering employees helps them to not only do what they are hired and qualified to do, but to step outside of their comfort zones and try new things while at the same time trumpeting the company’s vision and values.

Leading a growth oriented company means its leader must recognise the need to reach out into the global market and therefore not be scared of taking risks.

A leader sets the culture and communicates it to employees about how they must treat and behave with one another. After all, a transparent culture fosters passion and growth amongst employees.

Leaders have to be open and transparent because people become more committed and engaged when they know what their leaders are thinking and feeling--especially in times of crisis or uncertainty.

Employees follow a leader who is driven and hungry for success. They know that success breeds more opportunities and client’s satisfaction.

By developing talent, a leader creates an atmosphere where individuals know they would have opportunities for growth and development within the company.

A leader never stops learning, never slop growing and provide the same opportunity to all employees.

Lastly an inspirational leader helps to maintain clarity of purpose and a sense of calm in time of joy, happiness and even sorrow.


Liza van Wyk is CEO of AstroTech Training who offers leadership development training. Visit or call 0861 AstroTech.