Identifying the Best Leadership Qualities of a Manager

Hiring managers can be especially challenging because, in addition to their skill set, they need to demonstrate leadership qualities. This article defines leadership, and gives tips on developing good leaders. 


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What are the best leadership qualities?

Teams with strong leaders are more efficient and productive. Some of the best leadership qualities include:

  • Communication skills
  • Honesty
  • Confidence
  • Responsibility
  • Fairness
  • Empathy
  • Decisiveness
  • Optimism

While these qualities are admirable for any occupation, they are crucial for someone in a management position. 


Communication skills

Excellent communication is essential to team success. Managers who know how to communicate well with their team members can teach by effectively demonstrating and explaining tasks and motivate by defining the vision. They are also able to connect with and understand their employees.



Integrity and trustworthiness are required. Employees should feel they can trust their managers with personal and work matters. It’s important that managers show transparency and accountability for the choices they make and the things they say. 



Managers who exhibit confidence show others that it’s okay to be themselves, as long as they do so in a respectful manner. Confident leaders inspire those around them to be productive and trust their intuition when making decisions.



Responsible managers meet their own goals and know how to guide others to do the same. They work hard to ensure people achieve results companies want to see.



Managers who perform assessments and reviews must ensure that they treat everyone on their team with fairness. This applies when delegating specific job duties to others and representing a team’s work. Leaders don’t play favorites. They ensure that everyone gets treated with the same amount of attention and care.



Some days at work are harder than others, which can be especially challenging for certain personality types. Leaders know when to step in and guide employees who are struggling with work or personal issues. Sometimes things happen that are outside of a person’s control, and good managers know when to provide support and when to give space.



The ability to make important decisions and welcome the consequences of those decisions is what sets leaders apart. They recognize the possibilities for both positive and negative outcomes. 



Being optimistic at work helps set the mood of the office, especially during stressful times. Optimistic managers naturally inspire those around them and know that positivity equals success.

Read more: 7 Effective Skills to Help You Become a Better Leader


How to develop these qualities

Now that you understand which leadership qualities to look for in a manager, you might be wondering how to develop these strengths yourself or instill them in others. Here are some tips:

  • Treat your employees respectfully
  • Set a good example
  • Challenge your team
  • Coach your peers
  • Support the career goals of others
  • Communicate well

Related: How to Motivate Your Employees


Treat your employees respectfully

Show your team that you value their presence and work contributions. Provide positive feedback and avoid negative language. 


Set a good example

Show your team how to lead by displaying the qualities of a leader. Demonstrate your abilities by paying attention to your employees and listening to their requests. 


Challenge your team

Challenges keep teams engaged and focused on the work. Think of ways to challenge your team to work harder and smarter. They’ll experience the satisfaction of the challenge and the reward, which may come in the form of a bonus or raise.


Coach your peers

Take time to sit down with your team and coach them in ways that will improve their work experience.


Communicate well

Great leaders interact with their teams often and well. They initiate group meetings and brainstorm sessions. They include everyone in the details. Be present and encourage people to come to you if they have any questions or concerns.


Further reading about qualities

Identify and assess the qualities of a leader by conducting a manager effectiveness survey. This will give you valuable insight into the current status of your team and provide an opportunity for additional training. You might even promote a contributor of the team to a management position based on their answers. 

Related: How to Find Good Employees


Leadership qualities FAQs

When you’re looking for the best leadership qualities in a manager, you may have several questions before hiring the right person. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:


What interview questions should I ask to find a great manager?

There are a few ways you can ask questions that garner the response you’re seeking. Here are some sample questions:

  • Explain how your leadership qualities have inspired others to excel in their roles.
  • Tell me about a time when you helped your team accomplish a challenging goal.
  • What strategies do you use when you need people to work faster? 


How do I keep managers accountable?

Once you’ve filled a management position, you want to ensure your new leader plays the part well. Set clear expectations from the beginning about how you’d like your managers to operate in their roles.


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