Some people think that exceptional leaders are born, not made. But if you want to rise above the pack and become a dynamic leader, there are some characteristics you can learn to develop and boost your leadership skills.

Experts have analyzed the top traits of extraordinary leaders. Here are some of the most common characteristics they share that you can learn to foster in yourself. 

  1. Intelligence and Focus. 

Not surprisingly, great leaders are smart leaders. They often are lateral thinkers and can think fast on their feet. Successful leaders are always thinking one step ahead of the game, making intelligent choices, and course-correcting when necessary. 

 2.  Great People Skills

A good leader is a people person. That doesn’t necessarily mean that introverts can’t be good leaders. But they do know how to connect with and get the best out of their teams. They understand the skills mix and potential of their staff and want to help them grow and develop. 

Great leaders can also interact well with clients, stakeholders, and other leaders.

 3.  Competence

As well as being smart, an exceptional leader needs to be competent, understand, and be able to do the tasks they expect of their team. A leader who can pitch in on deadlines that are looming will win their team's respect and confidence. 

 4.  Willingness to Take Responsibility

Great leaders do not shirk responsibility. Remember President Truman's desk sign that read 'the buck stops with me'? True leaders are big enough to blame when things go wrong and are happy to share the accolades with their staff when they succeed. 

 5.  A Drive to Achieve

A leader without passion and drive to succeed will not inspire their team. You need to be able to motivate your people into delivering over and above their commitments. Show your team that you care about achieving the project's goals, the team, and the organization.

 6.  An Ability to Inspire Trust

Everyone you work with needs to be able to trust you. Trust is gold when it comes to leadership. According to your values and the organization’s values, if you act with integrity, you will win a reputation for being honest and trustworthy. 

 7.  Creativity

Being able to think creatively is the secret sauce for exceptional leadership. A fertile mind always looking for innovative solutions will mark you out as a dynamic, impactful leader. Encourage independent, creative thinking in your team, and you will make a winning combination.