80 Characteristics of Epic Leaders

74 Leadership Characteristics

It doesn’t matter what country I’m in or what management team I’m coaching and training, regardless of industry or profession. During my management coach training program, when I ask managers what makes a great leader, I would continually hear similar responses.

I’ve decided to take a moment and capture the top 80 characteristics of Epic Leaders (in alphabetical order) as defined by thousands of managers across the world. (I initially had a list of 30, then 50 and I thought I was done at 73 characteristics but then I kept on going, and continue to add to the list!)

I hope this list serves as a guide or a template for you to refer to that will ensure you are consistently modeling and emulating these core characteristics for your team and for your organization as you continue your ongoing journey to becoming an epic leader yourself.

Epic Leaders Are:

  1. 100% Accountable (for themselves and for the success and failure of their team/division/organization)
  2. Able to bring people together to focus on a collective goal
  3. Adaptable
  4. Analytical
  5. Approachable
  6. Attracting the right talent for their organization
  7. Authentic
  8. Both result AND process driven
  9. Caring
  10. Challenging status quo
  11. Coachable
  12. Collaborative
  13. Confident
  14. Consistent in what they say and do and in who they are (both at work and at home)
  15. Consistently coaching effectively (you can be a great coach but are you consistently coaching? (A.B.C. – Always Be Coaching)
  16. Creative
  17. Curious
  18. Dependable
  19. Detached from the outcome during every conversation. (I know, you may have a reaction to this one πŸ™‚
  20. Developing other leaders
  21. Driven by a cause/to succeed
  22. Ego-less (a new word πŸ˜‰
  23. Embracing and managing conflict rather than avoiding it
  24. Empathetic
  25. Empowering
  26. Engaging
  27. Enrolling their team around change to create buy and alignment in rather than forcing change
  28. Ethical
  29. Fearless (Embrace their fears)
  30. Flexible
  31. Focused on the future, while engaged in the present moment.
  32. Great to be around
  33. Highly effective listeners
  34. Honest
  35. Honoring their word
  36. Human (Vulnerable)
  37. Humble
  38. Inspirational
  39. Intelligent
  40. Leading with a purpose rather than for popularity
  41. Lifelong learners
  42. Living in the present – They are mindful of the future while engaged in the moment
  43. Looking to make an IMPACT
  44. Masterful coaches
  45. Mindful of what needs to be measured so that it can be managed (quota, P & L, pipeline, sales, results, commitments, numbers, activity, skill set, mind set, sales process, customer experience, best practices, performance, etc.)
  46. Models the behavior they want to see in their team and what is possible to achieve
  47. More responsive (follow a consistent routine) vs. reactive
  48. Motivational
  49. Motivating people by their vision and individual goals rather than by fear and consequence
  50. Never compromising their values (especially when challenged to do so)
  51. Non judgmental
  52. Of high integrity
  53. Ones who have followers
  54. Ones with a strong presence
  55. Organized
  56. Passionate
  57. Polite
  58. Positive
  59. Powerful communicators
  60. Process Driven
  61. Putting people first and the numbers/results second (You achieve greater results when you put your people first)
  62. Putting their people in the spotlight instead of themselves
  63. Rely on the facts, not costly assumptions
  64. Resilient
  65. Respectful
  66. Responsible
  67. Result Driven
  68. Seeking to understand the other person’s point of view
  69. Self-Aware
  70. Selfless
  71. Strength builders
  72. Subject Matter Experts
  73. Supportive
  74. Team builders
  75. Thinking BIG
  76. Transparent
  77. Trustworthy
  78. Unconditionally supportive
  79. Visionaries who lead with a cause
  80. Vulnerable (as in authentic/human)

Now, notice the common denominator. These are characteristics rather than competencies.

This is not a list of skills or activities a leader needs to DO. Conversely, it encompasses all theΒ  characteristics that embody WHO a great leader is; who they are as an individual, their make-up or the anatomy of a great leader. After all, beliefs precede experience and the quality of output and skill set.

Keep in mind, this is just one list of the characteristics that great leaders embody. I know there are more characteristics to add, so feel free to contribute to this list if there are any other characteristics that resonate for you.

What other characteristics would you add? I’d love to hear from you so feel free to comment below to contribute any additional characteristics of epic leaders!