As a result of recently surveying hundreds of people to find out what traits they want, need and expect a leader to possess in order to be followed, these are the traits that came up most often.
There are many additional traits, skills and characteristics that leaders need to possess in order to lead but what was suggested to me is that regardless of the additional skills, characteristics and traits a leader possesses, they will not be accepted as a leader unless they possess these traits above all others.
Honesty: If a leader is not honest, it is assumed that the leader lacks overall integrity.
Integrity: If a leader is perceived to lack integrity, it is very difficult if not impossible for followers to trust the leader.
Trust: If followers cannot trust a leader, they will be very unlikely to follow this leader for any other reason.
A leader who attempts to lead by way of their title will only be allowed to lead for so long if their followers find reasons to not trust them.
A leader who speaks out of both sides of their mouth and a leader who consistently fails to connect their words to their actions will not be followed for long.
To lead, you’ll need competency in many different areas. You’ll need to be wired with strengths that will cause others to naturally follow you. Without consistent honesty and integrity, you’ll very likely be unable to establish trust. A leader who cannot be trusted cannot lead.