What to Look for in Strong Leaders

corporate leadership training

Do you know the traits that form a good leader? While some may come by their leadership traits more intuitively than others, the majority of great leadership skills require at least some kind of formal training to ensure they’re best utilized. Whether we look at major players in the corporate world or leaders that shine in the not-for-profit sector, it’s clear that real leadership takes real work and commitment to excelling in order for leaders to rise to the top of their field.

At Pivot HR we know the value of strengthening your leadership skills and are proud to partner with companies and organizations throughout Canada to ensure you have the tools you need to succeed, including executive leadership training and coaching programs designed for all levels of managed and experience levels. Below, we’ll discuss some of the strongest attributes leaders can possess, as well as some negative qualities to be aware of in your interactions. Read on to learn more!

What Makes a Leader Stand Out?

It’s difficult to highlight any one trait that separates great leaders from the pack, in no small part because strong leadership isn’t always found in the most visible of manners. Oftentimes, the strongest leaders are those that know how to make their teams feel a distinct connection and face challenges together as a unit. This kind of guidance isn’t always apparent in speeches (though communication is important-more on that in a moment), but it can transform a struggling, disconnected team into a cohesive group with a shared vision that’s equipped and ready to move forward.

How do you get there? Core leadership attributes that strengthen any team include:


As is the case with so many areas of life, communication is key! Communication not only ensures your team knows what is expected of them in order to succeed, but also helps everyone feel heard, included, and equally important in the achievement of your objectives. Good leaders know how to tailor their communication style to reach different personalities, experience levels and backgrounds, creating an open environment that allows everyone to excel and put their best foot forward.


No matter how experienced you are, the reality is, we all fail and make mistakes. Strong leaders not only know how to admit fault but also strive to take full accountability for their actions. From simple errors to larger failings, a great leader knows that taking ownership is one of the biggest demonstrations of strength and integrity they can offer their team and that doing so is likely to inspire a safe environment where everyone feels motivated to grow together!


A leader with no goals or vision is like an architect with no blueprints. In order to lead effectively, you need to know where you’re going and have at least some idea of how to build the path to get there. Leaders know how to look at both the short and long-term, and create detailed plans with concrete, quantifiable goals. They also need to understand the value of flexibility and adaptation, because, as the last few years have reminded us, even the best-laid plans rarely go exactly as intended.


In order to lead, you need to have a sense of purpose and drive to push people towards a common goal. Good leaders are ready to get on their feet, mobilize and motivate the rest of the team to progress with them, no matter the challenges you may face.

Team Player

It should come as no surprise that strong leaders aren’t just driven by personal achievement, but are equally invested in the success and development of those they interact with and guide. Strong leaders know the value of fostering a healthy team culture and can connect with everyone to make sure your crew is onboard and ready to contribute as much as possible!

Emotional Stability

Emotional stability and self-regulation are often undervalued assets in the leadership world, but play one of the biggest roles in guaranteeing success. Strong leaders know how to stay in tune with their own emotions, handle frustration and stress without lashing out, and seek to create emotional safety for their team.

Points of Improvement

If you notice any of the following behaviours in your own practices amongst your leadership team, it may be time for a check-in, and to consider implementing some vetted coaching and/or training seminars to pull your crew back on track. Negative leadership attributes include:

Poor Delegation

There’s no denying that leadership positions demand the use of authority and delegation, but poor leaders are prone to badgering and micro-managing which stifles success.

Poor Communication

Constantly running into inter-office conflict and miscommunications between peers? Bad leadership could be to blame!


There’s nothing wrong with taking credit for hard-earned successes, but if you notice that members of your management are more interested in self-promotion as opposed to building team members up, you have a sure sign of poor leadership.

No Accountability

Dealing with endless scapegoating and showboating, paired with mediocre results? Who takes the blame when failures happen? If your leaders aren’t willing to accept responsibility, your ship may be beginning to sink.


Empathy is a key tool for any leader and plays a huge role in keeping your team on the right track for the long term. If you’re beginning to experience a problem with retention or meeting goals, etc, your management may need to learn some better supportive techniques.

Leadership Made Easy with Pivot HR

At Pivot HR, we know that growing your team and equipping your management to lead effectively can sometimes feel overwhelming. With the help of our leadership training and coaching services, ensuring everyone is set up for success is straightforward. We’re here to partner with businesses and organizations across Canada to help you put your best foot forward, one step at a time. Learn more about our external HR services by contacting our team today!

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