The 5 Key Attitudes Of A Leader

This past Tuesday I was honored to be the co-host of Lolly Daskal‘s (@lollydaskal) popular weekly Twitter chat, “Lead From Within” (#leadfromwithin).   The theme was “Leadership and Attitude”, and Lolly’s first question was:

“What are the key attitudes of a leader?”

In case you missed my take on this question on Twitter, here are what I consider to be the 5 most important attitudes that a great leader must have:

  1. Positivity – “Looking at the literal world in a favorable way“.  This is the essence of what I call being a “Half-Full” leader.
  2. Purpose There must be a place you want to lead someone, or a group, (or yourself) TO
  3. Empathy & Compassion –  I have to be able to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes, and apply the “Golden Rule
  4. Humility –  You want to make them BETTER than you. You shine the light on them.
  5. Love You have to love leading, and not be afraid to talk about it, or express it.

We also chatted about how attitude can be “taught” – by rolling up the sleeves and leading by example.   Talking the talk, AND walking the walk.

Showing the right attitudes can also build trust – for me, it’s by showing an “openness” and an ability to listen without prejudgment.

Lastly, I shared one of my favorite quotes, to reinforce my point about love:

“He treats them as his own beloved sons and they will stand by him until death” – Sun Tzu

Think about the attitudes you bring to the table as a leader, because they are vitally important to building a team that can get to greatness.

Thanks again Lolly, and to all those who so kindly participated in the chat, and lead well, everyone!


  1. says


    I wholeheartly agree with those “attitudes” you listed. I definitely look for those attributes when I want to follow someone. For me, those are the only items that I keep in front of me, when I am leading my teams. Had them pinned up on my cubicle wall – for all to see (especially me).

  2. says

    THESE are what a leader needs to be. It is critical to not only have a vision, but to model the way and enable your followers to act. Listening and love can go a long way. People underestimate the power.

    I hope to join this chat next time!

  3. says


    It was truly a privilege having you host our Tuesday 8pm est tweetchat #leadfromwithin. I have admired you greatly for a long time. Sharing a platform with you was extremely meaningful.

    Your wisdom is insightful and heartfelt. Terry, you are a leader who leads from within and for that you have my deepest appreciation.

    My wish is that we take your keys of attitude and lead ourselves and others into greatness.

    Thank you.
    Lolly Daskal

  4. says

    Thanks Steve, Diana, Lolly and Ash for your kind comments.

    Steve, it’s always a good idea to remind ourselves of “who” we’re supposed to be. It’s all too easy to lose track with the day-to-day ‘noise’ going on.

    Diana, you should indeed check into Lolly’s chat – it’s a great group of people who want to share, and want to make others better. Quite a good combination!

    Lolly, bless you, this experience has been fantastic – it was thought provoking, challenging, helpful, encouraging, and joyful, all wrapped up in a big ball! Thank you so much for the opportunity!

    Ash, that’s an excellent addition. In order to get somewhere, you have to DO something. Indeed.

    Thanks again to you all, and all the best!

  5. Steve G says

    Thanks for your thoughts. Some really good points to consider as one becomes a Leader (or wishes to take on a leadership role) Two of my favorite which you address are:

    Empathy & Compassion – I have to be able to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes, and apply the “Golden Rule“
    Humility – You want to make them BETTER than you. You shine the light on them.

    I am a big fan of EMPATHY and putting yourself in someone else’s shows. (Lead The Way You Want To Be Led!) As you point out in HUMILITY, Leadership can be about self sacrifice. You lead because you want to make others around you better and you have that ability, the qualities, the desire to do so. It is not about making yourself look good, or in the end, the credit goes to you the leader, but more importantly, true leadership is about the cause and the people.

    If I maybe so bold, I would also add ACCOUNTABILITY to a Leader’s Attitude Checklist.

    Thanks Terry for your thoughts


  6. says

    The article you have presented has riddled out intricate structure of leadership into a simple structure. I hope other also understand the effectiveness of this article as well!

  7. Lewis S. W. Pyne, Sr. says

    Oh yes. I strongly agree with you. Any leader that lacks one of those attitudes, is like a motor vehicle with adefective spark plug.


  1. […] The attitude of a leader combined with a great positive atmosphere within an organization can certainly encourage people to accomplish great things. However it is important to emphasize that for the right flower to grow just the right climate is not enough, the seed has to be good too. I cam across an amazing fact about sharks very relevant to this topic. If we catch a baby shark and confine it in a small tank it will only grow proportionate to the size of the tank that it lives in. It will not grow to its real potential that they grow out in the sea normally. […]

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