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What are the essential qualities of a leader?

Nicole Baines and Jim Fraser come from diverse backgrounds. Both are leaders in their own right.

Nicole and Jim kindly agreed to be interviewed for my upcoming book: Success Talks – Conversations with Everyday Leaders.

Here is a summary of their answers to the question:

What are the essential qualities of a leader?

Nicole Baines

Nicole BainesNicole is a management training guru. With an impressive background in operations and general management, professional development training and coaching across a range of industries and business sizes, Nicole has built a career out of helping managers and organisations succeed.

Clarity of vision

Having clarity of vision is important. It's about something much bigger than what is obvious in the first instance and is often linked to your core values.


Having vision alone is not enough. You need to take action so that you can reach that end point. This is where strategy comes into it and wrapped into that is the need to be innovative and creative.


Most good leaders or great leaders will have an inner strength about them. There are a lot of times that leaders are faced with issues that require courage or tenacity.

Emotional intelligence

Being personally aware, understanding what drives you, what makes you tick, your values. Most great leaders are self-aware. They also understand the people around them, support them and bring out the best in them.

Generous spirit

Leaders have a generous spirit without expectation – it's caring about other people and understanding that not everybody has the resources that you have at your disposal.

Jim Fraser

Jim FraserJim was a member of the 1970 Australian World Cup Team and a pivotal member in the success of the 1974 Australian World Cup Team qualifying for the finals for the first time in Germany.

He is now Australia's most progressive goalkeeper coach and has coached the goalkeepers of Australian and Olympic teams.


Vision is important. A leader has to have defined goals and have the drive to succeed.

Communication skills

To be a leader you need followers so by having good communication and interpersonal skills you can deal with people in the right way. They in turn will trust and follow you.


Discipline and dedication to get on with what needs to be done.


Courage of convictions because there will be people who will try to knock you down.


Be assertive while also being a team builder so that when the tough decisions need to be made, you have a strong team that can work through the tough times with you.

Sense of humour and humility

Having a sense of humour as well as humility goes a long way when building a team. It also helps through the tough times – as a leader, others look to you as a role model.

What are the essential qualities of a leader for you?


Maria Pantalone

Maria Pantalone works with individuals and teams to make communication their strength so that their message is heard. Her programs help her clients to excel in their role and be recognised as leaders in their field.
30 Business Communication Tips

Looking for tips to help you with your speaking, writing and interpersonal communication?

Then download my free ebook, 30 Business Communication Tips.

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