Leadership is something that requires a variety of qualities and skills that come together in a particular way. Although we can speak to the qualities and skills needed, sometimes when you put them together they do not always make a leader. Perhaps this is because the quantities of each needs to vary depending on the person and the situation. Or perhaps because there are other less tangible qualities that a leader like Bob Stefanowski, an international business leader in finance, possesses in addition to the ones we can list.

What we can say, is that the general qualities and skills can be outlined as we have done here and if they are acquired, the person will have the knowledge and foundation to be a leader. Here are those skills and qualities:


Being clear and fully committed to your agenda is a foundational requirement for leadership. Your team wants to know that you are fully behind your agendas and prepared to defend and support them. This quality is also very important as you interact with investors, partners and vendors who want to be sure that you are worthy of their time and commitment.


All business is about taking risks. Even when you have a proven track record of success, you must continually step out into the unknown and take a chance. A leader must have the ability to project unwavering confidence about his agendas. Yes, the work must be done to ensure that agendas have been vetted and thought through. But once this happens, the leader does not waver on taking the action. Confidence like this spreads and translates into fearlessness in everyone around you. So a leader is always ready to jump into the unknown.


Leaders love to compete. They want everyone else in the race to be at the top of their game and then let the competition commence. Leaders want to show the other competitors how capable they are, and ready to go all the way to the finish. Leaders are also always expecting a win, even when the odds are against them.

Able to Communicate Their Vision:

When Steve Jobs described what he saw Apple becoming and how he viewed the company’s potential relationship with consumers, he inspired a revolution not only at Apple, but in the entire tech industry. His ability to create and communicate a clear vision of this new relationship spawned new products and new ways of selling those products. He energized the entire organization around his vision and this all occurred because of his ability to communicate his vision.

Professional Integrity:

Who you are in your business is more important that what you say. Your morals, ethics and integrity have the lead and will either undermine or support your agendas. Without strong integrity, everything becomes more difficult and less sure because when a leader’s word means nothing, this will be considered the case for everyone in the organization. So a leader must have strong integrity.  

These are some of the basic skills each leader needs to lead. For those interested in becoming a leader, they can set a blueprint to be followed. But again there may be intangible qualities that are need as well.

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