8 Questions that Determine a Great Leader

8 Questions that Determine a Great Leader

Are you a good leader? How do you know? Review this quick leadership checklist to see how you measure up against characteristics of great leaders.

8 Questions for a Great Leader

  1. Is your door open more than it is closed? Does your team feel comfortable coming to you with questions, ideas and concerns?
  2. Do you have favorites or are you fair with all your staff? This can be tough – it’s part of human nature to develop close bonds.
  3. Do you have a culture of safety? People make mistakes. Do you punish or provide an environment that creates learning opportunities?
  4. How are you in managing your team’s work/life balance issues? It never fails – on the day of your yearly strategic planning meeting your key team member is out with a sick child. Are you empathetic or frustrated?
  5. Are you even- tempered and consistent with your emotions? Are you predictable in your reactions in times of change and crisis? Keep calm and carry on!
  6. Have you set expectations with your team? Does your staff know clearly what is expected of them and are they given the support to reach their goals?
  7. Do you micromanage your staff? Or do you empower them to make changes and decisions with the end goal in mind?
  8. Are you having fun? Are you creating an environment where people enjoy coming to work regardless of the external stressors?

The best way to assess your leadership skills is to look at your team:

Are they having fun?

Are they feeling successful?

Is the team reaching goals?

What other questions could you ask someone to determine if their characteristics are ones of great leaders?

10 replies
  1. Michel Bouchard
    Michel Bouchard says:


    I really enjoy reading you list of questions/qualities of a great leaders.
    What about accountability? A great leader set his / her expectations with their team, but what happened if it fails?
    I understand a great leader is also a mentor/teacher. But if one of the leaders working under your supervision is a facilitator who is not accountable?
    I really enjoy your questions, I think that they are a very important part of what makes a great leader, but I believe the "responsibility" factor was somewhat left out.
    Thank you.


    Interesting article, although it is applicable to any person who is a good person, therefore they are not the qualities of a leader. I ask: where are the ideas of leadership?. Without ideas there is no leadership. Therefore these properties I do not serve to define a leader. I am sorry.

  3. Peter McNally
    Peter McNally says:

    I find your questions appropriate for determining great leadership qualities for a team leader. Understanding the accountability concepts and quite a few other requirements for great leadership.
    In response to your questions, I have three quotes that I enjoy sharing with you and my teams.
    1. Leadership is not about changing the mindset of the individual or group, but in the cultivation of an environment that brings out the best and even inspires the individuals in the group to do what needs to be done.

    2. The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he/she wants done and self restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it! — Teddy Roosevelt

    3. A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Thanks for the reminders, we all need to be reminded in this time of change.


  4. dhoward
    dhoward says:

    Eduardo & Michel, I absolutely agree that responsibility, accountability, creativity and ideas are important leadership skills. This blog is a self checklist of some of the basics that can help people who have been put in leadership positions (as we know, not always for their proven leadership skills) to reflect on their actions and behaviors – a quick way to take stock of some attributes that they can change.

    In my experience, questions such as "do you hold people accountable". "are you responsible" and "do you have good ideas that you can successfully implement" do not evoke an honest self reflection. Most would say "of course!" But how do they demonstrate those foundational attributes? Do they treat all employees fairly or do they play favorites? Is there a culture of punishment and blame or one of development? Are expectations clear, resources provided and teams empowered to success? How these questions are answered and how the "leader" behaves will reveal the underlaying attributes. There is certainly much more to be offered for a topic as broad and important as leadership but this is at least creating a healthy dialogue!


    Dear friends: I love this kind of debates on human behaviour. But as Nietzsche said integrity, morality, equality, etc, etc, are general concepts and by its very essence there. There is your integrity, which is different to the my integrity by both each leader will have his idea of moral integrity and that can be good or bad. For my as Manager in health, unfortunately the leadership is the field of work for some mediocre brains, trying to sell general concepts which do not exist.


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