Famous Leaders’ Qualities That Are a Must

team leader meeting team

by Sophia Young, owner of Content Studio and HRHQ contributor

Throughout time and history, famous leaders helped nations rise and fall. While not everyone leads entire nations, emulating prominent leaders’ qualities can help guide you through your next role. From learning better employee recognition to proper communication, you can consistently grow.

Developing exemplary leadership qualities can help anyone grow for a better role. Consider these must-have leadership qualities that defined history and changed how we do business.

Winston Churchill: Effective Communication

Winston Churchill is the last leader that our generations may know of who helped defeat the Nazis in World War II. His influence may be best known in the world as a leader, but he also was known in history as an advocate for people, a great linguist, and a writer. However, he credits his inspiration for all these qualities to his ability to interpret messages to others effectively. 


As Prime Minister during World War II, he turned the tide of war, becoming somewhat of a legend. Leading a nation is no simple task, but he revolutionized how Britain approached war through effective communication skills. 

In many speeches, Churchill ensured his message was clear, concise, and meant to invoke change. To lead others, you need a clear goal and purpose. Effective communication allows you to engage your customers and tell them your story.

John F. Kennedy: Active Listening

John F. Kennedy is known for many things, but there’s one thing that he always considered most important. As a former United States Senator of Massachusetts, he emphasised the importance of an active, listening, and educated mind. 

His speeches often contained jokes and attempts at humor, but what was truly important could be discerned once he finished talking. To him, education was the crux of leadership, and he made strides to improve public education.  

While you can’t create a perfect education system, you must understand your employees. For example, shooting at corporate achievement metrics can only go so far. You should view your team’s successes as wins and work together to improve the process. Create open, active lines of communication. 

Mahatma Gandhi: Better Empathy To Others

Mahatma Gandhi is an iconic figure in world history. His influence on modern culture and freedoms is greatly acknowledged. From India’s independence to civil rights, this social activist is a role model.   

He also believed that empathy was one of the most essential traits for a leader. Leaders need to know how to interact with those under them and how to empathise. They are expected to make decisions that impact the rest of the organisation.  

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 and began the peaceful resistance against the British authorities. He publicly refused support from groups such as political parties, believing there is a collective responsibility to act.

While you can never measure empathy, one quality that stood out was his patience and willingness to help others. Authentic leadership relies on how you care for your team and inspire them into action.

Albert Einstein: Continuous Search For Growth

Albert Einstein is best known for the Theory of Relativity, but he was also an outspoken, curious, and innovative scientist. His work on atoms transformed our understanding of the universe and continues to inspire new generations.  

One key trait that distinguished him is his continuous search for new, progressive ideas. While his mind was focused on the scientific pursuit, he also opened up to other realms, such as philosophy, religion, and even art.  

Being open to new ideas helps nurture creativity within your company. Encourage employees and teams to think outside the box and explore new territory. Even though you might be the one providing the direction, feeling like an employee can help create an environment that encourages innovation. 

Dwight Eisenhower: Planning And Organization

Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States. He is known for his success in leading the nation during WWII and his efforts to end the Korean War. His vision led the United States through a significant economic boom and gave it a strong economy.    

For him, success relied on planning and organising. He knew it was not enough to execute tasks simply, but he needed to think about how things needed to be done. He believed in delegation and the delegation of power.   

When delegating, you must remember who is best suited for each position. You also need to evaluate which employees thrive in which roles. Set standards and create an organized system, but don’t forget to allow room for creativity and initiative. 

Oda Nobunaga: Progressive And Innovative

Oda Nobunaga was a Japanese warlord and founder of the Sengoku period. Nicknamed the “Great Unifier,” it was a violent time where countless lives were lost.  He’s not even a good role model for other things as he was tyrannical, and yet, he encouraged innovative thinking and was ahead of his time.  

He had a collection of military weapons and weapons that could be found nowhere in Japan. He wore European attire and was the first Japanese samurai to have castles built. His focus on innovation and diversifying his army led to his rise. One of his innovations was the use of muskets. 

Today, so many companies are focused on revenue growth, but you also need to be focused on creating new products, investments, and other procedures. Innovation is what builds revenue and allows you to differentiate yourself from your competition.

Rosa Parks: Consistent, Honest, and Ethical 

Rosa Parks was one of the first women to speak out against racial inequality. After refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus, she has become a national hero. Her courageous efforts sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.        

By following in Simon Sinek’s footsteps, she took a stand for what was right. Her honesty, courage, and ethics made her a key figure in the movement and paved the way for future protests. 

To follow in her path, you need to have a background in fighting injustices and being consistent in your beliefs. When you are diverse, you can stand up for the underrepresented. Leadership means being ready to fight for your people and support them while keeping your ethics in check.

The Bottom Line

Every business faces its challenges, but if you can focus on developing these essential leadership skills, you can thrive. There are so many factors that can influence greatness, but by practicing the qualities of great leaders, you can become better.

About the author

Sophia Young recently quit a non-writing job to finally be able to tell stories and paint the world through her words. She can also easily kick ass with a thousand-word article about the latest marketing and business trends, finance-related topics, and can probably even whip up a nice heart-warming article about family life. Sophia also loves talking about fashion, weddings and travel