It all comes down to character

Believe you're born to stand out? Get to know the qualities that make a great leader. Here's a hint – it begins with your character. 


Integral leadership is hard to come by in a business world replete with KPIs, external stakeholder pressure and so much on the line. Want to know what qualities you should develop to make you a cut above the rest? It all starts with character—one of the only things in life that is built through time, energy, experiences and maturity.

Honesty above all

Leaders with integrity are often behind the scenes. It means doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. There should be no exceptions to honesty and integrity and both factors should be considered state of minds, rather than situational. If integrity is compromised in small situations with little consequence, then it becomes very easy to compromise in large situations with big ramifications.

Instilling integrity and honesty in the workplace keeps businesses out of tricky situations and legal battles. In the end, by keeping staff satisfaction high, a thriving workplace culture can be achieved. And it all starts with honesty.


Great leaders know exactly how to internally reflect and assess their own behaviours, attitudes and actions. This is critical, as it’s an aspect of emotional intelligence that also acts as the first step towards being truly engaged in your own leadership.Moreover, those that are born to lead know the criteria of what makes them a ‘success’ in the eyes of the team they work in. They’ll often consider how committed they are in the following senses:

  • Relationally: How much you really focus on connecting and working with those around you ultimately determines a great leader from a good one. However, this also means being able to maintain a work-life balance as well.
  • Organisationally: Devotion to the intentions and performance of the workplace will boost conviction and purpose. Beware, extra planning means less execution time. Success comes from being able to balance the two effectively.
  • Truthfully: Do you invite the truth, even when it is hard? Keeping yourself and others on the straight and narrow is pivotal. Keep transparent and honest with both yourself and those around you.
  • Leading: Having a title makes a great leader … said no one ever. Answer the call to lead and choose to engage in proven, effective leadership behaviours, regardless of your rank.

To hone your influencing and communicating skills, along with your cultural, emotional and self awareness, you can take up a single subject of university study online, such as RMIT’s Leadership and Management.


The going will always get tough, but the tough get going. True grit is a byline in Hollywood but something that’s rarely actually seen in the business world. To help you practice putting your perseverance into action, you can study the single subject of Project Leadership and Teams, offered online from University of South Australia.

When managing or developing perseverance in teams or individuals, there needs to be an understanding that adopting an attitude of “It’s okay to give up” is never actually ‘okay’. Ultimately, there should always be a challenge. Success is not a destination, it’s a journey. Any great leader realises that there’s always another mountain to climb, and overcoming low personal resiliency is a key to prospering with longevity in business leadership.

What it all looks like

All in all, each of these traits can not be developed without a distinct vision in mind. Lack of vision will strip your team and yourself of motivation. Viewing a long-term goal in a wider context will enable setbacks to be smoother and the team or individual to keep on their feet.

A great leader never stands still and is always hungry for learning. If you’re focused on going from good to great, we can help guide you. With over a few hundred degrees and more than a thousand single subjects from leading Australian unis, you can fill any gaps in your knowledge and become a well-rounded leader that others aspire to.

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