The Essential Qualities of Leadership

Leadership is not easy. But anyone can make it a little easier by following these 3 essential qualities of leadership: experience, determination, and knowledge. These three pillars will guide you on the path to becoming an outstanding leader in your own right.,

The “5 qualities of a good leader” are: 1) A sense of self-awareness 2) A strong work ethic 3) An understanding of the importance and value of relationships 4) The ability to make decisions based on personal values 5) The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions. Read more in detail here: what are the 5 qualities of a good leader.

Vintage army military squad doing push ups.

The following is an extract from FM 21-20, a 1946 Army field handbook that explains the physical training regimen utilized by soldiers during WWII. While the section is plainly geared at the leadership skills that the program’s fitness instructors should acquire, everything in it can be applicable to leaders in any setting. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a greater distillation and summary of the basic leadership attributes anywhere else. 



The quality of the physical training program’s leadership determines whether it succeeds or fails. Only guys who are motivated to fully engage in intense physical activities and make every effort to finish all exercises in the specified way will get the greatest results in a conditioning program. Only the most effective leadership can motivate men to work together to this degree. As a result, only the most competent guys in the unit should be chosen to undertake physical training instruction.


a. The most important characteristic of a physical training leader is an abundance of energy and passion. Physical training exercises must be carried out in a continual snappy, dynamic way if they are to be effective. It is up to the leader to decide whether or not they are. Whether he is eager or disinterested, the guys inevitably mirror his attitude.

b. The leader’s zeal stems from his understanding of the significance of his task. He must be motivated by the realization that what he does every minute of every day might be the difference between triumph and loss on the battlefield, as well as the life or death of some of the soldiers with whom he is collaborating.

d. The teacher must know all there is to know about his topic. He must not only be able to describe and illustrate all actions, but he must also be aware of the most effective ways to present and perform them. The first step in developing confidence, assurance, and composure is to master the subject matter. The guys appreciate and cooperate with the well-prepared, confident leader right away. Almost soon, the unprepared, reluctant teacher loses his men’s trust and respect.

d. Successful physical training leadership requires an understanding of human nature on the part of the teacher. He must be aware of the physical and mental disparities among the guys with whom he is collaborating. He must get to know his group as people and be able to discern the indicators that show how they are responding to his instructions. The more he knows his guys and can perceive the physical training program through their eyes, the more effective his coaching will be.

g. No teacher can be effective unless his troops have faith in him. By commanding their respect, he obtains their trust. His honesty, integrity, drive, sense of justice, energy, self-confidence, and force of character gain him their regard.

f. The instructor’s physical appearance and credentials are linked to his leadership effectiveness. He should be a living example of what he is trying to educate. It is a significant benefit if the leader can accomplish what he asks of his soldiers. Because physical training leadership is such a demanding job, he must be physically strong. Strength, endurance, coordination, and agility are all required for success.



All of the guys must work together to make a good physical training program. If physical training exercises are to be effective, they must be performed precisely and energetically. Malingering is a simple issue if a person decides to do so. Since forcing soldiers to exercise correctly is difficult, every effort must be taken to inspire them to do so. The most effective motivational techniques are listed below:

a. All troops must be “sold” on the need of being in top physical shape. The commander must persuade the soldiers that maintaining a high degree of physical fitness will give them a greater chance of surviving in war. It is not difficult to get soldiers’ full participation when they know that their efforts represent an investment in their own personal well-being.

b. Combining more formal physical training activities with sports is one of the most effective ways to motivate participation. Conditioning exercises, guerilla exercises, grass drills, log exercises, and jogging are not activities that soldiers like, but if they are followed by exciting, competitive sports and games, they will participate dutifully and energetically. Even if men understand the need of merely conditioning exercises, they require extra motivation to continue to give their all over a lengthy period of time.

c. It is ideal to include competition into the more formal conditioning exercises. Groups may compete to see who can do the exercises with the greatest form, or who can complete the most repetitions of the exercises in a certain amount of time.

d. One of the finest incentives is for commanding commanders to participate in the physical training program. When soldiers think their superiors believe in physical conditioning to the point that they participate in the exercises on a regular basis, they are more encouraged to put out more effort. Furthermore, soldiers acquire an esprit de corps and a stronger regard for their superiors.

e. The cumulative count is used to encourage participants to participate in conditioning activities. Men are challenged to match or surpass the number of repetitions of each exercise they have completed on subsequent days when they know how many repetitions they have completed. Men compete against their own prior performances using the cumulative count as a self-testing instrument.

f. The men’s regular usage as assistant leaders acts as a motivator for many of them. They put forth a lot of effort for this honor, and they typically handle the obligations effectively. The use of a mass cadence is also effective in making the guys feel like they are a part of the program.

b. Physical efficiency testing is another technique of motivating. When physical vulnerabilities are disclosed by the testing procedure, many men feel compelled to improve their condition. Others find the exams difficult and endeavor to better their performance on the following one. Men compete against one another to see who can improve the most. Some commanding commanders reward the personnel with the greatest records with bonuses. Others prohibit some advantages to males who have much lower exam results than the norm. All of these gadgets are designed to pique people’s interest in and engagement in physical activity.


h. Providing professional leadership is the most effective way of securing the men’s active, wholehearted involvement in the physical training program. A leader who is well-liked and respected by his soldiers will have no trouble gaining their cooperation. A competent leader educates his troops about the importance of various activities and the reasons for include them in the schedule. He is considerate of his guys and does not place unnecessary physical demands on them. If males are very strenuously trained, they get stiff and painful to the point that they dread the following physical training session. Instead of complying, the guys acquire an adversarial attitude against the teacher and the program, and they will malinger at any chance.


a. Unless the teacher does all of the exercises personally, he will have no idea how tough they are, which motions are the most rigorous and challenging, where performance faults are most likely to occur, or what the ideal tempo should be.

b. The teacher must praise excellent performance as rapidly as he criticizes poor performance. Most guys are receptive to well-deserved praise. When someone does an exercise with remarkable form or outcomes, it’s a good idea to have him show it in front of the class. When the situation calls for it, it’s especially crucial for the leader to compliment the less skilled employees. The instructor must be able to tell the difference between bad performance due to a soldier’s lack of skill or aptitude and poor performance due to indifference or lack of effort. He should be kind and understanding with the first, and firm with the second; he should never use sarcasm or mockery. When used correctly, a sense of humor may be quite beneficial.

c. Leaders will need to provide a clear overview of daily activities in order to carry out an efficient daily program. Even the most seasoned leaders find that reviewing the content to be discussed is beneficial. During the physical training session, no teacher should consult his or her notes or a card. He should learn them by heart. Before being assigned the duty of a group, every teacher must be fully prepared.

d. Using auxiliary instructors to count cadence helps reduce the strain on the physical training instructor’s voice. The same outcome may be achieved by using a high cadence.

a. The men should never be held in one posture for an extended period of time, especially if it is a confined one. There should never be a limit to how many times an exercise may be done without losing appropriate technique. When it comes to the form in which all conditioning activities are performed, the teacher must be uncompromising. Even little variations from appropriate form will significantly lessen the exercise’s efficacy.

c. Explanations that are too long should be avoided. In general, only a complete description of new exercises should be required. The most important aspects of an exercise should be described first. Details may be added at a later time. A much of information at once is more likely to confuse the guys than to help them. While the exercise is in process, any small modifications (for example, “heads up,” “knees straight”) should be given to the whole class. If required, this instruction might be followed by the name of the person who is most responsible. To avoid wasting the time of the rest of the group, if a guy wants particular attention, one of the assistant leaders should provide him specific instruction.


b. When providing corrections and offering examples, instructors should use a positive rather than a negative attitude. “Keep your knees straight” is much more effective than “don’t bend your knees.” It is usually preferable to display the proper form of an exercise or activity rather than the improper form.

h. Instructors must instill in their students a drive to be physically fit. Explaining the purpose and military significance of physical training exercises is a highly effective way of doing this. When soldiers realize the importance of being in shape and the reasons for what they’re doing, they’ll want to stay in shape. A positive mindset is necessary for a program’s success.



The “leadership qualities examples” is a blog that talks about the essential qualities of leadership. The blog will give you an introduction to what qualities make up a great leader, and why they are important.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are 5 essential qualities of a leader?

A: A good leader must have charisma, empathy, strong leadership skills, the ability to motivate their team and be able to recognize potential in others.

What is essential leadership quality?

A: The essential leadership quality is the ability to care for others. Its the willingness and skill in looking out for those around you, even when your own needs are not met.

What are the 4 qualities of leadership?

A: The 4 qualities of leadership are credibility, vision, competence and trustworthiness.

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