What Are The Characteristics of a Natural Leader?

You have probably heard something to the effect of “he/she is a natural leader” during your life, whether they were talking about you or someone else. You have probably also met someone who was naturally good at leadership, but have you ever considered what it is that makes someone a natural leader or not?

Characteristics of Natural Leader

How to Spot a Natural Leader

It’s easy enough to see when someone is a good leader or when they aren’t, but does that mean it comes naturally to them? Not necessarily. There are, however, a few things that can help you spot someone who is a natural leader early on.

It’s easy enough to see when someone is a good leader or when they aren’t, but does that mean it comes naturally to them? Not necessarily. There are, however, a few things that can help you spot someone who is a natural leader early on.

Being able to lead naturally does not mean that the leader knows what they’re doing. In some cases, you can see a person who is naturally surrounded by others who do what they do. They empower people and inspire them, whether it’s intentional or not.

A natural leader is usually the center of a group of people. This doesn’t mean everyone who is the center of their group of friends is a natural leader, but it can be an early indicator. In most cases a natural leader will not be trying to lead, they are just being themselves and following their vision while others choose to go along with them.

You can see in the cases of young people that are naturally gifted leaders that there is usually a streak of rebellion and problems with authority. Natural leaders are not usually good at following others, they are more interested in pursuing what they think is a good idea and a better way of doing things.

Leadership Quote

Are Natural Leaders Aware of Their Leadership Talents?

It’s not very common that a natural leader will see themselves as such until they grow a bit older. When someone is young they may just assume that this is how people are and that they are the same as everyone else. However, as they grow older and learn more about the world they will become more aware of their talents in leading others.

Some people are aware that they are natural leaders early on, but for most people they don’t really know they are inspiring others and leading people right away. Since they are just being themselves and not trying to be the leader, it doesn’t necessarily occur to them that they are being leaders. When something comes naturally, we don’t always recognize it for what it is until others point it out to us.

Characteristics of a Natural Leader

So, what exactly makes someone a naturally good leader? Everyone is different, of course, but these are the main traits that define natural leadership abilities:

Personality Traits

  • Extrovert
    Being talkative and likeable makes you easier to follow. It helps people relate to you on a more personal level, which is always great for leadership.
  • Thick Skinned
    Everyone in the world has their own opinions and some of them might be about you. Most natural leaders can let negative words and opinions roll off of them without trouble.
  • Confident
    Confidence is one trait that nearly all natural leaders possess because a leader without confidence cannot inspire confidence in those who are following them.
  • High Emotional Intelligence (Empathy)
    Being able to understand the way others are feeling and empathize with them helps someone to become a more trusted and liked leader.
  • Hard Working
    You’ll almost never see a lazy person in a naturally given leadership position. If they aren’t hard working, most people won’t be as willing to follow after them. For a short time maybe, but not in the long term.
  • Open Minded
    Some leaders are closed minded and closed off, but not in the beginning. Most people who are natural born leaders have a very open mind compared to the average person and are willing to accept different ideas.
  • Observant
    Observation is a key to getting to know people and see what’s going on all around you. If someone cannot properly observe what’s going on, they cannot make good decisions and will not be able to lead as well.
  • Energetic
    Have you ever met someone you would say is a natural leader that doesn’t have a certain energy level to keep going and pursuing their passions? It’s common for leaders to have high energy levels.

Learned Traits

  • Strategic Thinking
    You don’t have to start out as a strategic thinker, but many natural leaders learn to become more strategic as they come into their leadership abilities.
  • Decisive
    Observing the environment is one thing, but natural leaders usually learn very quickly how to make a decision based on what they see.
  • Good Communication
    When natural leaders are young they might not understand the value of communication, but as they grow older it’s a somewhat naturally learned trait as they figure out that people are more willing to follow someone who can communicate with them more clearly.
  • Wise
    Wisdom doesn’t come to the young, but as a natural leader grows up and starts to understand their role they will pick up wisdom along the way.
  • Loyal
    Young leaders can have traces of loyalty, but you have to learn loyalty by facing situations that test it.
  • Inclusive
    It’s difficult for younger leaders to focus on including others. However, many natural leaders pick up this trait as they go on.

Natural Leaders Are Born, Not Made

There’s an adage that says “Leaders are not born; they’re made”. This may be true for the most part, but natural leaders actually are born that way. The catch is that just because someone is a natural leader does not mean they will be a good leader, a proud leader, or a useful leader.

Leaders Can Be Made

Natural leadership is a gift that not many have, and it can be of great use to those who embrace it and learn how to polish that skill. In the end, leadership is a skill. Those born with the natural traits of a good leader can go on to be great leaders with knowledge and practice, but others can also learn to be good leaders by embracing the right training and acquiring the necessary knowledge.

Whether leadership is natural to you or not, you can still become a good leader.

Team Building helps build better leaders!

Total Team Building specialise in teams…we facilitate a range of team building activities that help build team morale, trust, leadership & communication within a team. For more information about how Total Team Building can help you contact us today.

Are Leaders Responsible for Motivating Team Members?

Team leaders have a lot of responsibilities placed on their shoulders. They are the ones who are tasked with making sure a team works well and gets their goals accomplished. Many things are involved in that process, but is the task of motivating team members a part of a leader’s role? Or, is it something that the individuals themselves are responsible for? What do you think?

Motivating Team Members

Before we answer that, lets start by defining what motivation is.


The dictionary definition of motivation is “the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way”. What this means in simpler terms is that motivation is a force which causes someone to do something specific. It can be negative or positive.

Negative motivators are circumstances where something bad will happen if the person does not act in a specific way or accomplish something specific. Positive motivators are the opposite, where something beneficial will happen if the person does a certain thing.

Motivation comes in different forms for everyone. There is a high likelihood that everyone on a team is motivated by a different force to get their work done.


This brings us to an interesting place in the discussion. Are leaders actually capable of motivating people on their teams? There are differing opinions on this subject, but the most convincing argument is this: leaders cannot motivate team members. “All motivation is self motivation” is a common phrase passed around that proves true over and over again. The nature of motivation means that no one can actually make another person motivated.

HOWEVER, leaders aren’t off the hook just yet. Although a leader isn’t able to directly motivate someone, they can create the circumstances and the working environment that will promote self-motivation.

what is motivation



How can a leader create a teamwork environment that will be motivating to team members? Here are the things that are necessary if employees are going to get motivated:

1. Clear Goals

Without a clear end goal in mind, no team members will be able to become motivated. The only reason that people can work together is if they know they are all working to get somewhere. If there isn’t a clear and visible goal in sight for the team, there will be no cohesion and no motivation to work as a proper team.

2. Individually Understood Roles

Teammates need to know that they all have their own individual roles in the same team if they’re going to be working together. Roles that are ambiguous and unclear can be thought of as unnecessary. Employees cannot feel motivated if they don’t believe they are contributing to the team as a whole.

3. Build Better Relationships And Get To Know Them Better

Having a deeper understanding of how someone thinks and a better insight into that person and their background is key to creating a motivating environment. Knowing whether an individual is more inclined to be motivated by positive or negative motivators allows a leader to tailor his or her approach to get the best out of that individual.

4. Proper Compensation

Motivation isn’t only compensation, but without compensation that’s adequate it will be difficult for employees to feel like they are getting what they deserve for a job well done. If the compensation is not equal to the work being done, motivation will be hard to find.

5. Respect

Respect should be shown not only between employees and team leaders, but everyone on the team. This means that all team members should be showing each other respect. If a culture of respect isn’t present in your team and team members treat each other poorly they will start to lose all their motivation.

6. Create A Fun, Happy & Positive Culture

Create an environment where employees love coming to work because they enjoy the fun, happy and positive culture. Regular team building and social get-togethers will allow staff to bond on more of a personal level, thus creating deeper and more meaningful and positive working relationships.


In Summary

Individual motivation is not the direct responsibility of a leader, but creating an environment in which employees can become motivated is absolutely part of being a leader.

Team Building helps build better teams!

Total Team Building specialise in teams…we facilitate a range of team building activities that help build team morale, trust, leadership & communication within a team. For more information about how Total Team Building can help you contact us today.