5 Key Leadership Traits

Karl Bimshas
3 min readNov 16, 2022
5 Key Leadership Traits by Karl Bimshas

New leaders can possess the traits of an ideal leader, and tenured leaders can fall far short of that ideal if you begin to think of leadership capability as running along a continuum, not based on time and experience but on situations encountered.

The definition of lousy and ideal leadership depends on three factors.

  1. The current environment.
  2. The needs of the times.
  3. The consensus of others.

Use a tool to capture a snapshot of a leader’s observable skills to glean valuable insight for assessing growth opportunities, monitoring development, and determining if the leader is worth following.

There are five key leadership traits with a range of options.

  1. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. To what degree is the leader empathetic? Do they have little to no empathy, or is their empathy explicit
  2. Curiosity is a desire to know or learn. To what degree is the leader curious? Do they seek provocation, or do they seek clarification?
  3. Situationally aware is, in short, being able to “read the room” and act on the feedback. To what degree is the leader situationally aware? Are they tone-deaf, or do they grasp the moment?
  4. Education in this context is the ability to give and receive information or instruction. To what degree is the leader educating? Do they supply dogma, or do they provide insight
  5. Stewardship is being a fierce guardian with the knowledge that the role is not permanent. To what degree is the leader stewardship-minded? Are they self-serving, or do they serve others?
Karl Bimshas Consulting’s Leadership Scorecard

A candid snapshot posted on social media infers a story based on context clues. Of course, different framing, cropping, lighting, a shift in angle, and filters can each alter the picture and the perception. No single measure tells the complete story. While this short profile can help classify a leader’s current perceived skill levels, repeated exposure, extended periods of observation, and refinement of the five elements mentioned build a more reliable assessment.

Tools similar to the Leadership Scorecard can be found by members of Karl Bimshas Consulting’s Leadership Library. Get a free one-week pass at wakeupaleader.com

The Reflections on Leadership Podcast

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About Karl Bimshas Consulting

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Karl Bimshas Consulting



Karl Bimshas

Boston-bred and California-chilled Leadership Adviser | Writer | Podcast Host who helps busy professionals who want to manage better and lead well.