In the Harvard Business Review Linkedin group, an interesting discussion has been taking place around what people consider to be the single most important quality for a leader to have. Around 12,000 people have so far responded.

What then, do people rate as important qualities? The many posts that I saw had some common themes. They were:


At Evolutionary Intelligence, we believe these are all essential leadership qualities; part of each person’s unique Evolutionary Intelligence.

Using our model of Mind, Body, Heart and Spirit, we can see that vision and motivation are qualities of Spirit. Spirit is life energy, the space where passion aligns with purpose to motivate and inspire ourselves and others.

Empathy and compassion are Heart qualities. When we recognise aspects of ourselves in others, we increase the chance that they will feel seen, heard and understood. We are able to connect and communicate from a place of sincerity and kindness – this is what builds trust.

The Body is our ultimate biofeedback device. Through listening to our body’s intelligence, we can feel our own feelings, sense other people’s feelings and access a felt sense of our intuition. Body is also the aspect that allows us to self-regulate. Through focusing on the body we discover our ability to choose our responses to situations so that they are in alignment with our values and vision.

Self-awareness is a necessary component of honesty. This is a quality of Mind – the focus of our mind allows us to observe ourselves and learn about our needs, beliefs and reactions.

Finally, integrity is the quality that naturally arises when we align all aspects – Mind, Body, Heart and Spirit. When we are present to all of ourselves, we align ourselves in integrity and truth. We become present to the moment and carry ourselves with authenticity and the courage of our deepest truth.

The Evolutionary Intelligence leadership program addresses all of these leadership qualities as fundamental outcomes of our work.

This is Evolutionary Intelligence in the making.

What do you think are essential leadership qualities? Have we missed any here?