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7 Key Leadership Qualities We Look for in Our Job Applicants - An Interview With Renown Entrepreneur William Ndolo

Leadership qualities are a valuable asset for career success. Here are 7 leadership qualities that will make you stand out.

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Leadership qualities are a valuable asset for career success. Here are 7 leadership qualities that will make you stand out.

Over the years, hiring managers have realized that businesses and companies grow when the workplace has more leaders. Leaders are self-motivated and goal-oriented. You don’t have to push or supervise them to get the work done. They always provide creative solutions and support their colleagues in the workplace. Additionally, hiring managers know that leaders are always looking for ways to improve and they take responsibility for their actions, whether good or bad.

We had the chance to interview William Ndolo, an entrepreneur and the Founder of Simply Adventure- Beyond Safari and Dine n’ Stay, who gave us a glimpse into the leadership qualities that stand out during his hiring process.

“The hiring process at this time and age has become a bit technical because CVs can really be made to fit, but once the person gets the job they don’t perform as promised. The key leadership qualities that I am keen on are pro-activeness and communication.

Firstly, I'm going to focus on pro-activeness. I like hiring people who will go beyond their said position to provide solutions, assistance, and be ready to learn all around. For a growing startup, you realize that one can’t hire to fill all the positions with limited resources.  Thus, hiring someone who is ready to learn and fill all the gaps is a plus.

Secondly and lastly, for a managerial or supervisory position, I am keen on identifying someone who has good people skills. These people skills include communication, problem-solving, and being result-oriented. Of course, this is a person to whom I can even delegate my roles once I'm not available to handle all the office work.”

Therefore, which leadership qualities should you improve to get that promotion, succeed, and stand out to prospective employers? Good leadership requires you to have key skills that are applicable across various teams, organizations, industries, and departments.

Below, I'm going to list 7 key leadership qualities that employers are looking out for. Here we go!

1. Building professional relationships

Creating and building relationships is important for any workplace. It includes building relationships with business partners, fellow employees, and clients. Great leaders are able to work and collaborate with anyone toward meeting the goals of the business. Moreover, they are dependable and able to maintain trusting and strong relationships with everyone. 

2. Effective decision-making

Thinking on your feet when under pressure is not as easy as it sounds. Strengthen this leadership quality by building your confidence. Making decisions begins with you trusting your ideas and the ability to put your ideas into action. Before you make a decision, analyze it from all angles. Equally important, explore all the possibilities before you settle on the final decision. A good leader will stand by and defend their decisions, if necessary. 

3. Problem-solving

Leaders take responsibility when it comes to resolving both internal and external problems in the organization or department. Build this leadership skill by approaching problems with a level head. Before you start solving a problem, assess the situation then apply a rational approach when solving the issue. For instance, the problem-solving skills that employers are looking out for include:


  • Strategic planning


  • Conceptualization


  • Open-mindedness


  • Sound judgment


  • Critical-thinking


  • Creativity 

 4. Communicate skills

Employers want to hire leaders who can comfortably communicate with clients, partners, and fellow employees. As you build on your leadership qualities, focus on communicating information, results, tasks, and goals clearly. You could practice in front of a mirror to see what body language you communicate as you speak.

Work on how you communicate through social media messages, professional emails, phone conversations, and one-on-one conversations. Communication is not always about speech, you have to improve your writing and listening skills. Specifically, work on your:


  • Empathy towards others


  • Presentation skills


  • Speech clarity


  • Public speaking


  • Facilitating group discussions


  • Storytelling


  • Active listening

5. Versatility and flexibility

After the COVID-19 Pandemic, businesses are now appreciating flexibility and versatility as leadership qualities when hiring. The pandemic is just one of the many challenges that come up on a daily basis in the workplace. You need to be flexible enough to adapt when these changes come about; gone are the days when people used to specialize in one field of business. 

As Mr. Ndolo said, employers want someone who will be able to diversify their skills. The more exposed you are to multiple job functions, the easier it will be for you to adapt to the world of business. For example, try building and showing these skills:



  • Improvisation


  • Adaptability


  • Ability to quickly respond to problems


  • Ability to learn  

6. Delegation

Struggling with meeting deadlines is normal in the workplace. But how do you plan on managing this? Well, delegating work is the answer. Employers know that there will come a time when you will not be able to manage everything on your own. Therefore, don’t feel embarrassed about delegating work to your fellow employees. This is a strong sign of a leader. 

Before you delegate the work, you need to know if your team has the right skills to manage the work. So, you should be able to explain why you are allocating a task to someone. 

Prove that you have delegation skills by showing:


  • Trust


  • Training


  • Time management


  • Teamwork


  • Setting expectations


  • Prioritizing tasks


  • Matching a task to the right employee


  • Evaluating the performance of employees


  • Defining and communicating expectations


  • Identifying measurable outcomes


  • Accepting feedback


  • Assessing weaknesses and strengths

Therefore, when building on this leadership quality, make sure you touch on all these skills.

7. Trust

Among all the leadership qualities, this is the most important one. Clients, employees, and your employer need to feel comfortable around you. It's important that you earn their trust by being honest, open, and respectful. To sum up, if you want to show your trustworthiness, focus on:


  • Practicing honesty, empathy, confidentiality, consistency, and accountability


  • Being reliable, thoughtful, and respectful


  • Showing emotional intelligence


Are you interested in improving your leadership qualities? Start by figuring out which leadership qualities you lack. Once you know this, you can find articles and videos on the internet focused on improving your leadership qualities. If this doesn’t work, you can enroll in any of the management and leadership programs we offer. In conclusion, if you are preparing for an interview, make sure you prepare yourself for leadership interview questions that will highlight your leadership qualities.

Written by

Lilian Nerima Musonge

Nerima Musonge is a Lawyer who is passionate about Content Creation and Copywriting. She is constantly trying to broaden her artistic pursuits and find out how they can integrate with the law. When she is not squinting behind a laptop, she is mothering, cracking jokes, and living her best life

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