Five Characteristics of a Level-Headed Leader

file000972749236“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” —Henry Ford

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM


Employees want to follow a leader who is consistent and level-headed. If your leadership makes your employees feel like they are on a rollercoaster ride, it’s time to level things off. Your role as a leader is to remove obstacles that prevent employees from doing their jobs; then, get out of their way and let them do the job they were hired to do. Here are five characteristics of level-headed leadership.


A level-headed leader is first, and foremost, consistent. Their leadership and decision making does not rise and fall with their mood. Their treatment of employees does not change based on position in the organization, the team they work with, or personal opinions. Employees know what to expect from level-headed leaders whether it be on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This consistency helps employees feel comfortable in their positions and builds trust in their leader.

Sees the perspectives of others

A level-headed leader is able to see things from the perspectives of employees, clients, and suppliers. They take a stance of curiosity, taking notice not of their own opinions, but of the thoughts, actions, and motives of others. These leaders explain what needs to be done but then they let their employees determine how it gets done. They are not looking to find fault in others; they use their ability to see situations from different perspectives to help their employees become their own problem solvers.

Seeks solutions

Level-headed leadership is not about finding someone to blame; their sole focus is on finding solutions. They use their power of objective observation to provide constructive input and resources that help employees find remedies to issues they encounter. Level-headed leaders rely on employees working throughout the organization to identify issues and propose solutions. These leaders know that the employees who actually perform the tasks are in the best position to advise leaders on actions that need to be taken.

Recognizes own weaknesses

Level-headed leaders know that they can’t be the best at everything. They recognize where they are weak and where others are strong; they then surround themselves with the right people in the right positions. They delegate tasks that are outside of their own strengths. And, they support their employees in the positions where they are placed in instead of looking for opportunities to criticize and find fault.

Understands the importance of teamwork

Level-headed leaders know that no one succeeds on their own; it takes teamwork. When team members work together in a consistent and inspiring environment, the results they achieve exceed the total results possible from individual contributions. Effective teams work together to solve problems rather than pointing fingers and assigning blame. These leaders set the example and lay the foundation for the development of strong, collaborative teams.

Level-Headed Leadership

A level-headed leader is consistent. They can see things from the perspectives of others. They seek solutions rather than looking to place blame. They recognize their own weaknesses. And, they understand the importance of teamwork. The job of a leader is to provide resources, place employees in the right roles, and remove obstacles to productivity. Then, a level-headed leader gets out of the way and lets employees do their work, their way.



© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli


Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at


4 thoughts on “Five Characteristics of a Level-Headed Leader”

  1. Liz, another remarkable article on leadership. Strong leadership is strong in all these areas you’ve described. I think often of how leadership is defined at its core. There are leaders whose position dictates that others are demanded to follow. Then there are leaders whose passion is to be a leader others want to follow. Every time I read one of your articles, I think, this is a good leader. Be. Like. That.

    1. Jane, thank you so much for your wonderful words. You encourage and inspire me every day!

  2. Love, love, love this post Liz.

    I nodded all the way through the post – as endless examples of each point you were making ran through my mind.

    I’m glad you started with consistency. It is something that is not emphasized enough in the leadership space and something I learned to highly value after working for someone with a good heart that was not consistent, now I live life across the ocean from my home, and have daily examples of how inconsistency creates chaos that confuses, frustrates and exhausts employees, customers, citizens…

    1. Chery, consistency wasn’t originally on the list for my article but, as I was writing, I found that I was emphasizing it under every heading. I then realized that consistency is the very foundation of level-headed leadership. I absolutely agree with your observations on consistency. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

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