Who Are Intellectual Leaders, And The Traits Associated With This Leadership Style?

Burns described an intellectual leader in 1978 as one among the various types of transformational leaders.

They aim to transform society by formulating a clear plan of action for the future. They do this by showing their followers the necessary ideas and how the values can alter the social environment promising a better future for everyone.

An intellectual leader helps the followers understand that they are an important part of society and should not be satisfied with the status quo. Such clarity of vision allows the users to understand their position in society later.

Who Is An Intellectual Leader?

An intellectual leader is serious, focused, and goal-oriented. They are known to think long-term and enjoy big complex systems.

They are often known to change and play around with rules seeking a strategic approach to dealing with things. Even they do not take a back step when taking risks in business.

Boundaries and limitations are set for a project that helps the group focus on the project. They have their recipe for success and happiness, along with the rules they follow to achieve success.

The Top Qualities Of An Intellectual Leader

There are good leaders, and there are great leaders. Now the question arises: What are the traits of a good leader vs. a great leader?

You may believe there is not much difference between a good and great leaders, but there is.

Though some people could possess many intellectual traits, these are the traits that need to be learned and taught. Within your organization, you can develop your leaders.

List Of Qualities In Intellectual Leader

  • Emotionally intelligent
  • Perseverance
  • Positivity
  • Authentic
  • Vision Minded

Emotionally intelligent

All great leaders are emotionally intelligent. It is an ability to take stock of your emotions and those of others. An emotionally intelligent leader knows how to handle feelings and constructively express them.

Rather than frustration getting the better of them, they channel this energy into problem-solving.

A leader with emotional intelligence can pick up on the negative emotions of their employees.

They know how to talk to their employees, emphasize with them and formulate a path that enables them to move forward.


Great leaders do not give up easily. They preserve. When confronted with a problem or an issue, a great leader will work meticulously to find a solution to that problem.
They will not allow anything to come into the vision that would prevent them from achieving their goals.

The leaders remain steadfast in their beliefs that they will accomplish things.
A point to consider is that great leaders will not preserve at the expense of other employees.

They will strive with their teammates to find a solution to a problem. Employees seeing a leader preserving may encourage them to follow the same path.


Anyone can be upbeat when things go right, but a great leader remains optimistic when things go downhill.

Being positive does not mean that a great leader does not recognize hardship or difficulty. Rather in the face of adversity, they do not allow fear or anxiety to stand in their way.

A great leader can recognize negative emotions, choose to stay positive and be hopeful, referring to difficulty as a tool of perseverance.

No matter what the situation, they can uplift their members, and in the team members, they are likely to promote an upbeat attitude.


Another quality of an intellectual leader is authenticity. It is all about who you are without compromising in any way.

Great leaders are authentic as they communicate their values and remain committed to them.

They are the leaders who are not going to compromise on their integrity. Authentic leaders respect their employees and are consistent in the decision-making process.

Even they would be the first ones to own up to their mistakes. They will not make any excuses when things do not go according to them.

Vision minded

Great leaders set a vision and keep on reminding themselves. They have a plan of action and invite others to join it. One of the key traits of a vision-minded leader is encouraging the team to continue in the right direction.

If an employee comes up with an issue or problem, the leader will likely help them solve it.

The vision-minded leader is aware of the end objective and provides his employees with a platform to work on. He ensures that the team is moving towards the final frontier.

Intellectual Leadership

Tips to Become an Intellectual Leader

An intelligent leader is a strong leader in the best sense of the word. He is well known for his adaptability and boldness.

Because of his or her intelligence, the leader is diligent. As a result, he actively intervenes within the organization and takes action.

Intellectual leaders might easily transition. And they consider all relevant data before reaching a decision.

Here are a few of the most important pieces of advice for being an intelligent leader.

The Leader Should Encourage –

One of the characteristics of an intellectual leader is to inspire creativity. This kind of intellectual stimulation will enable the worker to demonstrate his abilities and areas of expertise.

The company’s followers require motivation to showcase the ability they possess.
One should take on new tasks in effective leadership that are sure to fit the workplace culture.

Leaders should present and handle new difficulties and urge their subordinates to do the same.

Intellectual Leader a Role Model –

The intellectual leader should set an example for others to follow. He must exhibit encouraging behaviours and traits that will genuinely uplift the workers in the workplace to be the ideal influencer. The leaders are astute enough to make adjustments.

The mentality of the leaders will enable them to respond quickly and wisely in emergency situations.

Leaders need to exude admiration from the group’s members. Being a role model leaves a legacy that will undoubtedly make others feel valued and cared for.

Important to be Passionate –

The intellectual leader must be passionately committed. The person in charge, the leader, should have a deep passion for the team or the objective.

The influential people have the drive to complete the task quickly, and they even have genuine zeal and eagerness to take on the initiatives that are given to them.
A capable leader should have a fresh perspective and cultivate a set of leadership traits that can benefit the company.

A level of respect and admiration can be attained when the person participates in the group’s activities alongside the other participants.

This is only achievable when the individual is enthusiastic about his or her job.

Intellectual Leadership should be Spontaneous –

A leadership process shouldn’t be boring to maintain. The leader must frequently experiment with new things.

This will support preserving the spirit of unity. Not that the leader can’t be moved by what the followers do. Ask for feedback and opinions to have a deeper understanding of yourself.

An intelligent leader needs to look back on things. Leaders must keep in mind what has happened in the past and learn from it.

The group’s leaders should constantly be looking for fresh approaches to inspiring, motivating, and encouraging their followers.

Leaders should Reward Others –

The leaders should follow the tradition and manner of rewarding others. The group member will be more motivated to try new and original things once they have been appropriately rewarded.

The staff will be pleased with their evaluations and prizes. They will exercise the proper initiative to put in more effort and choose to be more appreciative in the future.
Events and contests should be held to assess the group members’ mental toughness. As a result, there will be more competition, which will encourage employees to do well in their jobs.

They will be able to overcome obstacles at work and acquire the highest level of respect and recognition as a result.

Intellectual and inspirational leaders can serve as role models for others in this way. They motivate employees to perform at their best by giving them awards.

Intellectual Leadership


In general, intellectual leadership is defined as an individual capacity to develop powerful ideas that spur technological and scientific innovations.

The focus of this form of leadership is to inspire and motivate employees. In short, it turns out to be the process of challenging developing, redesigning, and recreating the employees.

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