To me it is not difficult to understand what your employees want in a leader, because they want what YOU want in a leader - someone who is fair and consistent, someone who listens, someone who is a good business leader but also makes time to communicate, to coach, to provide feedback and to develop employees. They want someone who is honest but diplomatic and caring.
I often tell people when you find a leader who is an excellent business leader AND they are an excellent people leader - they might be a high potential leader, and certainly these are the leaders you most want to retain. It is hard to find people who have a good balance of being both highly effective in business and in their financial acumen, and who are highly effective at talent devleopment, coaching, talent identification, emotional intelligence, etc. So hold on to those people, as they have the most attributes that make a good leader.