The aim of this article is to address health promoting leadership; what do leaders actually do to promote health at work? Leadership practice plays a crucial role in the workplace and greatly affects the working environment and working conditions. Through a theoretical and empirical approach, we seek to find characteristics/patterns of health promoting leadership. The definition of health promoting leadership is a democratic and supportive leadership style, where leaders seek to motivate and inspire their employees. The study in this article is based on qualitative research methods. We have investigated and compared leadership practice in four different organizations/industries in Norway: construction, oil and gas, health care and cleaning. These organizations and professions are quite different, and thus leadership must be understood and developed within its context. However, we found some generic characteristics of health promoting leadership: hands-on, accessible, supportive, inclusive and democratic. Current literature only rarely addresses how leadership affects health promotion at work. Consequently, more knowledge is needed about how leaders really succeed in creating healthy workplaces and healthy employees.