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3 Traits All Effective Leaders Possess True leadership involves the execution of a grand vision, where leaders enroll others to get passionate about seeing that vision through and then joining on the ride to bring that vision to reality.

By Matt Mayberry Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Titles don't define leadership. A certain title may have others calling you their boss or you may be referred as one of the leaders of the organization on the company's website, but true leadership is much more than just a title.

True leadership involves the execution of a grand vision, where leaders enroll others to get passionate about seeing that vision through and then joining on the ride to bring that vision to reality. The hard part is actually getting your team members and employees to buy in to where you want to go and then working relentlessly to move that vision forward.

Related: 50 Rules for Being a Great Leader

The leaders that are driven by a title will have a difficult time motivating and getting their team members and employees to not only buy into the grand vision, but actually work hard and come together for a common purpose. Here are three things that all effective leaders have in common:

1. They possess a deep sense of humility.

The best coaches I ever had in football were also the coaches who had the most humility. They were always thinking about those they were leading and rarely about themselves.

In my life as a speaker I see the exact same trait in the high performing and dominant organizations that I get to spend time with. The one characteristic that all of the top executives in dominant organizations possess is humility. Top employees never want to work for or be associated with leaders who are full of themselves.

As Billy Graham once said: "The smallest package in the world is a man all wrapped up in himself."

2. They radiate positive energy.

Just like in life, the business world is full of unexpected twists, turns and obstacles, but the most effective leaders never let the unexpected deteriorate their positive energy.

Related: How and Why to Offer Words of Encouragement

It's your job as a leader to stay positive and strong in the face of uncertainty. Your people already go through enough with the demands of work piled on top of the hustle and bustle of life. Don't sabotage your organization's growth by putting energy into the wrong places.

As the leader, you set the tone. Whether that tone is positive or negative is completely up to you. If you're not radiating positive energy, how do you expect your people to?

3. They lead by example.

This one may seem self-explanatory, but you would be shocked at the number of leaders that would never consider doing what they ask of those they lead. One of the best ways to lose the respect and trust in your people is to continually fail to lead by example.

Look at any phenomenal leader. They are self-starters. They live what they preach. They demand excellence from themselves before they ever demand excellence from anyone else.

If you're in a leadership position and not seeing the results from your team that you had maybe hoped to see, do a quick audit and ask yourself if you are leading by example to the best of your ability. Be who you say you are, do what you say you are going to do and care like you say you care.

There are a number of different things you can do to get the results that you are looking for out of your employees and team members. I hope these three attributes help to get the ball rolling for you. Having a deep sense of humility, radiating positive energy every chance you get and leading by example doesn't produce miraculous and instant results, but I promise over time these three characteristics bring massive results.

Related: The Real Measure of a CEO's Success Can Be Found in an Ancient Greek Word

Matt Mayberry

Keynote Speaker and Peak Performance Strategist. CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises

Matt Mayberry is an internationally-acclaimed speaker and maximum performance strategist. He is the CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises, a company that specializes in helping individuals and organizations escape mediocrity and claim their greatness. He is also a former NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears. 

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