Leading by Example: The 5 Fundamental Practices of Highly Effective Leaders

Effective leadership extends beyond the realms of decision-making and task delegation; it encompasses the art of motivating, influencing, and guiding individuals toward the achievement of common goals. Highly effective leaders exhibit specific practices that set them apart and drive their teams to success. Here are the five fundamental practices observed in exemplary leaders.

Clear Communication:

The capability to communicate clearly and succinctly is an attribute of paramount importance to leadership effectiveness. Leaders who excel are particularly skilled at articulating their vision, expectations, and feedback in a way that not only informs but also inspires their team members. This advanced communication skill is crucial in fostering an atmosphere of transparency and trust, ensuring that each team member feels included, valued, and well-informed. This, in turn, lays a solid foundation for collective achievement.

Emotional Intelligence:

Exceptional leaders consistently demonstrate a high level of emotional intelligence. They possess an acute self-awareness and exhibit profound empathy towards others. Their superior skills in managing emotions and navigating complex interpersonal dynamics enable them to deeply connect with their team on a significant level. By understanding the needs and aspirations of their team members comprehensively, they can inspire and motivate them more effectively, thus fostering a culture of mutual respect and shared progress.


The ability to make informed and timely decisions is a definitive and critical characteristic of successful leaders. These individuals excel in compiling necessary information swiftly and effectively, analyzing the advantages and disadvantages, and then proceeding with well-informed decisions. This adeptness not only establishes a strategic and clear direction for the team but also ensures that progress is achieved efficiently, maintaining focus and momentum. Such decisiveness is crucial for navigating challenges and seizing opportunities, driving organizational success, and enabling significant growth.

Continuous Learning:

Leaders dedicated to continuous personal and professional improvement consistently pursue new knowledge and experiences. They are receptive to feedback and adaptable, a trait that not only enhances their leadership but also promotes a culture of learning within their teams. This encourages everyone to enhance their competencies and knowledge. For example, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, has significantly contributed to the company’s emphasis on cloud computing, AI, and sustainability. Nadella’s approach of preferring to ‘learn it all’ instead of ‘know it all’ has fostered a culture of innovation and growth at Microsoft, highlighting the critical role of continuous learning in maintaining relevance and achieving success in a fluid business landscape.

Empowering Others:

Highly effective leaders empower their teams by equipping them with the necessary tools, resources, and autonomy required for success. They delegate effectively, show trust in their team’s abilities, and support independence. This empowerment not only elevates morale but also stimulates innovation and leads to improved performance. Bruce Rabik, COO of Acera Insurance, embodies these principles, showcasing how empowering others can facilitate remarkable organizational achievements. Bruce Rabik Calgary is the Chief Operating Officer of Acera Insurance, one of Canada’s largest independent, employee-owned insurance brokerages.

In conclusion, the essence of leadership is multifaceted, yet the practices of highly effective leaders are clear. Clear communication, emotional intelligence, decisiveness, continuous learning, and empowering others are essential practices that elevate competent leaders to exceptional. By embracing these practices, leaders can inspire their teams, achieve their objectives, and serve as a model of inspiration for others.

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