How Do You Know You’re an Effective Leader?

Every sector of society, from business to government, relies on people who can get others to buy into and contribute to a common cause. These people are leaders, and our world wouldn’t be the same without them.

Some people gain their leadership by climbing the ranks from one formal title to another. Others become leaders organically by starting a grassroots movement. Entrepreneurs, human rights activists, and government officials are all leaders, but what makes an effective leader? Continue reading to learn key ways to know whether you’re an effective leader.

You draw inspiration from other great leaders.


Conventional wisdom is that you must also be a good follower. One thing most great leaders have in common is that they draw inspiration from other great leaders and also know how to follow when necessary.

Malliha Wilson—founder of and senior counsel at Nava Wilson LLP—is a woman in the legal field who’s gained great renown for her leadership abilities. Malliha’s grandfather was a lawyer and activist within the Tamil community of Sri Lanka and fought hard for the equality of his people. That’s what inspired Malliha to become a litigator and fight for human rights.

Long before Malliha launched Nava Wilson LLP or served as the Native affairs secretariat of the Ontario Government, she learned the importance of equality from her grandfather. She also learned the importance of using the justice system to push for and protect the human rights of disenfranchised communities. Now, Malliha Wilson is an effective leader, applying and sharing what she learned all those years ago working alongside her grandfather.

People choose to follow you.

There’s a fine line between having authority and being an effective leader. One of the things about effective leaders is they make people want to follow them. People congregate around others who are smart, charismatic, and exceptionally good at their job. Some people lead by action, and others inspire through encouraging words. However, the common thread is the people following them do so willingly.

Your team members feel comfortable coming to you for help and advice.


Another mark of an effective leader is that they have the trust of their followers. If you’re the type of person to whom your team members turn for answers and advice, the chances are that you’re a good leader.

Leadership is about helping people to achieve their potential for the fulfillment of personal and career goals. That means that the people under your leadership need to feel comfortable coming to you to help them figure out ways to perform their duties to the best of their abilities.

Your team members improve under your leadership.

One of the most important traits of an effective leader is that they help those around them to improve their performance. Indeed, some of the greatest leaders in sports earned their stardom because of their ability to elevate the play of not only themselves but also their teammates. Effective leaders are always looking for ways to improve, but they’re also always willing to help others improve as well.


We need effective leaders in every segment of society, from the government to business to grassroots organizations. History is a testament to the necessity of strong leadership to further humanity and achieve greatness.

One of the marks of effective leaders is that they draw inspiration from other great leaders. Also, people follow great leaders by choice rather than out of obligation. Furthermore, when you’re an effective leader, people feel comfortable turning to you for help and advice. Finally, effective leaders help those under their leadership to become better. If you have the traits listed in this article, then you have what it takes to be an effective leader.