College of Business

5 Ways To Become an Exceptional and Effective Leader

By Tiffany Pyritz | February 1, 2024

What does it take to be an exceptional leader, and how do I expand my leadership ability?

Many people find themselves in a leadership position at some point in their life and ask these questions.

Whether people succeed in these roles depends on their commitment to improvement and reaching their goals. Becoming a better leader is a topic that has been taught in leadership programs worldwide.

Many people assume the key characteristics of a leader are confidence, power, and intelligence, but that is not the case. There is so much more that goes into leadership which not all people comprehend. Improving leadership begins with intentional passionate energy, improving empathy, being optimistic, empowering others, and believing in the value of gratitude.

Improving leadership skills is important, whether you are in a management position, on a sports team, or in personal relationships. You start with a passionate desire to grow. This requires energy.

If there is no energy there is no space for discipline, improvement, or attaining anything of value. “The words we say impact, but it’s also important to consider our tonality and body language in how messages are delivered, and how we behave from moment to moment,” (Brooks, 2018).  Nothing can be done without the initial energy of believing in yourself. That will allow others to believe in you and the goals that need to be accomplished. 

In order to become an effective leader, you have to show empathy. “Leadership can inspire in the emotional sense” (Steenbarger,2018). Your ability to enhance your emotional intelligence is vital to becoming an effective leader. Showing others that you care about their feelings brings along self-reliance, motivation, and self-awareness.

Effective leaders are optimistic and choose joy daily. They find a way to see the bright side when things seem to go wrong. Positivity creates a domino effect in your environment. It spreads to those around you. A leader’s attitude can make or break a teams’ goals, so choose yours wisely.

The best leaders find ways to empower those around them. They identify people’s talents and place them in them in a job that matches their talents. This helps them reach their goals while also helping the organization succeed. Leaders instill confidence in others while pushing them to grow.

Exceptional leaders have constant attitudes of gratitude. They care greatly for others. The Center for Creative Leadership identified a few simple ways leaders can express gratitude in the workplace. You can send thank you cards, offer affirmations to others, start meetings with thanks, and look at the positives when things go wrong. Showing gratitude makes people feel appreciated which leads to more efficiency.

Following these key factors, you will become an exceptional and effective leader who influences others to grow professionally and personally.

Tiffany Pyritz is a student-athlete at Charleston Southern University, with a bachelor’s degree in both accounting and financial management. She is currently working toward a Master of Business Administration.


Brooks, T. (2018, September 24). The Importance of Your Leadership Energy. The Leadership Training Workshop.

Gratitude at Work: Giving Thanks Will Make You a Better Leader. (2021, November 13). CCL.

Steenbarger, B. (2018, January 22). Cultivating The Essential Ingredient In Leadership: Energy. Forbes.

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