Although title, power, fame, and wealth may indicate a person in a position of leadership, that alone does not give credence to being an effective leader. This is illustrated every day in the failures and incompetence of many in positions of power as they fail to understand that genuine leadership is more about the responsibilities to others rather than themselves.

The fact is that any person who impacts another is a leader. There are many who believe in you, count on you, and love you. Ask yourself:

• If you were to die tomorrow, what would those you love and those you impacted say about you?
• Would you even know what you would want them to say?
• Are you aware of the positive leadership characteristics that are most reflective of you?

These are significant questions to ponder since they relate to personal accountability and taking ownership for the path and direction your life is traveling. In other words, taking ownership for what you want to be remembered for is the key to living a life that is an honest reflection of who you are.

What are the principles that form your decision-making and interaction with others? What are the values that define what you stand for and believe in, and are those values projected in your actions? As a minor public servant, I have always known you cannot please everyone, but I do believe you can generate respect and set a positive example by being consistent in your beliefs, remaining open-minded to others' beliefs, and treating others as you want to be treated-that being with dignity and respect.

Through the years, I have experienced a consistent number of character traits that universally translate to being an effective leader, whether it be in the office, at home, or on the battlefield. Discipline, integrity, commitment, loyalty, perseverance, honor, respect, and humility are just some that come to mind. The most important is selflessness.

Always remember that the result of your actions should always be beneficial and inspirational to others. Are those you love and lead better people and leaders themselves for having followed you? When you look in the mirror, are you reflecting who you really are?

Author's Bio: 

Jay C. Rifenbary, an internationally renowned inspirational speaker, trainer, and consultant, is president of Rifenbary Training & Development and author of two books, "True To Your Core: Common Sense Values for Living Life to Its Fullest" and "No Excuse! Incorporating Core Values, Accountability, and Balance into Your Life and Career." Jay's presentations have been unlimited in their scope of the positive impact they have had and continue to have on organizations, associations, schools, and individuals in the areas of personal and professional core value development and leadership training. Visit for more information.