I have worked with and known many great leaders in my 30+ year career.  The best of the leaders that I have known are workhorses. In my opinion, the one trait these effective leaders have shared is inspiration through actions. They’ve executed their way to credibility. They’ve delivered on promises. They’ve built trust one event at a time, one challenge at a time, one initiative at a time. They all seem to realize that, over time, it’s about how they act (and react) that defines them. In moments of truth, their actions shine; they become the embodiment of a shared mission.

In short, they inspired the people around them to greatness by their actions and example.

Inspired employees are more than twice as productive as satisfied employees, according to a survey conducted by Bain Research.

Determined and persistent leaders know that, in the end, their intentions won’t matter nearly as much as their results.  In the private sector, the key to effective leadership is to develop clarity around objectives, budgets, time frames, and deliverables. The leaders who master all four metrics will lead winning teams and be known for their actions, by their results — and not by their words or best intentions.