12 Most Exemplary “E” Embodiments of Excellent Leaders

12 Most Exemplary “E” Embodiments of Excellent Leaders

This post continues my Letters of the Alphabet Leadership series. You can read the 12 Most Dazzling “D” Differentiators of Great Leaders to catch up.

1. Ebullient

To be ebullient is to be both exuberant and irrepressible. A naturally exuberant leader buoys a team. An irrepressible nature sustains that team during the tough times.

2. Eclectic

Some organizations may want leaders with a laser-focus and very specific experience. I think eclectic leaders leverage their wide-ranging experiences for the best results. You have heard about “thinking outside of the box”. Well, these types of leaders already have experience with several boxes — and how to think outside of each one of them!

3. Ecstatic

Perhaps it is over the top to expect our great leaders to be outright joyful. However, ecstatic also means “upbeat.” Leaders that remain upbeat can more easily motivate employees in all situations.

4. Ecumenical

Ecumenical leaders are inclusive and unifying. They play no favorites, hold no bias, and unify disparate organizations into a cohesive, highly functional team.

5. Educated

Whether it is advanced degrees, certifications, or lessons from the “school of hard knocks”, leaders leverage their education to avoid mistakes — and learn from the mistakes they do make. I like this quote attributed to John Dewey: “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

6. Effective

Leaders could have every attribute in this 12 Most post, but they will still be judged on their effectiveness. Provided they have enough “material to work with” — because some odds truly are insurmountable — leaders with these traits will be effective!

7. Elastic

Bern William stated Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit. Great leaders are adaptable and resilient. They roll with the punches and the setbacks, and they come back with even more determination to carry their organizations to success.

8. Elegant

There is no need to pull out the French cuffs and nice china dining set. Elegant also means effective and simple. As a software developer and architect, I always love the elegant solutions. They are beautiful (and flexible, adaptable and scalable) because of their simplicity. I think some of the best leaders in the world wear that attitude. They are elegant in their simplicity and transparency — no hidden agendas or complex instabilities.

9. Eloquent

We sometimes think eloquence requires extended vocabularies. WRONG! Eloquent leaders communicate effectively with the vocabulary appropriate for their audience to comprehend the message! In fact, the most eloquent leaders are the ones who are elegant in the simplicity of their message.

10. Empathetic

The bar is much lower when it comes to leading during successful times with a functional team. Throw in some dysfunction, and team members going through personal trials, and then leadership requires empathy. Rather than burn through resources with no understanding of their trials and fears, nurture existing resources with empathetic ears. High morale and employee loyalty will be the result.

11. Enabling

Micro-managers are not scalable. Their organizations will only expand and succeed up to the limits of the micro-manager’s capacity. Instead, great leaders equip and enable their team members to succeed. They share in the successes, and they work through the failures so their team learns from them. Then the leaders enable them all over again!

12. Exemplary

Exemplary leaders are admirable, ethical, honorable, virtuous, and worthy. Some of those characteristics are wired into their DNA. In other cases, these leaders look themselves in the mirror each morning and resolve to be worthy of the burdens and trust placed upon them. Be exemplary!

I will toss out one more exemplary embodiment: enchanting. One of my favorite business books is Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki. Take the lessons in that book to heart, and you are on your way to becoming an exemplary leader!

Finally, here are my “12 E’s not to Be:” ectopic (deranged), edacious (unappeasable), edgy, egotistical, egregious (deplorable), emasculated (feeble), embarrassing, enraged, erosive, evasive, exacerbating, and excremental (full of ****).

Featured image courtesy of Orin Zebest licensed via Creative Commons.

Brian Vickery


I love my wife and two daughters. I am blessed in that I also love my job as a principal and EVP of the Rocky Mountain Region for Mantis Technology Group. I am very excited about our Pulse Analytics SaaS social media monitoring solution for measuring consumer sentiment and supporting social engagement. I enjoy teaching and coaching. I graduated UT-Austin.

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