Whether you are a seasoned direct sales leader with a large organization beneath you or just beginning to build your team, it is important to study and adopt the desirable qualities of effective leaders. Those with the most wealth and the loftiest degrees from elite universities are often revered as leaders. But, is this truly what leadership has become—affluence and fancy degrees?

While a great number of brilliant minds have come from the elite universities, an equal or greater number of brilliant minds sprouted outside these institutions—Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, and Walt Disney to name a few. In addition, some of the most influential people of the last century have lived in humble circumstances, such as Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, and Anne Frank. One only need to study the lives of these influential people to discover that leaders are predominantly made through hard work, persistence, learning, and observation.

These are just a few examples of uber-successful leaders and visionaries who left an enduring mark on the world. While self-education and the sum of experiences isn’t always the way leaders and innovators are produced, it certainly proves that this route to leadership is very possible. Meaningful contributions to society can be made through passion, drive and the desire to inspire others to be leaders.

Everyone needs mentors and leaders. Leaders who will add value to them and help inspire them to greater things. Here are a few tips to add value to your team and inspire them to greatness:

  1. Love and serve your team. This is a people industry. Put people first, communicate regularly and effectively, demonstrate your genuine interest in the success of others, and give them the support they need to thrive.
  2. Maintain high positive energy. Keep your “why” in focus and remember the reason you started your Zija business. It is normal to feel stressed and drained occasionally, but energy and positivity maintains high team morale and propels your team forward to meet goals.
  3. Celebrate successes. Celebrate the successes of your team—no matter how small the progress—publicly. Recognition reinforces positive behaviors, motivates, and yields better results.
  4. Lead with action, not words. People are far more likely to follow your actions than what you say. “Practicing what you preach” upholds your credibility and will earn the trust of your team.
  5. Make learning a continual process. Master the features and benefits of seven to twelve products, make it a point to learn about new products, understand the compensation plan, and read books that present ideas to help you achieve success. Learning should be a lifelong pursuit.

The measure of a leader is his ability to inspire others to greatness and to improve the lives of others. Leaders recognize and leverage knowledge from a variety of sources. They attract and surround themselves with other strong and successful people that embolden them to realize goals. Innovative leaders create lasting change in the world. They take concepts, whether their own or an existing idea, and develop and promote those ideas until they become the vision of what the future should be.

It’s time that we evaluate leaders based on their contribution to society, their ability to inspire others, and their ability to improve lives; not the degrees they hold, the wealth they have obtained, or other superficial attributes. Zija has the right products, at the right time, and you are the right person to help lead the charge.