I often ponder about the difference between achievers and leaders. Many people mistakenly consider all successful people to be leaders regardless of their actual leadership qualities. Recently I met and interviewed a successful social entrepreneur who was able to clarify the difference.

A member of YPO in the United Arab Emirates, Sunil Lalvani served as Group Managing Director of Global Products Group for 15 years. His father started the company as Binatone Electronics in the United Kingdom in the 1950s, and it has since expanded to four continents and 75 countries. He is also founder and CEO of Project Maji, which harnesses solar power to bring water to poor villages in Africa. As Lalvani explains, "One thing we know is that Africa has sun in abundance. And what I have learned as I have gone on this journey is that there's lots of water underground as well. In the middle, you've got a mass of people who don't have water." Project Maji is working to positively impact one million people by 2025.

On a recent episode of my podcast, YPO's 10 Minute Tips From the Top, I interviewed Lalvani, who explained that the most powerful humanitarian projects offer people tools to manage their lives, rather than quick fixes to ongoing problems. We discussed his views on how the best leaders help others to help themselves.

1. Lead with trust.

Lalvani believes that empowerment is the single most valuable tool a leader can share with others. "This begins with trusting, enabling and believing in those we lead." Maji offers a precious commodity to its constituents: water, but it does not micromanage how they use it.

2. Lead responsively.

There's no point offering a solution that people don't need. Since establishing Project Maji, Lalvani and his team have kept in close touch with the communities they serve. They monitor and learn from the communities' behaviors to fine-tune their services. For example, they quickly realized that smaller villages needed smaller solutions with mobile monitoring options, so, "We have been active in adapting our solution to meet their needs." The original "Big Maji" water plants are still in use in certain areas, but they are now focused on the "Mini Maji," a smaller and lower cost plant designed for villages of 1,000 or fewer people. "These are the most underserved and the most in need of support," explains Lalvani.

3. Lead by inviting investment.

The communities pay a small fee for the water the plants provide."If they are paying for it, they value it," Lalvani explains, "and the plant needs upkeep." Asking villagers to contribute cash, even a nominal amount, causes them to be more mindful of their water's source and to develop more direct interest in the plant's operation. Money is not the only investment leaders can request--there is always time, talent and sweat equity.

4. Lead reflectively.

If your head is not clear and focused, your followers may have to concentrate on you instead of the task at hand. Lalvani understands that leaders face constant demands: "It's easy to pick up the phone first thing in the morning, start working on emails and get flooded. Take some time to breathe and reflect first so you can make conscious, clear headed decisions about what needs to be done."

5. Assume leadership thoughtfully.

Accomplished, capable people receive frequent invitations to serve in leadership positions, especially for humanitarian causes. "It's very easy to be offered prestigious, rewarding roles. It's tempting to always say yes," he says. "But I would advise anyone to think about it deeply. I won't take things on unless I feel I can do it well. I won't take it on just for the glory. Consider it well. If you think you can cope with it, and the passion will drive you through, and your family will support you, by all means, do it."

Each week on his podcast, Kevin has conversations with members of the , the world's premiere peer-to-peer organization for chief executives, eligible at age 45 or younger.