There are many types of leaders--some who have a positive impact on their people, customers, organizations, and communities, and some who do not. Impactful leadership is about making long-lasting positive and meaningful contributions to their organizations and communities, and in the lives of people and the world.

Being an impactful leader doesn't have to do with the clothes you wear, the car you drive, or the way you look--not even with the way you speak. To be an impactful leader who stands out from the crowd, you must combine your mind and heart to lead and achieve sustainable goals that build lasting impact by genuinely and generously influencing people to believe, trust, and join in your vision. If you want to build upon your leadership skills and become an impactful leader, here's how to go about it:

1. Establish a unique leadership style

Don't simply go with the flow, and avoid one-size-fits-all strategies as a way to lead. Reflect on your own values, character traits, and talents. This is the best place to start--from within--to define your own leadership style. Use what you already possess and build more from there. You are unique. Make that uniqueness your drive to become an impactful leader.

2. Serve with your mind and heart

Leading is a gift. The greatest and most impactful leaders in history have demonstrated that one of the most essential aspects in leading is having an attitude of service. An attitude of service is what genuinely connects leaders with people and how you earn their loyalty. Think about the many other ways in which you can serve. Don't lead blindly and without having a purpose.

3. Be generous and participate

Share your knowledge with those you lead. Speak of your failures and successes, and how you have overcome obstacles. Be a role model to inspire and motivate people to move forward. It is important to delegate, though it is also important to get involved with those you lead to learn about them and for them to feel supported.

4. Embrace an environment of well-being

Serving others and being there all the way takes a lot energy out of you. You need to know when enough is enough. Don't let yourself be consumed by attempting to take care of what can wait for another day. You and as well as those you serve need to be physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy to be productive and to celebrate successes.

5. Foster a culture of inclusiveness

Don't play favorites. Get into the habit of focusing on the talents of each of your people and promote these talents. You need to be open to managing conflict and negativity effectively to make people feel they are in a safe environment. People perform and respond better when they know you are there for them, when you are approachable and encouraging.