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3 Secret Signs of Highly Effective Leadership

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What gets me super-excited? Discussing shop with executives at leading-companies that make up our everyday environment, of course! By chatting to the president of XYZ Corp.'s major division, one is able to garner the deep insights into business that aren't readily apparent in Securities and Exchange Commission filings. I like to call this approach reverse-engineered stock analysis, trying to ascertain the nuances of a company that ultimately go onto be shared to investors in the form of financial results every three months. Some of the best talks I've had, believe it or not, were with supply chain and logistics executives who have fun things to share on fuel consumption for a newly launched truck fleet or methods underway to better stack boxes in the truck to extract more efficiencies.

So it's with a great deal of confidence that I'm often able to identify a good leader from a confused, or ineffective, leader. The development of that gut instinct has taken years but it's very special to have in the analytical arsenal. Starbucks'  Howard Schultz; now there is a real leader. The words from his mouth inspire investors and employees, and usually cause the stock to pop when he does hit the interview circuit. I would identify Walmart's  leader of its Sam's Club warehouse unit, Rosalind Brewer, as a highly effective change agent. Brewer is reinventing the warehouse club channel by infusing technology into the stores, and has been known to rally the troops with her speeches. For all of the hoopla around his compensation plan, Chipotle  Co-CEO Monty Moran (which I interviewed here) could have a restaurant employee wanting to chop organic meat 24/7 by sheer words in a presentation.

On the other hand, there are ineffective leaders, such as Eddie Lampert at Sears , who only believes his way is correct. Target's  former CEO Greg Steinhafel could also be deemed a flawed leader that fostered an insular culture at Minnesota HQ and a stretch of subpar financial results for shareholders.

You -- John and Jane Doe investor -- must be able to identify effective leadership from earnings calls and assorted presentations at investment bank conferences as your resource pool is likely different than mine. Remember, the smiley faces under the executive team section of the investor relations page shape the financials of the company in which you are part owner.

Here are three things that define an effective leader.

Manner of speaking:  Gap  CEO Glenn Murphy has a knack for tossing division heads sort of under the bus on earnings calls if their divisions perform poorly. That's a red flag to me and it suggests that the leader is browbeating employees behind the scenes, starving their creativity. Effective leaders inspire to drive the change that employees have within themselves to produce. When those employees buy into the system, that sets the stage for strong financial results for quarters to come.