Great leaders produce results by setting an example to their team and creating a wave of momentum.

There’s more to producing results than building the right team. As a leader, you must also lead by example. If you perform aggressively or reluctantly, this attitude will translate into poor team performance. But if you show enthusiasm and drive, people will follow suit.

For example, legend has it that once during the Revolutionary War, George Washington rode up to a group of soldiers who were having trouble raising a beam. Instead of helping directly, the commander first stood aside and shouted words of encouragement. But when he realized that the task exceeded the soldiers’ strength, Washington dismounted his horse and joined the struggle. Soon enough, the group succeeded in lifting the beam.

But there’s one thing that’s even more important than inspiring people through your own actions: capitalizing on your victories to build momentum.

Producing positive results is uplifting, and it will motivate your team to produce even better results.  As essayist Thomas Carlyle said: “Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.”

This virtuous cycle allows you to build up momentum in your team, and momentum is every leader’s best friend, for it amplifies good results and nullifies bad ones.

Just think if Apple, for example. For years it was a niche company struggling to make inroads against the market leaders IBM and Microsoft. But thanks to products like the iPhone, it managed to turn the tide. Since then, it seems the company can do no wrong: nearly every move it has made has been lauded. This is thanks to the tremendous wave of momentum it has been riding: success begets success.