One quality or trait that many employer looks for in a leader is the ability to not only perform well yourself but to also elevate the performance of others around you.

For example, Steve Nash was an elite point guard and an all-star that made the people around him better. He made Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire all-stars and afterwards, when they were no longer teammates, they were not able to play at their all-star levels.

You could say that Steve Nash is a great leader but it does not inherently imply that he also makes the people around him.

Is there a specific word that describes this? A phrase to describe it would be, "he brings the best out of others", but I cannot think of a word to describe this ability/trait.

  • Exemplary, Inspiring
    – user140086
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 7:38
  • 1
    Imo exemplary does not work. Exemplary means he's a good example and should follow his lead, but does not mean that they do get better. I could see how inspiring would work, as he could inspire others to become better. Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 7:44

8 Answers 8


A person who motivates others could be a word you're looking for.


Steve Nash was a motivator.


If they're facilitating teamwork or getting others to combine their strengths, you could call them a catalyst. For example:

You take anybody’s star player or players [out] of the lineup, it’s a big hole to fill. The one thing that Connor really did well was energize our group. He was a catalyst and also promoted some real strong play from others. (source)

If they're elevating the performance of others by setting a good example, you could call them an inspiration.

  • This answer was flagged as low-quality because of its length and content. Can you try to include reference or link (that can support your answer) and its essential part?
    – user140086
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 8:11

You could consider using mentorship which means:

The guidance provided by a mentor, especially an experienced person in a company or educational institution: 'he is revered by his employees for his mentorship and problem-solving qualities'

Your example:

Steve Nash had mentorship skills and was a great mentor to Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire.

[Oxford Online Dictionary]


A game changer is usually an event that improves ones chances of a good outcome. By extension, it can be a person associated with those events.


Could he be described as a 'keystone player'?

(In biology) keystone species : a species of plant or animal that produces a major impact (as by predation) on its ecosystem and is considered essential to maintaining optimum ecosystem function or structure.

  • Welcome to EL&U. Please add references to support your answer. Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 19:30

Leader, paraclete (~advocate), synergist, hero, paragon, moxie (gumption, audacity), expediter, champion, instigator, rabbi (~teacher) animator, facilitator, apostle, marshal, guru, icon, aureate (~gilded), jannisary, evoker, ameliorator.

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    And which of these actually answers the question? It would improve your post to give definitions, as well.
    – Joachim
    Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 16:58

You could well use "ellicitor" as for someone who brings out the best in others from within (a Socrates, for example).

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    -1. Omar, that word doesn't exist. Even if you mean elicitor, this doesn't have the meaning you suggest, it simply refers to some person or agent that brings forth a response. That response could well be a negative one - hence the most common meaning of elicitor as biological molecules especially in connection with disease. General hint: if you're going to post an answer, (1) check it's correct and relevant, (2) spell it correctly, and (3) back it up with evidence such as a dictionary definition. For further guidance, see How to Answer and take the EL&U Tour. Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 5:32

I would call this person "Invaluable".

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  • 1
    Invaluable doesn't really carry any connotation of making others better. Commented yesterday

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