Four Indispensable Elements Beside Great Leaders

Author Jim Collins said, “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice.” When a leader consistently makes the right choices over time they move from average or good to great. I’ve found four indispensable elements that are beside great leaders. They include:

1. Connection with a higher power-

Great leaders have a deep connection and level of with a higher power. I’m personally a Christian and put my faith in God and the Holy Bible. My personal faith has allowed me to be more productive and see higher levels of results in the areas of my responsibilities. Putting my trust and faith in God has allowed me to partner with someone who excels me forward. I highly recommend connecting yourself with a higher power because it will positively impact your life.

2. A flourishing family

Those who have a healthy and flourishing family will be strong leaders. Your family and home life will significantly determine the level of your success and greatness. When you invest your best time, energy, and effort into your family it will positively impact every area of your life. This requires being intentional about balancing your life so your family is one of your top priorities. To better help you do this I suggest reading my post Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life.

3. A competent team-

Beside every great leader is a competent team. The best leaders find and retain people who are skilled, produce tremendous results, and can influence those around them. Competent teams cause you to become great and move the organization forward. Author John Maxwell says this about teams:

“Teams make you better than you are, multiply your value, enable you to do what you do best, allow you to help others do their best, give you more time, provide you with companionship, help you fulfill the desires of your heart and compound your vision and effort.”

Be deliberate about finding the right people and placing them in the right positions.

4. Strong relationships-

Strong relationships and an inner circle are indispensable. your relationships and those you associate with on a regular basis greatly determine your personal and leadership potential. I have learned in order to thrive through the many seasons of life and leadership requires strong relationships. Chose to build and maintain relationships with people who cause you to become better and achieve more.

Questions: Which above elements are most important to you? can you add to the list of indispensable elements that are beside great leaders?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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61 thoughts on “Four Indispensable Elements Beside Great Leaders

  1. You’ve touched on some critical elements of great leadership Dan. I believe great leadership starts with a strong self-awareness. Understanding where you thrive, areas you need improvement, and desires that move you enable you to become a level five leader. That’s why Level 5 Leaders have this interesting blend of fierce resolution and compelling modesty. The more we are attuned our calling and how God created us to be, the more we are humbled by how God uses our weaknesses to create strength. Thanks for the encouraging post.

    • Great words, Paul. When we become the best version of ourselves and let God work through out weakness, anything is possible.

      Now I just need to get better about getting out of the way : )

    • Self-awareness is huge! I’d add having people around us who give us honest and specific feedback is important as well. Thank you for adding to the topic! I appreciate it.

  2. First, your team doesn’t have to be coworkers. Your team can be from a ton of different areas.

    Second, your first point reminds me of Joseph (Genesis 37 – 50). Talk about responsibilities, and the results demonstrated. Every position he was in, God allowed him to influence others, to benefit others, and save others.

    • I agree with you about having other people on your team rather than coworkers. Thank you for mentioning that. Joseph is a great example. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  3. I love this one Dan. I think the quote from Jim Collins hints at another element: Mindset. A shared vision and mindset about what is possible can launch anyone/anything to never before seen heights!

    Number 4 is so key – it all comes back to relationship.


  4. This is a great list Dan, I really put a lot of value in the relational aspect. My relationships are what builds character, not only in myself, but in my family and team. My relationship with God, my family, and my team are all important, but balancing them like you said has, to be intentional. You really hit the nail on the head here my friend. Great post!

    • Hello Clint,

      Yes, our relationships really matter. The past few years I’ve been learning the value of online friends. It’s amazing what happens when a person connects and gets to know like minded people. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  5. I’d say a relationship with the Father of our and all souls is the most important thing. There is no peace outside of Him. Although implied, I think it is the long term commitment and perseverance that build the person, the team, and define and goal along with adding gratification to the process. Good stuff, Dan.

    • Amen about that Floyd! Great point about it being a long term commitment to have and make sure each of these areas are strong. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

  6. Dan, I would have to say my connection with God then my family and friends. The Inner Circle is also important to becoming great, but I believe that without God as we all know your greatness will be for you only and not for his Glory.

    • Great thoughts! The challenging part is to place God and those other areas as top priorities. Which I’ve found difficult at times (being an achiever). I constantly have to refocus on my areas of top priority. Do you struggle with that as well?

  7. Connection with a higher power is most important to me, but the others are all very important as well. When I have the safety of a flourishing family, the confidence of a unified team and the support of strong relationships, living a life of good works that illustrate the importance of God in my life becomes easier and more prominent. In other words, while connecting to God is most important, I recognize how He uses others to make that connection even stronger. In a sense, all of these connections are intertwined. After all, His greatest commandments are to love Him and love others, so it makes sense that these 4 elements are to be of utmost importance in our lives.

  8. As a Christian and a pastor, my connection with God is most important to me. I have spoken without that connection and not always has it been bad. But I know within my spirit I messed up. That, to me, is number one.

  9. Dan, it seems like the “connection with Higher Power” is the biggest thing being talked about. Most of us here are of the same faith, so that’s probably expected. But it’s interesting that most self-made millionaires (and we learned from our old friend Napoleon Hill) proclaim a higher power that was actively involved in their acquisition of wealth. It’s not just about money, but most people who have arrived at some major success will tell you their belief had as much to do with it (if not more) than anything. Great thoughts.

    • Great thoughts Bryan! A higher power plays a huge role in our life and future. It’s one of my most important areas. Thank you for adding to the discussion. It’s great to hear your thoughts.

  10. I think too many people assume they are a leader simply because they have a title. But their home life is a wreck, they don’t follow God, their team is in shambles, and no one is following them. I love how you put the building blocks together here for competent leadership.

    • Great thoughts David! True success is about having all areas in order. I’ve seen a lot of people who are successful in one area but are failing in the others. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  11. Dan, for me, it’s vital to have strong relationships. I think this is the lifeblood of leaders. When they have someone to fall back on, consult with, and be real with they’re given the chance to really excel.

    • Me too! The key is to take the time to build and maintaining those relationships (which can be difficult for leaders or achievers). I have to force myself to connect and build relationships with my friends (both online and off). How do you maintain your strong relationships?

  12. I love all the characteristics you listed, Dan. I would add “good character.” That said, we all have weaknesses in our character. I’ve found that I can’t overcome those weaknesses without God’s help. Because my natural weaknesses tend towards the “let’s have fun, enjoy life, and skip all this boring work” mindset, the only way I’ve been able to even dabble in leadership is through God changing me.

    • Character is essential in the four areas I mentioned. Strong character leads to living and leading a strong life. God’s a great change maker:) Thank you for reading and commenting.

  13. All of those are so important.

    I remember back in my teens and early twenties that I had a great set of close friends (inner circle) that challenged me as well as inspired me. But then a career got in the way, then a move to a different city. I now find myself praying for an inner circle. I know the time will come. Till then, I trust God and am working on keeping my family second only to God.

  14. All but number two are important to me – only because I’m single and don’t have a family of my own (otherwise I would say all if them)! Next to my relationship with Christ, a competent team and strong relationships are what keep me going. When one of those lacks, I can tell my leadership begins to suffer.

    • Ha, that’s makes sense, it also includes extended family:) Keep being self-aware about knowing when or if one of those areas is lacking. Thanks for reading and adding to the discussion.

  15. Great post, Dan. I’m taking about greatness, too, this week in my post. Really, I resonate with all your points. We need them all to be great! And thanks for your friendship which has helped me move toward greatness with more intentionality.

  16. Those are all huge elements Dad! If I were to add anything I think it would have to be an insatiable appetite for personal growth! The best leaders I know are constantly looking for ways to grow themselves, whether it’s through reading, relationships or even physical exercise!

    • Glad you enjoyed them Caleb. Great addition! Personal growth should be a huge aspect for a leader (or anyone else). Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  17. If I had to choose, #1 is most important to me, but what a great list. All so important. IMO #5 would have to be selfLESSness. Even as Jesus showed us, leadership is all about serving others. Integrity/character is somewhere up there, too.

  18. Hi Dan,

    These were four wonderful indispensable elements. For me, number 1 is so powerful. My belief in God helps me during those times when life becomes difficult and provides a wonderful resource to overcome challenges. I also like having a flourishing family. When our family life is good, it makes us happy and provides us with a good framework to enage in leadership activities.

    Thank you.

    • Hello Hiten,

      You have your priorities in order my friend. It sounds like we each want to place God and family at the top of our priorities. I’ve found great things happen when we do. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  19. I know # 1 is key for me. When I am in communication with God, I know where He wants me to be and to do. When I don’t communicate with Him consistently I languish in frustration and complacency. Thanks for the inspiration.

  20. 1 and 2 are the most important for me. Just imagine, even if you have a strong team and strong relationships, these wouldn’t mean much if the first two are missing.

  21. Strong relationships is the one I think is most important. You have to be able to interact with a lot of people in order to be a good leader. I’ve worked with people who aren’t good communicators and don’t interact well with others and they just don’t have good leadership skills. The other elements you mention here are good too so I wouldn’t just focus entirely on strong relationships. I think striking a good balance between all of these would be a great approach.