3 Fundamentals for Successful Leadership


repost from 2014

Author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.” This principle applies to any type or level of success, including leadership. Knowing the advanced leadership skills and techniques is good however, the basic fundamentals of leadership must always be at the center of a leader’s life. Knowing and consistently applying the basics will greatly assist you in being a successful leader. Below are 3 of those crucial fundamentals:

1. Self-leadership

Self-leadership is about leading yourself exceptionally well. The core element to self-leadership is to maintain your character, beliefs, values, and be a person of integrity. In a world full of unethical and immoral compromises, we need more leaders who are strongly founded. Make sure not to risk the downfall of your influence by compromising any of those core areas. Self-leadership positions a leader for success.

2. Influence

Whether you have a leadership title or not, positive influence is essential. The person who has the positive influence has the true power and will be able to lead those around them. Those who solely rely on a position of authority or a title will find it difficult to gain influence. Followers in today’s culture are demanding leaders and managers who display positive influence. Brian Tracy provides wise advice about how we should lead. He said, “Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.”

3. Relationship skills

Relationship skills are at the ground level of successful leadership. Leadership is a people business. Stanley Allyn said, “The most useful person in the world today is the man or woman who knows how to get along with other people. Human relations is the most important science in living.” Relational leaders take time to get to know and socialize with those on their team. A key element behind this is to spend regular time with and around your team members.

Question: What other fundamentals allow for successful leadership?

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  • Conor

    Another great piece Dan!!

    I completely agree – self-leadership and relationships are like the King and Queen of effective leadership. I’m not sure that I fully grasp the point you’re making in number 2. When you use the term “positive influence” – what exactly do you mean?



    • Thank you Conor,

      Everyone influences others. The influence can be positive, neutral, or negative. Leaders with positive influence are likeable, build relationships, are trust worthy…. Neutral leaders neither add value or subtract if from others, Negative influences are the opposite of positive influences and they are destructive. Does that make sense?

      • Conor Daniel Santry

        That makes perfect sense Dan! Thanks very much for the explanation! I love it!!! It’s also very much in alignment with something I’ve been subconsciously aware of lately but hadn’t formulated into conscious thoughts or words. Now that you’ve elaborated, I’ve literally had a lightbulb moment of clarity! Thanks again Dan. Appreciated as always. Conor

        • I’m glad it does. I’ll probably write a blog post in the near future about the different types of influence, I think it would help a lot of people. I love those lightbulb moments, it means growth and improvement. Have a great week and thank you for being a reader of my blog.

  • Jim Kennedy

    Dan – Great Article. I totally agree with your findings. My personal favorite is your first point on self leadership. Character is much more important than technical skills. Skills can be learned but people will not follow someone whom they do not respect. Keep up the good work!

    Jim Kennedy

    • Hi Jim,

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Such a true point, character really does matter above everything else. Thank you for adding your wisdom here.