Several Essential Elements Of Leading Others

By Sean Stevenson – Latest Revision January 3rd, 2021

Leading others is a learned habit.

However, to manage others in a meaningful way requires immense skill.   The ability to delegate effectively and influence the outcome is a prerequisite of fully realized leadership. 

Elements of leading are not complicated, though they are a skill that requires continuous practice.

Successful leaders know how to leverage the skills of others.  Moreover, they understand how to develop resources and build dynamic interpersonal relationships. 

They use these elements of professionalism and leading to full effect.  The organization they serve benefits greatly from this expertise in leadership.

By learning about these elements yourself, you too can develop the ability to lead others proficiently. 

In this guide I will explore the elements of leading others.  I will provide actionable ways for you to take charge of others and develop positive outcomes for your organization.

What Are The Elements of Leading?

To understand the key elements of leading others, we must categorize the fundamentals involved.  Think of this process as a way of seeing all the ingredients that make for a perfect recipe in leadership.

Each portion demands careful study.  You will not immediately grasp all of them either.

By practicing each in turn, and focusing on incremental improvements, you can become a sterling example of leadership for others to follow.  Leadership is a skill like any other.  You can learn it and improve it.  All it takes is practice.

Below are the fundamental elements of leading:

Building Trust

Of all the elements of leading, one of the most crucial is creating trust between people.  By fostering concern for people and their ideas, you will be setting an important example.  The very presence of trust towards an organization’s leaders allows for a work culture to flourish. 

The existence of trust among people allows us to work together and feel safer; as part of a larger group that we identify with.  In the context of an enterprising organization, this is essential to the productivity that leads to success.  A trusting group of workers is correlated with high engagement, lower turnover rates, and far better attendance.

The loss of trust leads to stagnation.  As employee loyalty wanes, they begin to look elsewhere for fulfillment.  Often this is due to a lack of fairness, or a perceived distrust of underlying motivations within the organization.

Be sure to assess the presence or absence of the qualities of trust as they exist in your workplace.  Build or rebuild bridges as necessary by promoting the conversation.  Find “pain points” or areas of difficulty, so that you can devise solutions for stakeholders wherever possible.

Through building trust, you will win the respect of others as a leader.  This will allow you to influence outcomes, devise inputs, and maximize outputs.  These alone are an indispensable commodity, so practice the tenets of trust wherever you can.

Listening and Learning (From Others)

One of the most important things you can do today is to listen to others.  Without careful listening and effective communication, no organization can operate effectively.  

To really put it in perspective, listening is essential for:

Unfortunately, in the frantic pace of modern business, listening has become something of a lost art. 

Everyone is in such a hurry to be heard and to make their demands, that they often forget that any enterprise is a team effort.  Adapting to the evolving needs of customers and industry trends alike, requires that people remain coherently organized through communication. 

By listening carefully to others, being constructive, and acting on important information, you will be accomplishing a vital role as a leader within your organization.  Master asking questions to promote the conversation at hand.  This will send a powerful message to the stakeholders involved that you are serious about understanding the tasks at hand and acting on them.

By being a good communicator, you will have the capacity to motivate and even develop others, as necessary.  This gives you great flexibility as a leader and allow you to exert more control over the outcomes before they happen.

Moreover, when people know you will listen to good reason, they will become the first to consult you with important information.  This gives you a further edge in your organization -as the facts will be in your hands- giving you the opportunity to do something vital that can make a real impact.

Learn to listen to others, carefully analyze what they say, and act decisively using the facts at hand.  People are after all, your most important resource in any endeavour.  Through effective communication and careful listening, you can meticulously leverage resources to produce optimal outcomes.

elements of leading

"How safe do you feel asking questions?" ... my favorite question to ask to get insights into someone's company culture."

-Sean Rose


Transparent leadership ensures that people know how and why a leader came to a decision. 

An important quality of transparency is that it fosters trust, happiness, and stakeholder engagement.  As an element of leadership, there can be no higher calling than to bring people together. 

Effective transparency can help build a sense of comradery when implemented correctly.

An effective leader that uses transparency well, does not micromanage others.  Instead, that manager will promote a culture based on personal accountability. 

Reviews of employee performance can only occur when there is an issue that must be resolved.  This ensures that everyone remains driven and accountable to the organization.

The most engaged workplaces are always based on open communication, with an emphasis on setting important goals, facts-only strategizing, and honest discourse.  A powerful workplace culture embraces change.  

Moreover, transparency is a great way to ensure open lines of communication.  By remaining transparent you will be setting an example to others.  Workers will be more willing to share their own outlooks, shortcomings, and even their worst fears with you.   Since it only stands to benefit themselves and the business as a whole, everyone will see the value in sharing their ideas.

It is also very important for both individual and team successes to be celebrated.  Giving credit for progress or achievement is a great way to encourage others to perform.  In an atmosphere of positivity, people will better understand the importance of working together to realize their goals.  

Always maintain transparency and audit the system, not the people.  Create a better process wherever possible.  Give your people every advantage in their work efforts, rather than demanding the advantage come from them. 

Learning From Failure

The event of failure is what separates a great leader from a mediocre one.  

Understand that anyone who has ever enjoyed success has fallen short of it countless times beforehand.  Failure is a necessity on the road to success.  

Ironically, most people shy away from failure without realizing that they are doing themselves harm.  If you never venture to take any risks, you are unlikely to thrive.

The experience of failure can be a powerful teacher and motivator when fully grasped.  By first understanding exactly what happened and why it created the issue, you can then take steps to eliminate the possibility of it ever happening again. 

Further, you can establish frameworks that take into account the lessons learned.  In this way, your next innovations will be far more effective and also resilient to potential issues.

Failures also represent a time to inspire others.  Rather than cast blame, embrace the situation and promote awareness among employees.  In this way, you are guarding your organization against future dangers. 

A leader can gain great perspective about their own people and organization during difficult times.  It will inevitably show you who is serious about moving forward.  Further, it can show you what processes tend to be faulty in nature.

From failure, seek improvement.  Not just in the areas impacted, but in all things.  It is perhaps the most effective way to learn. 

Make this a habit, and you will no longer fear failure.  You will simply become ready to learn from it.  Moving forward more powerfully than before as a direct result of failure is something every leader should aspire to.

Decisive Decision-Making

Weighing the pros and cons of a situation is a careful process.  It can take some time to fully make your mind up on matters.  However, once you have decided upon a particular course of action, you must be decisive and refuse to back down.

By committing to your goals, you will be setting a personal and visible precedent.  Others will see you as persistent.  Also, you will be making a habit of constant progress towards achievement. 

It is important to note that not committing to your goals is worse than having failed them.  By falling short, you will have learned invaluable lessons that can carry you forwards in the future.  Whereas, by simply giving up too early, you will have merely wasted your own time and energy.

All too often, people doubt themselves and their ability to make decisions.  This is an unfortunate form of personal defeatism and must be avoided at all costs.

Always be logical and persistent when you need to make a decision. 

Remember that short-term gains can never offset long-term losses.  Keep your mind on the ultimate prize, and do not compromise your vision for the sake of an “easy way out.”

For long-term results, there is no better decision-making process than to be both factual and committed. 

elements of leading

It seems sometimes like 75% of mentoring is telling people that their current challenge is normal and not a sign of personal failing.

-Emily Short

Always Be Humble and Kind

Remaining level-headed and kind to others is a great way of displaying your character.  Personal integrity is a product of having treated others fairly and promoting positivity whenever possible. 

By adhering to such a high standard, you will not only be a likeable leader, but you will also gain the ardent respect of those you work with.  In times of crisis where decisive actions are needed, that respect will become a currency that you as a leader might spend to avoid disaster. 

Leveraging resources to where they are needed is only possible when everyone believes in their leaders.  By remaining humble and having an open mind, you will be able to adjust to changing circumstances faster than someone who is haughty or unkind. 

When dealing with criticism, always take it in stride.  An important element of leading, is to never lash out or take criticism personally.  View every critique as a way in which you might improve.  If it is a serious issue, then take it upon yourself to immediately resolve this problem, using whatever resources necessary.

Often, people who criticize us are exaggerating certain details.  Focus on the parts of what they say that have merit.  Ignore anything that seems irrelevant or emotionally charged.

A key aspect of humility is that it does not mean you cannot also be confident.  The main idea is to be polite to others, encouraging them to share ideas and communicate more openly. 

If you can master your humility, you will gain the loyalty of those you bond with indefinitely.

Creative Purpose and planning

It is often said that a leader will always encounter unique situations that are impossible to predetermine.  No business is a simple matter, and there will always be complications that occur on the path to advancement. 

When your team asks for your help, always respond with fairness and careful inquiry.  Find the relative details that will best help you in your decision-making process. 

Be sure to inspire employees to work with each other on tasks you delegate to them.  If possible, assign them projects based on their strengths, while avoiding potential weaknesses they may have.  This is a great way to develop their confidence both in themselves and in you.

Moreover, when dealing with issues, it also often helps if we tap into our previous experiences and apply the wisdom we have learned.  If possible, seek out and ask colleagues for further feedback.  Use creative processes and brainstorming to encourage further collaboration if necessary.

Never be afraid to search for resources in your workplace.  By design, creativity is a most important benefit of being a part of a larger organization.  By leveraging your own ideas alongside the feedback of others, you can always devise new solutions that will spur productivity, and eliminate complications before they arise indefinitely.

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Conclusion – Elements of Leading

The categories above are keynotes into the elements of leading. 

Every workplace culture is built upon a fundamental nature of coordination.  Finding your niche in, and assisting that process of coordination, should be your highest priority.  Learn to harness the skills above, and you will find yourself in a unique position of leadership. 

The potential uses of these skillsets are limitless.  Like any skill, they can each be mastered with enough practice. 

Get started today and become a great leader your people can rely on.

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