Thought Leadership

The Four Fundamentals Of Leadership

Wouldn’t you agree that when Steve Jobs stepped on stage, in his signature blue jeans, black turtleneck, and sneakers, the world waited with bated breath to hear him speak? He was a leader of unparalleled charisma who had a magnetic effect on buyers as well as shareholders.

However, Mahatma Gandhi was a different leader who had a global impact not because of his charisma, but due to his unique ability to inspire a common man to action. Although he never held a formal political title, his unique methods established him as one of the most revered leaders in the history of the world.


We could analyze the leadership styles of great leaders like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther, Ratan Tata, and many more only to arrive at the conclusion that they are distinctively different from each other. Yet these are individuals who are considered the epitome of leadership!


So what are the common traits that bind leadership styles, if there are any? After analyzing hundreds of business leaders who are driving flourishing businesses in today’s volatile and dynamic marketplace, we bring you four fundamentals that make a consistent appearance.



The first step towards attaining a goal is to envision it. Visionary leaders are driven and inspired by what a company can become; and how it can broaden its vision to help people. Henry Ford was a brilliant visionary ahead of his time. He enabled nearly everyone to have the ability to afford an automobile at a time when everyone thought such a thing was impossible to do. He simultaneously introduced technologies and innovations that changed the world, including mass production plants. The profound effect of this leadership quality was felt not just by the industry, but by the world at large.



In a drastically evolving world, with disruptions happening every day, it is imperative to be flexible. Helmed by Jeff Bezos’, Amazon is a befitting example of a company that has constantly reinvented itself to stay relevant to the market while keeping customer service at the heart of its business strategy. From selling books online, it has emerged into an e-commerce giant that serves every single need of a customer including entertainment! As a leader of the 21st century, it is not a desired trait but a survival technique to stay agile and adapt!



The most successful leaders maintain that as they amassed power, they also deliberately worked on staying humble. Humility allows a leader to authentically listen to feedback, suggestions, and criticism with the right attitude and continue to stay of service in the most optimum way. An excellent example of humility was demonstrated by Leo Varadkar, Former Prime Minister of Ireland who returned to his medical practice in 2020 to work as a doctor for one session a week to help out during the coronavirus epidemic and serve his people in the best way he could.



Organizations are built on trust, especially in an economy where remote working has become the norm. Research shows that highly-trusted workplaces enjoy:


  • 50% higher employee productivity
  • 106% more energy at work
  • 13% fewer sick days
  • Companies with high trust levels outperform companies with low trust levels by 186%.


Buffer upholds the principle of trust in its mission that states that their employees at every level should ‘default to transparency.’ Technology plays a significant role in keeping their remote organization connected with a level of trust. For example, they use Slack to make real-time communications easy and to streamline workflow. Buffer also uses a transparent email system so that every employee can see their co-workers’ emails, which keeps everyone in the loop.


Many employees praise Buffer’s transparent workplace culture, which is why their Glassdoor page shows a 4.5-star rating. But this is a much higher level of transparency than most companies use.


While following these four fundamentals may seem deceptively easy, it may not necessarily be so. It is, however, most certainly worthwhile if an aspiring leader desires to consistently drive stellar results in their organizations.