A Blog by John Bossong

4 Key Elements That Separate Leaders and Drive Results

Have you noticed how certain people connect better than others?  Conversation seems to come natural.  They seem born to communicate, lead and influence.  Creating a vision and making others around them better is what they do well.

Obviously, it’s not something that just happens.  It’s hard work.  Years of developing and mastering skills and abilities.  But what separates the average leaders from the great?  What gets them through what author Seth Godin calls “the dip“.

That time period of yes, “I’m all in”, or no “I don’t want to pay the price.”


4 Key Elements That Make A Difference

1. Ambition.  Leaders that make a difference have great ambition.  They don’t just punch in and punch out.  They want to learn and grow every day.  Work isn’t about making it to Friday so they can get to the weekend.  They seek out bigger opportunities and bigger connections.  They know they can do something great.

2. Belief.  This may be the biggest difference maker.  They believe in themselves, their vision, skills and abilities.  They don’t listen to the naysayers.  They know what success looks like and they can see it.  It is a reality.  No matter what anyone says or thinks.

3. Action.  A lot of leaders have great plans and visions that are still collecting dust on a shelf somewhere.   Great intentions.  No action.  They didn’t do it.  At some point, you have to overcome the fear and rejection.  You fight through “the dip“.

4. Know how and who to connect with.  There is no secret to connecting and expanding your influence.  There are plenty of books and blog posts to tell you how.  Will you take a chance and risk someone saying no?  Do you believe in yourself enough to make the call or send the email?  The only way to get a support group is to connect with people who have similar interests in making a difference.  This is your best way to influence others.  Until you “connect” you can’t influence and lead others.  Social media (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) are great.  But you have to figure out the “how” and “who” part.  Then, your span of influence will grow.

So, what seems natural really takes a lot of hard work.  Will you get through “the dip“?

What else would you add to these 4 elements? 


  1. another important list… I am glad you added ambition. I do think passion surfacing as ambition does inspire great leadership.

    • Karin – I think ambition may be one of the most important because leadership is a choice. You can’t half-lead, you are either all in or not. I like your use of passion, that’s a great word to use also.

      Take care

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