What Are the 4 Factors That Constitute The Foundation for Being a Leader?

“We argue here that the four factors we identify as constituting the foundation for being a leader and the effective exercise of leadership can also be seen as the foundations not only for great leadership, but also for a high quality personal life and an extraordinary organization. One can see this as a “value free” approach to values because:

1) integrity as we define it (being whole and complete) is a purely positive proposition;

2) authenticity is also a purely positive proposition (being and acting consistent with who you hold yourself out to be for others and who you hold yourself to be for yourself),;

3) being committed to something bigger than oneself is also a purely positive proposition (that says nothing about what that commitment should be other than it be bigger than oneself); and

4) being cause in the matter as a declaration of the stand you take for yourself regarding everything in your life is also a purely positive proposition”

– Werner Erhard and Michael C. Jensen

Author: Maz Iqbal

Experienced management consultant. Passionate about enabling customer-centricity by calling forth the best from those that work in the organisation and the intelligent application of digital technologies. Subject matter expert with regards to customer strategy, customer insight, customer experience (CX), customer relationship management (CRM), and relationship marketing. Working at the intersection of the Customer, the Enterprise (marketing, sales, service), and Technology.

4 thoughts on “What Are the 4 Factors That Constitute The Foundation for Being a Leader?”

    1. Hello James

      Let’s say that I am committed to people within our organisation talking straight with one another and doing so respectfully in a spirit of collaboration. This is something that is not about me. It is something that just speaks to be viscerally.

      The next time I meet up with my team members I notice that they are gossiping about others, blaming, criticising, putting down. I can ignore this and if I do so then I am not being ’cause in the matter in my declaration of my stand for straight talk from a context of respect and collaboration’. If I go along with this so as to fit in and not rock the bottom then again I am not being a cause in the matter. In both cases, I am being a ‘victim’ of circumstances.

      Being cause in the matter would involved me taking action. It would involve me doing something about the gossiping, blaming, criticising, putting down. For example, I let me people know that I am stand for straight-respectful-collaborative communication and invite them to join me and thus give up the gossiping-blaming-criticising….

      I could go further and share with my manager the possibility of straight-respectful-collaborative talk and inspire him to join me. And initiate some action to generate conversation and action within his domain of responsibility. ‘

      To summarise: to be cause in the matter of anything is to give up ‘playing victim’, give up ‘playing small’ in the sense of “What difference can I make? I don’t matter, I am nobody, or I am only one.” And act: do what I can do to further my commitment.

      Please notice that this view of leadership is such that it opens up leadership to all of us. Not just the Tops.

      All the best


  1. Hi Maz,
    I like the first three but, like James, didn’t understand number 4.

    Also, where would ‘communication’ fit into these or would you characterise that as a skill rather than a factor?



    1. Hello Adrian

      Communication is really no big deal. Have you noticed that none of us have any issue with talking? Have you noticed that when you and I are excited, enthusiastic, about something then we are drawn to talk about and share our enthusiasm. Take a look at just about any cafe, what is happening? Aren’t people communicating.

      I wonder if you have ever noticed what it is about the way someone is being that really calls to us, communicates with us, leaving us moved-touched-inspired. Have you noticed that when someone is being real, talking about concrete-personal stuff, we tend to be moved? And when someone gets up and talks abstract, conceptual stuff, it shows up for us head stuff?

      And finally, I draw your attention to this: we are always communicating. We cannot help but communicate. And I’d say who we are being, how we show up in the world, communicates much more deeply than our words.

      As for point 4, please take a look at my answer to James.

      All the best


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