What’s the most important factor in your leadership success? I’d argue that it’s not your own knowledge or talent, but your leadership mindset. Leaders who are curious, compassionate, flexible, and resilient get more and better results. Period.

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Mindset #1: Curious

Perhaps the most important component of leadership mindset is curiosity. Because curious leaders are less tied to specific outcomes, they’re more likely to dare to challenge their teams and ask questions that can help improve the products and services their teams provide.

Being curious also helps leaders avoid the leadership mindtrap of “rightness,” where leaders focus on the stuff that reinforces their ideas, and they (unintentionally) ignore evidence that doesn’t.

Mindset #2: Compassionate

Do you need to like people to be a leader? Maybe not, but it sure can make things a ton easier – and you’ll be a more effective leader, too.

Viewing leadership through the lens of compassion has tons of benefits. Compassion is the foundation of people-first and servant leadership, which are time-tested, effective ways to manage.

Virtually everyone comes to work wanting to do a good job, so treating your team that way boosts trust and reduces fear. Which raises employee engagement and improves results.

(Oh, and p.s.: not having compassion is the number one reason narcissists make terrible bosses.)

Mindset #3: Flexible

Great leaders have the ability to hold things lightly without the tight grip of absolute control. This gives them the flexibility they need to change course or re-assign work to better serve the team and their customer.

Flexible leaders are also more open to new ways of doing things, which can also lead to innovative breakthroughs.

Mindset #4: Resilient

Strong leaders need to be able to bounce back when things don’t go according to plan.

Leaders with a resilient mindset find the growth edge in adversity and failure, and they use what they learn to make the team’s process, product, or service better in the future.

This longer-term, developmental view helps the team feel safe in taking the kind of risks that drive innovation. It also focuses the team on learning and growth (positive energy that teams are attracted to) instead of failure and shame (negative energy that teams avoid).


How has your leadership mindset made a difference for your team’s results? Let us know in the comments below!