Great Leadership Starts With A Mindset


We know now that leadership is what one does and not the position one occupies or the title(s) one is called by. But before “what one does” is “what one thinks”. Leaders are not born but made – made by the kind of mindset they have and the subsequent actions they take.

Consider Nelson Mandela for example. Mandela had a personal philosophy and mindset that made him think like he did and do what he did. He didn’t see himself as somebody special than others, neither did he carry titles or serve in any high office or position before leading the resistance to South Africa’s policy of apartheid. His mindset is what made him a great leader before his presidency, during his presidency and after his presidency.

Mindset is defined as “the orientation of key beliefs that act as an internal compass directing how we think and act”. The influence of the mindset a person has is so strong that it ultimately selects the coordinates to the person’s vision, actions and destination.

Developing a good leadership mindset in people is fundamental to how they think or reason, learn, behave, see and interpret problems and opportunities, make decisions and lead. A leadership mindset will determine if a person sees challenges and obstacles, disagreements and opposition, risks, and underperformances, as something to avoid or do away with, or as an opportunity to learn and grow, or take risk and obtain rewards, or support those who underperform and get them to do better. 
Mindset drives every aspect of a person’s actions or behaviour. It’s the mental lens every person has on which determines how they see things and do things. When confronting the same issue, a person with a leadership mindset will do things differently from a person with a follower or commoner mindset.

Having a leadership mindset means thinking and acting like a leader regardless of being called “a leader” or being in a leadership position, or wherever they find themselves. This is why developing a good leadership mindset in people in leadership positions or not in leadership positions is very important to effective leadership in organizations, companies, businesses, ministries, families and countries or people in governance. Leadership is simply a mindset in action.