Secrets to Building Mental Toughness for Leadership Development

The Heat is ON!

Discover The 5 Secrets To Developing Mental Toughness for Leadership Development

The heat is on…career defining events are impending, deadlines are looming and staff issues have you feeling like you’re trapped in a pressure cooker. What are you options? Freak out? Or knuckle down and forge ahead. If you chose the latter, you are demonstrating excellent mental toughness.

What is mental toughness? Mental toughness definition according to Wikipedia is, “A collection of attributes that allow a person to persevere through difficult circumstances (such as difficult training or difficult competitive situations in games) and emerge without losing confidence. In recent decades, the term has been commonly used by coaches, sport psychologists, sport commentators, and business leaders.”

Mental toughness coaching applies not only to athletes and coaches, but entrepreneurs and business professionals can greatly benefit from cultivating this valuable skill. So how does one go about acquiring this skill? How to get mental toughness starts this these fundamental secrets:

1. Gaining Flexibility

Flexibility affiliated with mental toughness means learning how to bend, shift and absorb the unexpected while adjusting to situations and circumstances. Boats that don’t navigate with the winds are often left sitting in the harbor. Learning to “adjust your sails” to use the changes or the strength of the situation to your advantage is a sign of mental toughness.

2. Responsiveness

When the winds shift direction, or the unexpected does happen, there is little time to “let the dust” settle or let precious decision-making time slip by. Responsive leaders need to always stay engaged, aware and connected with a situation when under pressure. This act of staying in the moment, coupled with the ability to make critical decisions on the fly, is another attribute of someone who possesses strong mental toughness.

3. The Willingness to Learn

Strong leaders must also demonstrate a continual willingness to keep learning, adapting and evolving within their business culture. “The times they are a changin’” is more than just lyrics to Bob Dylan song, it’s a truism of the times that we currently live in. Leaders need to be open-minded and ready to learn the new, and maybe even re-visit and re-learn the old. Learning means growth, and growth is what is needed to keep a team or a company moving forward as opposed to getting quagmired in the old ways of the past.

4. Resiliency

Resiliency in mental toughness is the mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral ability to face and cope with adversity and adapt to change. It’s also the ability to recover from adversity and learn and grow from setbacks. Resiliency is bouncing back from failures and viewing them as lessons for the future. People with mental toughness do not cower in the corner licking their wounds or blaming their loss on others. Strong people pick themselves up and view the situation for what it is, a teachable moment for future success.

5. Strength

Strength is more than being able to bench press more than your own weight; strength is the intestinal fortitude that allows the best of leaders to stay focused and committed even when things get uncomfortable. Just as athletes need to “dig deep” and find the physical and psychological strength to continue through tough situations, business pros and leaders need to do the same. Finding the strength and resolve to keep going in tough times is a skill like any other, and an excellent skill to have in your business arsenal. True leaders focus on giving their best, no matter if they are winning or losing, and keeping their fighting intensity until the very end.

The five secrets to building mental toughness can be applied to sports or business development.  Business complexity is on the rise and entrepreneurs are facing an increasingly competitive marketplace. Those who possess strong mental toughness will be able to navigate the waters of turbulent times when other will not. Athletes and business people wanting to be able to succeed by utilizing their dexterity in dealing with the psychological pressures of a sport or industry need to take the steps to cultivate this critical life habit on a daily basis.

Do you have what it takes to be mentally tough?