The key attitude that defines leadership


When Georges de Mestral came home from a walk one day to find his clothes and his dog covered in burrs, he didn’t just remove them: he looked closely at how they worked. And then he invented Velcro.

When engineers building a tunnel through a Japanese mountain one day found they had a problem with leaking water, they didn’t just seal the leaks, they bottled the water, sold it as mineral water, and built a brand worth more than $50m/year.

And when Travis Kalanick and a friend couldn’t get a taxi in Paris one day they didn’t just complain about it, they founded Uber. The rest, as we know, is history.

We’ve all faced situations like these but we probably didn’t respond in the ways these people did.

And though these examples are all very different, the people in them all shared one thing in common: their attitudes. They all had an attitude of looking for ways to turn a ‘problem’ into an opportunity.

This is the key attitude that defines leadership.

And in a time of change it will be invaluable: an essential step to using change to become stronger, another step to becoming antifragile

Are you facing any ‘problems’ at the moment? Would it be useful to be able to find the opportunities behind those difficulties?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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