How Great Leaders Build Mental Strength


Success is an unpredictable formula.

In ten years as a recruier working with over 15,000 people I’ve seen many people who seemed certain for success dramatically fail. Likewise, I’ve come across others who would self-admit that they lacked talent and knowledge compared to their piers – but still went on to become serial winners.

One of the major reasons for this is mental strength.

The ability to stay strong during times of despair, unpredictability, and even outright failure.

You see one thing is for certain. To succeed in an outstanding way, everyone has to overcome adversity. Otherwise, everyone would be doing it.

And no amount of knowledge, talent, head-start, or natural ability can compensate for the mental strength needed to pass the test of super-achievement.

So how do they do it?

Here are some ways how great leaders build mental strength.

They keep pushing themselves

Human beings are creatures of habit.

As highly emotional and cognitive creatures, what we do over and over again eventually becomes ingrained into our characters and part of who we are.

It’s hard to be emotionally strong on-the-spot if most of the time our actions are motivated by convenience, ease and wanting to follow the path of least resistance.

Great leaders understand that in order to build any muscle, it’s important to keep exercising it each day. They keep pushing themselves in everything they do from setting higher goals to dealing with more challenging problems to overcoming higher pressure situations.

Although it is inevitably hard at first, eventually the results are well worth it.

Great leaders keep pushing.

They use role models

We all reach situations where our motivation reaches rock bottom.

When rejection, debt, loneliness or failure becomes unbearable.

When we all ask those self-exploratory questions that we are too ashamed to admit publicly: Do I have the ability to make it? Am I wasting my time? Is it even worth it?

In times like this, nothing helps more than knowing you are in good company. In understanding that nearly every person who has achieved in a major way went through the same process. In being inspired by stories of the legends of the past.

Great leaders understand that mental strength can be gained from others. They use inspiring role models to stay motivated, focussed and to learn.

Great leaders emulate the strong.

They build physical, emotional and spiritual strength

As science is now comprehensively proving, our thoughts, bodies and emotions are not separately isolated systems.

As highly complex beings, everything is inter-connected – a fine balance of biochemistry some known, much unknown.

It’s unlikely someone is going to be mentally strong if they’re neglecting their bodies and feeling unfit. Likewise, those who are unable to control their emotions and consider others are unlikely to be able to make strong decisions or react well when the chips are down.

Great leaders build strength across all aspects of their lives. Whether it is their relationships, their gratitude for what they already have or pushing their fitness to new limits, they look to grow.

Great leaders build strength in everything they do.


Mental strength takes time to develop.

Some learn through adversity, others through circumstance, a rare few are born with it.

But it’s something all of us can acquire. And the benefits are well worth it.

Hiring managers can gain much from those people who not only have the typical skills and experience we traditionally look for – but also the essential accompanying mental strength needed to go the distance.

It’s something that’s often far more important.

How do you develop more mental strength?

If you are a hiring manager and are passionate about hiring the best people for your team, please reach out here