The Most Important Key to Leadership Success

There is a lot of debate about what is considered to be the most important key to leadership success.

Some experts say it’s preparation; while others believe that it’s about perseverance. Other contenders for the title of “Most Important Key to Leadership Success” include:

  • communication;

  • determination;

  • education;

  • knowledge;

  • consistency;

  • and even failure.

While all of these have a role to play, my professional opinion as a Brisbane executive coach and organisational psychologist with over 25 years’ experience is that: Attitude is the key to success in leadership.

What is Attitude?

Your attitude consists of your thoughts (mindset), feelings, and behaviours – it is your individual outlook and personal response to life.

Understanding the importance of attitude is critical to leadership success.

As I wrote in my previous blog post “The Magnetic Mindset”, your attitude to life has a huge impact on how you connect with those around you. As a leader, you influence others – but in what way? Positively or negatively? Attitude is one of the key differences between a boss or a leader!

What Attitude do you Emanate?

What do you project to others? That’s your attitude. It’s the energy you exude, your vibe, the feeling that others get when they are around you.

Your attitude shows up in a myriad of ways in every moment of every day of every interaction that you have with others. It comes through in your facial expressions, your tone of voice, your body language – in so much more than just the words that come out of your mouth.

To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Who you are shouts so loud, I can’t hear what you’re saying!

In essence, this is because as human beings, we run on feelings. Naturally, we are going to be more responsive to leaders who make us feel good about ourselves and the work we are doing!

Managing People

When it comes to hiring a new team member, attitude is the make-or-break factor. Yes, skills, knowledge, abilities and talents are important but with all these being equal, choose the person with the better attitude.


Because knowing a person’s attitude helps us predict their behaviour. A great attitude converts to great focus and energy, and positively impacts on things like:

  • motivation;

  • relationships;

  • communication;

  • learning, memory and recall;

  • and productivity.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference, as Winston Churchill famously said. So nurturing a positive attitude yourself, and seeking it in the people on your team, is quite possibly the most important key to leadership success no matter what your field.

Would you love to gauge how you are currently tracking along your own path to becoming an Extraordinary, Inspirational, Next Generational Leader: then please click here to utilise our free self-rating questionnaire!

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