10. October 2022

Four C’s of Mental Toughness

Harnessing Mental Toughness is key in any transformation. I love the leading research that P. Clough and D. Strycharczyk have done on this and laid out in their book ‘Developing Mental Toughness’.

They have boiled it down to a framework of 4 Cs: Control, Commitment, Confidence, and Challenge. They found strong proof that leaders and teams with higher scores on the 4Cs demonstrate mental strength.

Some examples of attitudes and behaviors that enhance these 4Cs:

  1. Control. Leaders with higher sense of control see the glass half full rather than half empty, realise that there are always multiple choices and other ways to try, use positive language, prioritise well, focus on solutions rather than problems, are willing to work hard to tackle blockages, have a ‘can do’ attitude, etc.

  2. Commitment. Mentally strong leaders are goal and achievement oriented, have a high sense of commitment to their goals, tend to look at things objectively, break things down into manageable chunks, like to celebrate successes, maintain focus, set high standards, accept responsibility, etc.

  3. Challenge. Mentally strong leaders like challenges, provoke change, are happy to commit to a new project, are not happy with routine, seek new experiences and learnings, accept that there can be mistakes, believe that failure is not final, reflect even when things are going well, etc.

  4. Confidence. Leaders with confidence, for example, are less reliant on the validation of others, see criticism as feedback, are happy to present and receive questions, see competence and excellence in others as something to strive for, have a strong sense of self-belief, stand ground when challenged, are not easily embarrassed, are happy to ask for help and support, etc.

What are best practices you have seen or used to enhance mental toughness?

The Power of Co-Elevation

In a transformation, it is key to create high-performing teams that cut across reporting line structures. In this context, I very much like Keith Ferrazzi’s

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