4 Types of Strength Every Leader Should Possess

The more others see you conquer, the more they'll be inspired and trust you to handle bigger and bigger opportunities. 

well-rounded leader with physical, mental and emotional
stock.adobe.com/Suteren Studio

Being a fearless leader takes a lot of traits — intellect, compassion and perseverance, for example. But if you dig down and look at what's really serving as a foundation for everything else, it's strength. Just like other traits, personal strength is something you can improve deliberately. That journey begins with understanding each of the four main areas of strength.

1. Physical Strength

Most great leaders are willing to put in plenty of hours to help others and bring the best ideas to the table. To be able to take care of others in that way, you can't skimp on taking care of yourself. A balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, hitting the gym and getting enough sleep all work together. Tackling those four key pillars of physical self-care can help you stay healthy and give you the energy you need to reach the finish line.

2. Mental Strength

People are capable of incredible things. They just need to believe in themselves enough to go after what they want. In this regard, that old saying of "mind over matter" really does ring true. It's mental toughness that lets you pivot and solve problems on the fly no matter what other people might pressure you to do.

Ask yourself what sources and outlets you can use to grow mentally. Just about anything that helps you feel recharged is valid, but self-care activities like spending time with loved ones who can engage in compassionate debates, wandering outside where it's green or reading a good book are popular choices that can reinvigorate your positive energy.

3. Emotional Strength

As much as businesses have to lean on analytics, emotions are part of the pie, too. You're going to be confused or unsure sometimes. You're going to feel pride and excitement. And yes, pumping up your team is part of the job. People will look to see how you react in certain situations. The more you keep your cool, show real empathy and get excited about the right things, the more they will, too.

To cultivate amazing emotional strength, don't be shy about communicating what you consider to be toxic. Draw clear boundaries. As so many experts point out, sometimes you might not have a choice about your circumstances, but you always have a choice about how you react. Learn to recognize what triggers you. Practice taking time to cool off. Think things through, even as you acknowledge the reality of what you and others feel.

Above all, invest in good people. Reconnecting regularly with others who can support you will give you a sense of balance that makes it easier to face everything else. You never have to do anything alone.

4. Spiritual Strength

Spiritual strength just means you connect to a deeper place and your purpose in the universe, whatever that means for you. It might be following a religious faith or understanding how the energy of everything is linked. Connecting with your spiritual beliefs can help you feel more grounded and resilient.

What builds your spiritual strength will depend a lot on your core philosophies and values. Prayer or faith-based services, practicing mindfulness, reading inspiring stories or even volunteering and seeing your influence on others are all good ways to nourish your soul.

With the right frame of mind, you'll strengthen yourself and others well into the future.

It's important to understand that all four of the kinds of strengths outlined above play off of each other and meet some of the most basic needs you have as a person. It's easier to regulate your emotions when you're well-rested and fed, for example. And, some activities are a two-for-one deal. A quick walk at lunch can give you the time to think through some options when a situation demands it, and it's great exercise, too.

Even though you can foster individual types of strength to become a more fearless leader, make sure you see the big picture. Understand that the stronger you get in one area, the stronger you'll likely become in the others. Don't underestimate the positive influence your personal strength will have on your company culture as it spreads through your team. Let people see your journey. The more others see you conquer, the more they'll be inspired and trust you to handle bigger and bigger opportunities.

Remember, you can't correct weaknesses you don't see. Put your ego aside. Ask for feedback. Stay objective and have faith that you can learn from your experiences and mistakes. With this work-in-progress, self-forgiving attitude, you'll stay motivated to get through every stage of your life — and you'll have the strength to do it.

The Newsweek Expert Forum is an invitation-only network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.
What's this?
Content labeled as the Expert Forum is produced and managed by Newsweek Expert Forum, a fee based, invitation only membership community. The opinions expressed in this content do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Newsweek or the Newsweek Expert Forum.