Want to build or regain your enthusiasm in life? Consider whether you are operating with a mental edge.

by Leon Goren

09 What is a Mental Edge_video

Have you been around people who have a distinct hunger and fire to succeed?  These are folks for whom success is critical and there is absolutely no substitute.  One of the first things you realize about these people is that they have a tremendous amount of energy.  Their energy comes from devoting themselves to what excites them.

I call it having a mental edgeMental edge means being fueled by excitement and purpose to generate a positive influence. What I’ve also witnessed about people with a mental edge is their courage to succeed. They carry resilience in their toolkit and use it against every adversity they face. They are true leaders, the ones who drive growth and innovation, and the ones our society and businesses desperately need more of.

I believe we all have the capacity to operate with a mental edge.  The question is, are we tapping into it so we are running at full throttle, or are we running at half speed, or is our mental edge lying dormant?

There are 5 characteristics that we have discovered through interviews and research with our leaders at PEO that identifies those operating with a mental edge.

  1. Purpose and Conviction: It’s the meaning behind their work and life that drives them. They have a clear vision of the future and the path they’re taking to get there.


    Image: Jordan Spieth after his Epic Travelers Championship Golf shot (2017-Jun-2017)

  2. Confidence: They believe they are awesome! Life is happening for them, not to them. They understand that they have the capabilities to get the job done and improve their lives and are not waiting around for someone else to do it for them.
  3. Perseverance: They are resilient and hardworking. They recognize that life isn’t always fair and have the attitude that they will drive on regardless.
  4. Curiosity to Learn and Grow: They have a deep-rooted desire to solve complex problems and learn from others’ successes and failures.
  5. Fearlessness: It’s not that they don’t experience fear – they turn fear to their advantage. They allow themselves to experience setbacks with an understanding that they serve as a critical ingredient in moving towards long-term success. They know that success demands risk-taking, which means failing and trying again.

The characteristics are ordered with each one building on the one prior. For example, those operating without any mental edge find that they lack purpose and conviction.  Without purpose it’s hard to be confident, to persevere, to learn and grow, and to drive forward in the face of fear and failure.

We challenge leaders to examine the characteristics and see which ones resonate with them and where they may be stuck, which in turn leads to conversations around building skills, changing mindsets, and driving forward to more fully embrace life.



Leon Goren, owner and CEO of the Presidents of Enterprising Organizations (PEO), brings his passion for purposeful leadership to the PEO leadership community. Leon’s 25 years of leadership experience underscores his unique impact on the way PEO leaders lead, learn and live. He leverages his innate understanding of their needs and challenges to inspire leaders to excel beyond the status quo. Leon is also the Toronto Chair of TIGER 21, where he leverages his experience to develop exceptional leaders working with high net worth investors and families. As founder and CEO of justwhiteshirts.com in 1997, Leon became one of Canada’s first online success stories, bringing the dot com retail experience to Canadians.

Today, as an authority on leadership and business strategy, Leon is consistently invited to address various business audiences, including the graduating classes of Chartered Accountants. His thought leadership is published in the CA Magazine, The National Post and The Globe and Mail. Leon is on the Advisory Board of UMBRA and Timewyse Corp. and is a former member of the North York Athletic Club board of directors. Leon is a CPA, CA. He is married with three children and is active in sports, including triathlons and skiing.

To connect with Leon, you can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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