The Attitude of a Leader – “Bend but not break”

The Attitude of a Leader - “Bend but not break”

by Jamar Wright – Mind Food International

[KINGSTON, Jamaica]“Bend but not break”, is an attitude that all leaders should develop to survive and thrive through the rugged terrain of their leadership journey.  Especially now after the post pandemic and the emotional and financial issues that many people be facing after almost a year of lock downs and for others it has been two years.

One of the most impressive things about the coconut tree is its ability to sway with even the slightest breeze. This gentle swaying movement with the wind is a symbol of adopting to varying circumstances to survive and then thrive. Coconut trees while their bodies are hard, and firm and their rooting system is solid. The coconut tree can dance with the wind, it bends and bounces right back up. It is not rigid. During hurricanes, I have seen much taller and sturdier trees toppled over by the winds. Mainly, because they are not flexible enough to sway harmoniously.

Weathering A Storm

A “bend but not break” attitude is one of the many approaches a leader can use to deal with the barrage of everyday challenges they face.  All leaders will face a storm, the gusty winds of life will blow, a leader who is rigid in their attitude will be easily toppled over by the difficulties they face. Like the coconut tree, a leader should be firmly planted by his roots of core values, but flexible in his approach and plans.

As a leader your attitude matters more than ever. Like an airplane, if the leader has the right attitude and his/her nose is pointing up then the leader and their team will be climbing to higher heights. If the leader has the wrong attitude and his/her nose is pointed down, then they are heading for a crash.

The right attitude matters, it helps protect the leader from breaking under the responsibilities of leadership (which often feels unbearable) and help safeguard those who are following the leader.

Bend But Not Break Attitude that Leaders Should Have  

  • Self Control (Lead yourself well and guard against unethical practices)

Recently we saw at the Oscar’s award show, Will Smith assaulted Chris Rock on live television for a joke that he poked at his wife. While we were not in that position or could understand the weight of the moment, you and I must learn to control our raging emotions. Failure to control our emotions can ruin our character and cause opportunities to bypass us. If you are a leader, it could destroy the institution that you are managing and ruin your legacy. What should have been a grand moment for Will Smith was overshowed by what he did. Solomon said, “A Man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”

  • Temperate 

Do things in moderation and avoid extremities. Leaders who are extreme in anything will destroy not only themselves, but those who are on their team and looking for their guidance. Extremity makes a person especially a leader rigid in their approach.

  • Teachable

This gives a leader the ability to change their view and listen to others. A leader who is teachable will grow. And, also create room for others to grow as well and continue their journey.

  • Hospitable

A leader must be welcoming, pleasant and be favorable to work with. A leader who lacks being hospitable runs the risk of others not communicating with them and not working in synergy which can lead to work overload and carrying extra burden.

When a leader develops a “bend but not break” attitude they become flexible in their approach towards life. In addition to the storms that comes with their journey. This commendable attitude allows a leader to survive a storm, the rigid leader is blown down, however the flexible leader, although bent during hard times, he/she adjusts their approach and stand tall again after the storm. They survive the storm to thrive again.


For Corporate Trainings, Leadership Events and Engagements, contact Mind Food International. Our goal is to “Develop Leaders to Transform the World Around Them”. Visit us at or email them at


Related Articles

Back to top button