Cultivating a “Number One” Mindset: A Winning Leadership Approach to Drive Success

In a number of recent coaching conversations with clients, I have helped them to explore the notion of a “Number One” mindset and how it could hold the key to unlocking different thinking, new behaviours and exceptional results. 

The backdrop to this is that almost every client I coach or advise is struggling right now to find clarity and focus on what matters most, to feel confident that they will succeed and to act with conviction and stay the course. In exploring a number one mindset, we have unlocked something inspiring and powerful for them.

I believe that cultivating this mindset is not only hugely empowering to individuals, but can also be a game changer for teams if everyone is trying to perform at their best as a number one, and transformative for organisations as the collective power of many people adopting a number one mindset shifts gears and brings the previously impossible within reach.

Here are the key aspects which have emerged as my clients have explored the meaning of a number one mindset (or “N1M” for short) for them and the value of embracing and acting on it:

  • Aspiring to be better: At the core of a N1M is the notion that we can all improve and be better, whether we are focusing on ourselves, our team or our whole organisation. Mindsets about winning, being number one or being world-class are aspirational and unlock our motivation and drive, and with it our courage to step beyond our comfort zone and embrace change. Courage is an essential part of achieving anything worthwhile – after all, if we stay in our comfort zone, by definition we will get what we already have. But better doesn’t have to be overwhelming – could you be 1% better every day? Then just think where you will be in a year’s time.
  • Prioritising your own needs and building resilience: Adopting a N1M means investing in yourself, your energy, and your health so that you are at your best way more of the time than is probably the case right now and building your long-term resilience. If you’re not equipping yourself to be at your best, it will be pretty hard to achieve what you are fully capable of or to get the best out of others. This is also about giving yourself real space to think – which is perhaps the rarest commodity of all in today’s relentless world of work and a key part of the work I do with leaders. This is not selfish or a luxury, but essential – put your own oxygen mask on first.
  • Inspiring and developing others: Leadership is about achieving amazing things through other people. So a fundamental aspect of effective leadership lies in the ability to inspire others toward a goal and develop their ability and confidence to achieve it. Instilling a N1M in your team members is about helping them understand their particular zone of genius and encouraging them to develop and fully use their talents so they can achieve remarkable outcomes. By consistently demonstrating your belief in their ability to be and act as a number one, you inspire them to take on new challenges and strive for greatness.
  • Cultivating collective and collaborative success: The N1M does not promote individualistic success; rather, it emphasises the power of collaboration and collective achievement. Imagine a team where everyone embraces this mindset and so seeks to be at their best individually while also contributing to the collective becoming number one together. Creating an environment where everyone’s unique talents and perspectives are valued and leveraged, where people both challenge and support each other, propels teams and organisations forward, leading to exceptional outcomes that benefit individuals, the team and the organisation as a whole.
  • Driving innovation and proactivity: In a rapidly evolving business landscape, leaders must be catalysts for innovation and action. Asking what a number one would do empowers people to seek inspiration from elsewhere, challenge the status quo, think creatively and drive meaningful action. A N1M means refusing to accept complacency, instead exploring new possibilities and pushing boundaries, and then being proactive in making changes. This mindset fuels a culture of innovation and positive action, ensuring that your organisation remains agile and competitive to get and stay ahead.


What could a “Number One” mindset do for you? 

We hope that this article resonates with you and provokes some reflection. Maybe you already embody a number one mindset in the way you do things (in which case, bravo!). Or perhaps you can see other benefits that can come from adopting a number one mindset, in addition to those set out above. Or possibly you are unsure where or how to start.

As a leadership, change and coaching consultancy, we believe that cultivating a number one mindset can be instrumental in driving change and achieving success. Embracing this mindset empowers you to be an agent of change, creating a culture that thrives on continuous improvement and strives for excellence. 

As you incorporate the elements of the “Number One” mindset into your leadership style, you will notice the remarkable impact it has on your own growth, the success of your team and the organisation as a whole.

If you would like to explore what adopting a number one mindset could do for you, your team or your organisation, contact me today at to set up a free discovery call.

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