The Leadership Mind Switch

Today’s workplace has changed so much due to the increased speed of information, globalization, technology, demographics of the workforce and the COVID-19 Pandemic. This has forced leaders in this new normal to be agile or be left behind. In fact, statistics show that in 1982, information doubled every 12-13 months. In 2020, information as found to double every 12 hours

Debra Benton (35 years of consulting and coaching Fortune 500 executives) and Kylie Wright-Ford, (Chief Operating and Strategy Officer of World 50 and Chief Operating Officer for Goldman Sachs), authors of Leadership Mind Switch: Rethink How We Lead in the New World of Work, are not saying you have to keep up with the plethora of information. But what they are saying is that we need to create the right mindset in this ever-changing world if we want to be a leader. In fact, Benton and Wright-Ford state that they wrote this book to help today's leaders “thrive in the new business landscape.”

Benton and Wright-Ford have identified four qualities and four behaviors you will need to exhibit to succeed in what they call the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”


  • True Blue - Goes beyond being trusted. It includes authenticity and transparency.
  • Kindly Confident - Being courageous enough to take action, curious enough to want to continuously learn and humble enough to understand that others’ opinions, attributes and knowledge may surpass theirs.
  • Enlightenment - Allow yourself to be open to new ideas and accept that to be a leader of today and the future, you must be a life-long-learner.
  • Tenacity - Gritty, self-starting, persistent and resilient, but understand when it is time to stop. 


  • Uber Commutative - Use all channels of communication to connect with your team.
  • Be Dynamic - Use your energy, focus and creative ability to inspire others. 
  • Act Playfully - Use humor to help humanize yourself and make problems seem smaller.
  • Help Others Unblock - Help your team grow and flourish by encouraging and empowering them. 

Benton and Wright-Ford also share ways to develop these qualities and behaviors through evidence-based research. They also have one or two what they call “Stories from the Road,” where they share narratives about leaders demonstrating the qualities or behaviors mentioned in that chapter with industry tycoons such as: 

  • Meredith Lubitz, Vice President of talent management at Dow Jones
  • Margret Molloy, CMO of Siegel + Gale
  • Cheryl Flink, CSO of Market Force
  • Michael Blustein, CFO at Oak Hill Advisors and former Director of U.S Equity Research for Morgan Stanley

The key takeaway from this book is the emphasis of creating a culture in the workplace. Beton and Wright-Ford describe culture as the qualities and atmosphere that inform people (employees) how to act. An essential fact they stress about culture is that you can foster the way you would like it to go by leading by example. But no one person has the power to have the final say in how it plays out. 

Today’s workforce needs a leader with unprecedented agility, confidence and fearlessness to succeed now and into the future. This book, Leadership Mind Switchwill help guide you on your journey to be such a leader. 


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Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.