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Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem

On-line version ISSN 1518-8345

Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagem vol.13 no.4 Ribeirão Preto July/Aug. 2005 



Leadership with a flexible mentality



Isabel Amélia Costa Mendes

Editor of Latin American Journal of Nursing, Diretor, Full Professor of the University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing - WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Research Development, e-mail:



Discussions on mental attitudes for managers present arguments in favor of a flexible mentality - which combines a broad perspective with a positive attitude - as a basic asset in times of change(1).

Persons - managers, leaders, collaborators - with this mentality are always available to live up to new information, knowledge and challenges.

Another characteristic of persons with a flexible mentality is their ability to act in view of their perceptions on relations, connections, exchanges, nuances in a changing context and subtleties in the organization.

Moreover, people with an open and positive mental attitude are capable of adopting a comprehensive and at the same time focused perspective when leading their team. They try to broaden their minds in an attempt to understand the environment and identify problems. Among different possibilities, they focus on result-oriented methodologies.

People with these characteristics are continuously learning and promoting innovations.

Their management and leadership focus is supported by people's behavior. Their target is to look for, maintain and motivate talents.

Their open and positive mentality allows them to see that, in the coming era, a large part of leadership will involve actions that facilitate the transition to a new way of living and working. Leaders will invest an increasing amount of energy in helping others to adapt to new rules with a view to professional development.

Good leaders know how to integrate the rational and the intuitive, as both are equally important. These dimensions may be conflicting, but are also complementary. That is why leaders must think clearly and rationally and remain sensitive to the flow that underlies change(2).



1. Dainty P, Anderson M. Atitudes mentais para os gerentes. In: Chowdhury S. Administração no século XXI: o estilo de gerenciar hoje e no futuro. São Paulo (SP): Pearson Education do Brasil; 2003. p. 105.

2. O'Grady TP, Malloch K. Quantum leadership: a textbook of new leadership. London: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003. p. 24.

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