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A Professional Miracle (#183)


The Confident Leader


I was chatting with an overwhelmed CEO at lunch. Out of exasperation, he said, “at this point, it’s going to take a miracle to achieve our goals.” His comment was tantamount to a Hail Mary in football. He’s not alone in his thinking.

“The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.”

Laozi (Chinese philosopher)

This Week’s Edition

Do the expectations of your role seem impossible… to the point you need a professional miracle to achieve your goals and objectives?

Clarify Your Thinking

The top leader’s role has become increasingly complex over the past few years. Leaders confess that at times it feels as if achieving their desired results will require something beyond their control – an act of God.

With every leader we coach, we start by defining their vision – what they want to accomplish in the future. We encourage thinking big… so big that if it makes you a little queasy thinking about it, you are on the right track. “Dreaming” something big can be thrilling and motivating. 

However, the journey to accomplish something big can be hard, so hard it can cause you to question your ability to achieve it. 

Doubt creeps in. In response, leaders employ a type of coping mechanism – downgrading their vision in hopes it will be more likely to achieve. They believe they’ll averted “failure;” however, any “victory” they accomplish rings hollow. Deep down they know it wasn’t their best effort or their full potential. 

Old Thinking: At first my vision was thrilling. Once I realized the effort needed to achieve my big vision, I think it’s too hard. I can’t accomplish it. I’ll change my goal because I can’t tolerate failure. I’d rather “succeed” then really see what I can achieve. 

New Thinking: If I fail to achieve my vision, I’m not really going to be upset, because I will have gotten farther than I would have if I had set an “achievable” goal. I’ll fail forward.

Thoughts Lead to Actions

If you believe that your vision is the right vision, what then?

Take a step. Then another. Then another.

James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, helps leaders stay focused on the process to generate their desired results.

To build an enduring habit, he shares that each action you take is a vote for who you want to become. 

In the context of fulfilling your vision, your day-to-day efforts, compound. Each step you take is a “vote” for the results you want. Those steps accumulate even while the results are yet unseen. At some point in the future, you find yourself realizing your vision, something you might have questioned, was possible.

Take these next steps:

Step 1: Author your 10-year vision. 

Step 2: Break down that 10-year into a 3-year vision. 

Step 3: Break down that 3-year into a 1-year vision.  

This will give you the path for this year’s effort. You can break the 1-year vision into the things that will get done each quarter in 2024. 

Perhaps your vision doesn’t need a miracle. Or said a different way, perhaps you are the miracle – the right leader at the right time for the right job. If not you then who? 

P.S. Prayer helps too!

Boost Your Performance

We typically over-estimate what we can do in one year all the while underestimating what we can do in five.  Why? Because give up too early.
Try this coaching question to prove to yourself you can do it: 

What do you have today that you once dreamed for?  

You dreamed for it… worked hard… and with effort (over time) you achieved it. Why would this current dream be any different? Watch this week’s video for more.

What’s Your Opinion?

Who’s your biggest critic and how do you handle them? Share it with me at

If you are going to be a leader, you might as well be a good one. Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

Robin Pou, Chief Advisor and Strategist

We live to make bad leadership extinct so forward this newsletter to others who strive to be confident leaders. 


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What is “The Confident Leader”?

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began a video series called “Panic or Plan?” It was designed to equip leaders to navigate the doubt they experienced and to rise in the confidence they needed to lead during turbulent times. It took off. I then started this newsletter to equip leaders in the same fashion each week for the doubt that crashes across the bow of their leaderSHIP.