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A Little More Fun Please…. (#45)

The Confident Leader

The life of a leader is heavy right now. The Great Resignation. Inability to find workers. Building materials at an all-time high. An overheated economy facing steep inflation. A capital gains tax increase. No wonder CEO confidence has slipped to pre-vaccine lows.

In every life we have some trouble, when you worry you make it double,
don’t worry, be happy!
— Bobby McFerrin (American folk-jazz vocalist)

This Week’s Edition

Amid the continuing uncertain business climate, many leaders striving for annual goals set back in January are gripping the proverbial steering wheel with white knuckles as if bracing for a wreck. There must be a better way. 

Clarify Your Thinking

Craig, a seasoned CEO, shared his recent stress as he nears the end of Q2.  “Robin, I know exactly what we have to sell each of the remaining 30 days in the period to hit our forecast, but each day we miss our numbers, the daily goal increases for the remaining days. It’s like an unsurmountable obstacle.”

“Tell me more,” I said.

“Well, I don’t know what to do. So, I’m just going to try harder. Push my team more. Probably stress about it, and generally watch this inevitable slow train wreck unfold,” Craig offered. I gave him a raised eyebrow. He immediately said, “Well, that’s no good. That won’t work.”


Over time, the leaders I work with learn how to identify their own thinking issues – thoughts that do not set them up to succeed. This ability to catch themselves being themselves reminds them they have a choice. They can choose to think differently. Craig changed his thinking.


His new thinking played out like this, “Robin, as we have discussed many times before, worrying about the things I cannot control does not help. I am going to focus on what I can control. I’m going to remind myself that I’m playing the long game. That we have a solid strategy. That we are trusted by our clients.”


“Craig, that’s fantastic. When you have refocused your thinking previously, like you just did, has it been helpful?” I asked.

“Yes. It has. It allows me to focus on doing the very specific things that I can control, my tried-and-true strategies.”


Old thinking has gotten you far. New thinking will get you where you want to be in the future.

post pandemic vision

Thoughts Lead to Actions

Craig began focusing on the actions needed to generate the results he wanted. I reminded him that, when your thoughts and your actions are in alignment, you can get consistent elite performance results. “So, what are you going to do?” I asked. He shared three things.


First, I’m going to have fun. I have a feeling that others are taking cues from me. I think my serious resting face is having a negative impact. I’m going to smile more. I’m going to start each day with an attitude of fun. Maybe fun begets fun. #funcraig.


Second, I’m going to engage the team. If I’m worried and borderline panicked, maybe my team is too. None of us do our best work when we’re feeling that way. I need to lighten their load by coaching them in the way this coaching conversation has helped me. #dontworrybehappy


Third, I’m going to do what I do best, engage our clients in a meaningful way. Perhaps they are stressed, and we can help in some way, maybe lightening their load too.” #professionalfirstresponder


Three Easy Steps to “Don’t Worry. Be Happy!”

1.   Choose your attitude. Recommendation: Choose fun!

2.   Engage a coaching conversation with your team. They need it as much as you do.

3.   Deepen your relationship with your clients. It’s hard to worry when you are serving others.


Boost Your Performance

In a recent conversation with a leader with enormous responsibilities, I asked what he needed most. He didn’t know, but he shared that his wife wanted him to have a better work life balance. Find out how our conversation went in this week’s video.

What’s Your Opinion?

How do you keep the wave of worry at bay? Let me know at


Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

Robin Pou, Chief Advisor and Strategist

If this was helpful, feel free to share it with another leader who needs to defeat doubt and complete their confidence.

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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.

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