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Are My Best Days Behind Me? (#160)


The Confident Leader


The founder of a manufacturing company shared that he was at his leadership wit’s end. Everything was going in the wrong direction. He was tempted to think his best days were behind him only to be surprised with the opposite. 

“Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.”

— Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th President of the United States)

This Week’s Edition

Are your best days behind you? Will you ever post wins like you used to? What got you here definitely is sufficient to get you there. 

Clarify Your Thinking

Carl, the CEO, and his staff were at a breaking point with their challenges:

  • A serious disagreement with a minority shareholder
  • A technology implementation months overdue
  • A significant financial write-off of old inventory
  • Aging accounts payable from most of their customers

Carl runs a successful organization that has a track record of posting wins on a quarterly basis. Currently, there don’t seem to be any victories on the horizon. The sheer volume of challenges and the degree of each would cause any leader to doubt the likelihood of any future success. 

For leaders like Carl, it is a virtual certainty they will “win” again, but to them it seems improbable in the foxhole of their current battle. Scientists call it Negativity Bias: we tend to dwell on the negative when it things don’t go our way.  

Old Thinking: This may be it. I may not be able to lead us out of this mess.  There are too many issues of consequence. Even if I solve one or two, another issue could tank us.  

New Thinking: I can’t control everything. I’ll focus on what I can control. Let me lean into what got me to this point and my team to crowd-source solutions and inspiration.

Thoughts Lead to Actions

At a high school football game last Friday, as we roasted in the 105 degree Texas heat, the young girl behind me said, “this will never be over!” To her, the misery seemed as if it would never end.

That’s the way some leaders feel about their current challenging circumstances, “This will never end. I’ll never experience another win. Those days are behind me.”

Your past victories occurred because of your hard work and preparation. It allowed you to capitalize on the opportunity that presented itself. It was not “luck.”

What’s gotten you this far will pull you through this time as well. Take stock of your past successes by doing the following:

Step 1: What are your leadership strengths and skills?

  • In times of challenge, leverage your best assets.

Step 2: What are your daily/weekly/monthly disciplines?

  • Consistency will prepare you for the arrival of your defining moment.

Step 3: Take time each day or week to work ON the business.

  • This will allow you to observe and evaluate the opportunities you can leverage.

Carl and his team met and recommitted to one another, “we stand together; we fall together.” The renewal of that team bond buoyed their spirits. Day after day they chipped away at their challenges. They are still in the middle of it all, but they are beginning to see a possible victory in the future. 

Boost Your Performance

If we think nothing will ever happen to turn this around, it’s possible we won’t be prepared when everything happens. Nothing stays the same. Change is constant. Watch this week’s video to learn how to endure the challenging times. 

What’s Your Opinion?

What’s a leadership strength that has helped you achieve success in the past? 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.