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Choppy Waters Ahead. Stay Focused. (#136)

The Confident Leader

Silicon Valley Bank went under. Signature Bank wasn’t far behind. Inflation is far from under control. Further interest rates hikes are almost certain. And that’s the news from just the past two weeks. Behind closed doors leaders are asking me, “Robin, what do I do?” My answer is simple.

Rough waters are truer tests of leadership. In calm water, every ship has a good captain.
— Swedish Proverb

This Week’s Edition

Stay focused in an increasing chaotic environment. Don’t loose your mooring.

Clarify Your Thinking

Recently, a wealth management professional told me that a bear market is when most people lose their money. This made sense to me based on a declining stock market, but then he shared with me the real reason why.

“Most people lose accumulated gains in a bear market, because they lose focus on their long-term plan. They panic and make emotional decisions based on short-term factors. They sell when they should hold or even buy.” 

Leaders sometimes fall into the same trap. They lose focus. Volatile market conditions cause leaders to:

  1. Become distracted and lose focus on the bigger goal or vision. 

  2. Succumb to emotions like fear and uncertainty 

  3. Make erratic decisions that are misaligned with tried and true strategies 

Old Thinking: Banks are failing. A recession is imminent. This is bad. It’s not long before it impacts us negatively. I’m the leader. I don’t know what to do but surely I have to do something. 

New Thinking: I’ll process my emotions about the market, but I won’t let them get the better of me. I have a vision. I have solid strategies. I’m playing the long game. I pay close attention, but won’t panic.

Thoughts Lead to Actions

Constant chaos is probably the new “new” normal.  How can leaders resist the urge to get swept up in the wave of emotion and erratic behavior? 

Here are three steps how you can stay focused and steer your leaderSHIP through the increasing choppy waters.

Step 1: Have a clear vision: where you want to take your organization into the future. 

  • Communicate the vision to your team… often. 

  • If they know that you know where you are going they will follow.

  • Note: In turbulent times there is a shrinking population of leaders who truly know where they are headed.

Step 2: Choose strategies that make sense for your organization

Step 3: Have a process to evaluate new market data and customer information. Validate it. Adjust course as necessary based on the facts (not the feeling of desperation) 

  • Don’t just rely on lagging indicators

  • Determine leading indicator KPI’s 

  • Example: ask your customers about their experience before and during their journey not just afterward. 

Boost Your Performance

Season 3 of Ted Lasso started this week. Watch this week’s video to find out how Coach Lasso’s secret leadership weapon can be your silver bullet to growing more confident in turbulent times. 

What’s Your Opinion?

What do you need to do to pursue simple? 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.

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