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Courage to GO! (#30)

The Confident Leader

Esteemed businessmen in their nineties reflected on what they would have done differently in their careers. Each offered a similar answer, “I would have taken more risk.” While risk seems daunting on the front end, leaders often view it as a missed opportunity when looking back on their career.

It always seems impossible until its done.
— Nelson Mandela (former president of South Africa)

This Week’s Edition

GO: Once you decide to accept the risk and leave your comfort zone, you must GO by taking a step across the threshold into the discomfort zone.

Clarify Your Thinking

“Robin, I’m sick of the pandemic. I’m tired of not growing,” said Chris.

“Well, what are you going to do about that?” I asked.

“I’ve got to develop new relationships,” he said. “But, I’m afraid of failing.”

“What does failure look like?” I asked.


Chris shared the following concerns:

·      No one will call me back.

·      I’ll be seen as bothering them.

·      They’ll think I want something from them.

·      They don’t want or need what I am offering.


His thinking was the epitome of leadership doubt. “I doubt I will get the response I want; therefore, I won’t even pick up the phone and initiate the conversation. It’s too risky!”


Doubt is more powerful than gravity or compound interest. It has the power to stop leaders dead in their tracks, keeping them from the very thing they want most – to grow their business.


“How great is your frustration around not growing? Is it greater than the risk associated with making the calls?” I asked. As his coach, I knew he was a confident CEO in other aspects of his leadership. In this instance, I wanted to see if his potential for leadership courage outweighed his leadership doubt – the thinking that was currently paralyzing him.  

post pandemic vision

Thoughts Lead to Actions

“Robin, I’ve got to know what the prospects think. I’m going to start reaching out to them today.” The pain of frustration due to staying in his comfort zone pushed Chris to the point of making a conscious decision. He stepped into the discomfort zone in spite of his leadership doubt. He accepted the risk.


Chris learned that doubt is a gift. It tells the leader everything they need to know about what they need to change in their thinking and what skills they need to develop.


Changed Thinking: With each call, Chris realized he was overemphasizing the risks:

·      People called him back.

·      Prospects were not bothered, in fact they thanked him for calling.

·      They were interested in discussing what he offered.


Skill Developed: With each call, Chris discovered the precise words and phrases that resonated with his prospects. He honed his approach by going from casual conversations to more focused exchanges about his business and what he was offering.

Boost Your Performance

What do you need to do to grow your business? What is holding you back from doing it?


Take these steps tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. to elevate the leadership of your growth initiative:

1.   Pinpoint the new action you need to take to grow your business.

2.   Identify your doubt and embrace it as a gift.

3.   Choose to step into your discomfort zone.

4.   Take your first action (risk of failure).

5.   Change your thinking as you get more information.

6.   Improve your skill as you get more reps.

What’s Your Opinion?

How do you summon the courage to take a proactive step into your discomfort zone? Email me at

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

robin pou, chief advisor and strategist

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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