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Design the Leadership Life You Want to Live (#94)

The Confident Leader

Sir Richard Branson was asked to do a keynote speech for $100,000. His assistant politely said, “no.” After repeated follow up requests and a fee increase to $250,000, the assistant offered, “the answer is still no. This is not one of Mr. Branson’s priorities for this quarter.” Clearly, Branson has figured out how to design the leadership life he wants to live. Have you?

It’s easy to say ‘no’ when you know what you are saying ‘yes’ to.
— Robin Pou, Inc. (Leadership Development Firm)

This Week’s Edition

Discover the leadership fountain of youth by designing the leadership life you want to lead. Reverse the aging effects of leadership fatigue and burnout.

Clarify Your Thinking

In chatting with my team about the significant response to last week’s newsletter regarding the risk of leadership derailment, they highlighted that one of the most read newsletters in recent months was Your Annual Leadership Wellness Check. See the trend? 

Working in high stakes roles in dynamic industries amid incredibly fluid market conditions can make anyone’s head spin. Look at the relentless pace of leaders, who on average:

This pace leaves leaders fatigued and questioning their effectiveness. Look at how they spend their time and how they feel each day:

We cannot afford to lose leaders to problems that are within their control. With a leadership shortage, leaders can cure some of the things that ail them – fatigue, burn out and the like. 

Old Thinking: I guess this is the way this job is going to be. I have to live with it. They’ve got me locked in.

New Thinking: I can design the leadership life I want to lead. I may not know how, but I’m smart and can find out how.

Thoughts Lead to Actions

Changing your leadership life is hard, but it’s not too hard. Decide if it’s worth making a change. What’s it costing you to not make a change?

The following are a few pro tips we’ve implemented with leaders who’ve experienced transformational change in their leadership lives. 

Leadership Thinking Time: Carve out weekly recurring time dedicated to working on the business versus just working in the business. 

No Fly Zone: Cordon off times for which no client meetings or internal meetings can be set. 

80% Rule: If a team member can do the task you are doing to 80% of your effectiveness level, train them and let them.

One. Two. Three.: Adopt a simple nomenclature for prioritization

  • Priority 1 – hot item must be done today/tomorrow

  • Priority 2 – important, must be done in the next three to five days

  • Priority 3 – nice to have, may require more discussion to be actionable

Take Five: Spend five minutes at the start of the day focusing on the intention of the day. Spend five minutes at the end of the day celebrating what was accomplished. 

Standing Ovation: Conduct a quick stand-up meeting with the team each morning to align on the important items of the day and resolve task obstacles.

Gimme a Break: Set hour long meetings for 45 minutes. Take a break. Set half hour meetings for 20 minutes. Take a break. 

I Have a Vision: Set aside two days with your team to create your three-year vision and align on the strategies to get you there. Sprinkle in a recommitment to your values and purpose. Align on an action plan

I’m Outa Here: Actually, calendar vacation time in advance. Plan your time off. Have something to look forward to.

Finish Line: Schedule an appointment at the end of the day that you can easily see on your calendar as your designated finish line. Run through the tape each day.

Break Bread: You gotta eat. Take a lunch break, even if it’s just fifteen minutes. Hydrate and breathe.

You may think, “Robin, these are simple. Can they really work?” Or you may say, “Robin, aren’t these just common sense.” 

My answer is, “You are correct. They are simple and common sense. But are you doing them? In today’s leadership world, common sense isn’t so common.” 

Spend this Memorial Day weekend thinking about the changes you may want to make. Then, at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, what action will you take to design your leadership life?

Boost Your Performance

Leaders who have adopted these new rules of engagement for their leadership life have had transformational experiences. They have dramatically changed their leadership life for the better. They are more effective and productive. Find out the details of their results in this week’s video.

What’s Your Opinion?

What is your pro tip for designing the leadership life you want to lead? Share with me 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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