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Keep Doing Strategies That Work (#82)

The Confident Leader

Leaders who are laser focused on driving new growth can unintentionally abandon legacy strategies. Layer in a fast-paced environment and employee turnover, and tried and true strategies can easily go by the wayside. What core legacy strategies have you abandoned?

It worked so well, I stopped doing it.

This Week’s Edition

What strategies have generated your success to this point? Do you have a plan to stay focused on continuing to invest in them?

Clarify Your Thinking

“John, as the CEO, what historical strategies generated your success to date?” I asked. John responded with a handful of things that provoked me to ask, “are you still doing those things?” 

He pondered the question, “That’s funny…I don’t think we are?”

“Why not?” I asked. “Did you intentionally retire those strategies?” 

“No. Those strategies are some of our original formula for success.  We’re just not doing them anymore and I’m not sure why.”

It worked so well I stopped doing it.

Under the pressure for growth to fulfill their vision, leaders will either abandon legacy strategies or begin to question their productivity in favor of something new. Additionally, they are presented with input like:

This bias toward action, change, or merely something new can often leave perfectly productive legacy strategies by the wayside. 

Old Thinking: The future is uncertain. I must do something different. Our old stuff just doesn’t work anymore.

New Thinking: We must evaluate our current strategies to determine their effectiveness. Let’s look at them from a different perspective to identify what’s working.

Thoughts Lead to Actions

During my work with BNSF Railway, I was introduced to the way in which they classify their strategies. They use three categories: 

  • Exploring

  • Emerging

  • Enduring

This simple framework ensures that legacy strategies, that are perpetually productive, are labeled enduring – something that will continue to be prioritized.

Step 1: Do a current state assessment 

Step 2: Look for those strategies that continually perform 

Step 3: Label them as enduring if you know: 

  • What the strategy is

  • What it is designed to produce

  • Why it was originally knighted as a strategy

  • The measurable data that proves its effectiveness

  • It can be relied on to continue to perform into the future

Designation as an Enduring Strategy means it will: get the attention it needs during each planning cycle, deliver that results that are core to the foundation of the business, and be easy to distinguish between those new strategies designed to generate additional growth, i.e., exploring, or emerging strategies. 


Boost Your Performance

Seduction of success is the common phrase to describe leaders who’ve generated success and are thereby lured to do less or fail to follow their own formula for generating that success to begin with. This week’s video helps us identify our enduring strategies so we can resist the urge to abandon them in the euphoria of our success.

What’s Your Opinion?

What is one of your enduring strategies? Share it 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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