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Know What You Want. (#188)


The Confident Leader


I was asked to keynote a sales conference in Phoenix. I arrived early, but icy weather grounded my client’s entire corporate team in Dallas. My contact called in a panic and asked me a huge favor.  

“If you know what you want you have an infinitely greater chance of achieving it.”

Robin Pou

This Week’s Edition

The initial key to eventual success is first knowing what you want.

Clarify Your Thinking

My contact asked me, “Robin, we are stuck in Dallas, but the national sales leaders are already in Phoenix. Can you whip something up to keep them busy… all day?”

The request gave me pause because I didn’t have anything prepared. However, after meeting these twenty-five leaders, we became fast friends as I “whipped up” some coaching conversations focusing on their most pressing leadership challenge.

One leader, Jill, explained her inability to support one of her direct reports to achieve her sales goals. She said, “I’ve tried everything.”

When leaders get to this point with their team, sometimes leadership doubt starts to set in.

Old Thinking: I can’t figure this person out. I’ve tried everything. Either they are unfixable, or I’m the problem. Have I hit my leadership limit?

New Thinking: I can’t figure this person out and that’s frustrating. If I’m the leader, I can’t give up. I may need to adjust my approach toward this person. 

Thoughts Lead to Actions

In talking further with Jill, I offered the following, “have you ever asked your team member what she wants?”

“What? Oh… no. I haven’t. That sounds so simple. Why have I not asked her that before?” said Jill with a tone of revelation. 

When someone knows what they want, they have an infinitely greater chance of achieving it, and their leaders are better equipped to help them achieve it. 

Also, when someone knows what they want, and it happens to be aligned with the organization’s vision, that person can experience limitless passion, endless energy, and high levels of engagement. 

When leading others, consider the following: 

Step 1: Ask your team: “What do you want?” 

Step 2: Listen. Listen. Listen.

Step 3: Determine if what they want is aligned with what you and the organization need them to accomplish.

The energy that flows from knowing what you want can be contagious and often spills over to others on the team.

Boost Your Performance

Watch this week’s video to hear about some interesting answers I’ve received to the question: What do you want? 

What’s Your Opinion?

What do you want? 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.