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Leadership Sixth Sense (#184)


The Confident Leader


As I watched the final minutes of the Super Bowl, I noticed Travis Kelce, a Kansas City Chief’s player, wandering around in the backfield before each of the final plays. To an untrained eye it looked like he was out of sorts. Nothing could have been further from the truth. 

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.”

Albert Einstein (German-born scientist)

This Week’s Edition

Your leadership sixth sense – go with your intuition!

Clarify Your Thinking

The minute the ball was snapped in the thrilling overtime match up, Kelce would rocket into action, making unbelievable plays.

The NFL show, Mic’d Up, which allows us to hear the players talking on the field, revealed something about Kelce’s performance: a subtle ability to interpret a world that not readily seen by others. 

It’s as if he has a sixth sense about the game that creates a remarkable competitive advantage. 

We’ve been given five senses in which to perceive the physical world. Leaders use these five senses every day to observe their team’s performance. Sometimes they see their work as lackluster or less than effective, and at times that behavior doesn’t make sense to leaders according to their logical brain. 

Developing a stronger leadership sixth sense might be the solution. 

Old Thinking: Why don’t they take greater ownership or follow through on their tasks? I’ve given them what they asked for: raises, WFH, bonuses, better communication, and additional investment in their development.

New Thinking: Perhaps the input I’m getting from my five senses related to people management is incomplete. I might benefit from employing my sixth sense about what might be happening. 

Thoughts Lead to Actions

When your confounded by a situation that defies logic, engage your sixth sense allowing you to see things not readily seen by others. 

Rise above the situation. Gain some perspective. See the bigger picture. Be a watchman for your organization. 

Step 1: Dedicate yourself to Leadership Thinking Time – a 90-minute personal appointment every week to “think” about your business from different perspectives.

Step 2: Stop trying to make sense of the situation from your singular vantage point. Put yourself in the shoes of others to discern what else might be going on. Ask yourself: what else could be true?

Step 3: Journal your thoughts. You may not “solve” the situation in one sitting. Keep a record of your reflection. The cumulative set of thoughts will hone your ability to perceive new things – a sixth sense.

The more you slow down, the more you will be able to see new things such as:

  • Strengths and talents not previously seen
  • Nuances of situations not readily apparent 
  • Hidden pitfalls
  • Less than obvious opportunities  

When you can grasp context that others miss, it provides more information. More information increases the quality and efficacy of your decision making. Sometimes logic doesn’t apply. Develop your leadership sixth sense to compliment your logic brain.  

Boost Your Performance

In this week’s video learn a little more about my perspective on how Kelce and the Chiefs develop their sixth sense.

What’s Your Opinion?

Who’s your biggest critic and how do you handle them? 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.