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Leadership Lessons From the Beach (#51)

The Confident Leader

It’s important for leaders to take time for themselves to recreate, refresh, reflect and re-energize.  This out-of-office time creates an opportunity to gain perspective and stumble upon a leadership lesson or two.

All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.
— Author unknown (origin circa 1659)

This Week’s Edition

I discovered a few leadership lessons while on vacation with my family. I offer them to you in hopes you might glean something for your leadership journey as you focus on the opportunities set before you for the balance of this year.

Clarify Your Thinking

Three things I learned about leadership while on my summer vacation:


Sometimes it Rains!

I start to check the weather for my vacation destination a week or so before we leave. I wish for perfect weather regardless of what the ten-day outlook may offer. I tell myself, “The scattered showers probably won’t be near us.” I continue to tell myself, “I’m paying a lot for our vacation; I’m entitled to have decent weather. Please don’t rain. I want to maximize our time at the beach.”


But in the end, sometimes it rains. This requires a change of plans. For us, an unexpected nap, some boardgame fun or delving into a good book, were welcome additions to our vacation repertoire this year. The forced change of pace kept things interesting and just enough off balance to be unexpectedly fun.


Lesson: Life is not perfect. Leadership is not predictable. When it rains, leaders can pivot by redefining success given the new normal. When the original plan is lost, a different plan can form.  As it rains, remember to go with the flow.


Trouble in Paradise.


The density of a packed summer beach puts you within earshot of conversations without even trying. I noticed a theme inside those conversations I unintentionally overheard. Complaints. “The beach is too crowded. The water is too cold. I wanted to sit over there, etc…”


Additionally, arguments between spouses, siblings and others were frequent. Why do people grumble on vacation?  Life is life. We all come to our circumstances with expectations (perhaps even a little more so on a vacation). When those expectations are not met, we get frustrated.


As leaders, the pain we experience in our role is the difference between what we expect (our plan) and what happens. Make your plan and pursue it with vigor and creativity but be prepared for missed expectations. Absorb the interruption and the new information it brings. Trust and adjust accordingly.


We couldn’t because of Covid…


We enjoyed several family dinners on vacation. As we chatted, I was struck by how many times a conversation about the future implicated the recent past. It started like this, “Well, we couldn’t because of Covid…”


“I’m looking forward to high school dances. Last year, we couldn’t because of Covid.”


“I can’t wait for normal football games. Last year, we couldn’t because of Covid.”


The pandemic robbed us of many things. Perhaps the most astounding thing it took from us, was the ability to dream. During the pandemic, with the world standing still and our health hanging in the balance, who among us dared to dream about the future?


It’s time to dream again – to envision what’s possible for you, your business, and your team.  This requires the use of a big picture mindset, a mental muscle that might have atrophied over the past eighteen months. 


post pandemic vision

Thoughts Lead to Actions

Keep these three lessons front and center as you make your plan for world domination for the rest of 2021:


1.   When it rains, go with the flow. Redefine success!

2.   Dealing with unfilled expectations? Trust and adjust.

3.   Move from survival mode. Dream again. Envision what’s possible. 

Boost Your Performance

Are you questioning your next strategic move for your business? Consider joining one of our leadership cohorts starting in September. Reach out to learn more about how to fulfill your greatest professional vision:

What’s Your Opinion?

What’s leadership lesson did you learn while on vacation?  Let me know 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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