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Motivated to Serve Others (#26)

The Confident Leader

According to the stats, leaders stand to lose 90% of their new initiatives during the second week of February. Said another way, new initiatives often fail within six weeks of being started. Let’s fix that.

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.
— Charles Dickens

This Week’s Edition

MOTIVATION: Where does serving others come into play as we identify what really motivates us? 

Clarify Your Thinking

When we lose motivation, we lose momentum. Loss of momentum is kryptonite to any undertaking at work. This is where leadership doubt take hold: “Why can’t we ever finish a project or get across the finish line?”


A recent coaching session with a leader put that doubt squarely on the table.

“Robin, I’m feeling demotivated. My company needs me to be very motivated given our growth goals,” John said.

“What do you think is going on?” I asked.

“Well, I’ve achieved more than I ever dreamed. I own all the stuff I ever wanted. I’m at the top of my game skill-wise, and my team is firing on all cylinders.”

“Congratulations! What’s the problem?” I asked.

“I’m no longer motivated, and that’s not me. I am typically super motivated. I’m feeling pressure to be a visionary source of motivation for my team, but I cannot think clearly about how to address my own issues with motivation.


As the discussion continued, John began to realize that he was experiencing shortfalls in his typical sources of motivation:

·      Competition – he won the game!

·      Rewards – he owns all the toys!

·      Acknowledgement – he has been recognized for his accomplishments by his industry and all the institutions!

·      Mastery – he is the best in the world at what he does!

·      Team – his team is competent and independent suggesting they don’t need him!


post pandemic vision

Thoughts Lead to Actions

“John, why do you do what you do?” I asked.

“To pay the bills. Put a roof over my family’s head and bread on the table,” he said almost reflexively.

“Sounds like you’ve already met those needs,” I offered as he responded with a nod. “So, what is the bigger game you are playing?” He sat their thinking silently as he thought about it for a while. Finally, he said,

“I do it for my employees. To give them a great place to work. For their families. For their kids. For our clients to ease their burden.” Our conversation allowed him to pause and think. John found his ultimate motivation that will sustain his leadership journey for the rest of his career: using his business to serve others.


One of the fifteen emotional intelligence skills is called social responsibility. It calls on leaders to:

·      Coach others to success

·      Create opportunities for their team

·      Demonstrate selfless contributions to the organization

·      Contribute to the community


Social responsibility seems like a high bar especially for leaders who are busy on the hamster wheel. It would be easy to deprioritize serving others until you have actually “made it” in the world. John discovered that he could use serving others as a way to sustain his motivation. Take thirty minutes to determine what truly motivates you for the long game.  

Boost Your Performance

Many leaders believe you have to choose between success OR service. Mark is a leader I worked with a few years ago. He decided to serve his community by running for the local school board. His concern was that the time away from his new fledgling business would negatively impact its growth. His story is a good one. Take a look.

What’s Your Opinion?

After reading this edition, what would you say is your motivation?

Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

robin pou, chief advisor and strategist

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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