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Never Give Up. Never. (#200)


The Confident Leader


Four years ago, I started something I have done every week since. I’ve wrestled with quitting and I’m glad I didn’t. Here is a story about trying hard to never give up.  

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

―  Thomas Edison (American Inventor & Businessman)

This Week’s Edition

Tell me which day is a good day to give up? Today? Tomorrow? Never!

Clarify Your Thinking

For about five years, I routinely gave up on an idea I knew I should pursue – writing a weekly newsletter about leadership.

I had plenty of “compelling reasons” to NOT start the endeavor.

  • No one will read it.
  • I don’t have anything unique to say.
  • The space is too noisy with others who have a head start.
  • It’s too much work.

Sadly, I gave up before I even started. Some of you can relate. You’ve failed to start something you know you should pursue citing some of the same reasons I mention in the list above. 

Then one day, I gave up on giving up. I started. Two hundred weeks ago, episode #1 of The Confident Leader was published, albeit to a very tiny audience of mostly friends and family. 

The journey to 200 episodes gave me plenty of new reasons to contemplate giving up: 

  • Late night writing
  • Writer’s block
  • Doubt about the impact
  • Lack of growth of the audience

Some of you can relate to this too. It’s hard to do something new, and it’s even harder to be consistent. 

Old Thinking: I wonder if I can keep this up. Is it making a difference? The workload is significant. I’m tired. I think it’s time to retire this effort. 

New Thinking: I shouldn’t make a major decision when I am frustrated or tired. If I am going to retire this initiative, I should do it based on the facts. Why am I doing this? What impact is it having? What progress have I made?

Thoughts Lead to Actions

These past 200 weeks have been nothing short of amazing:

  • 3800 lifetime email subscribers
  • A 67% open rate
  • 500+ average weekly readers on the LinkedIn newsletter post
  • Leaders using the email during their weekly meetings
  • Readers resonating with the content: “It was THE message I needed.”

While the results today seem worth the effort, the journey offered plenty of opportunities to give up

At the start of any effort, we are not able to know the true future impact. We have to hold tight to our belief in the vision and remember why we are undertaking the effort. These things sustain us during the uncertainty that certainly presents itself.

The inevitable challenges beg the question: What day is a good day to give up on your vision? Well, you have options: 

Option A: If you want your feelings to rule the day, the answer is simple. If you don’t feel like doing it anymore then stop. Just quit.

Option B: If you want to move through the difficult times to the joyous desired result, think about these steps to keep you on track and in the game: 

1. Define what success looks like. 

  • Focus on developing your skill.
  • Perhaps consider how your effort serves others.
  • Be wary of “likes” and other accolades as a measurement. 

2. Enroll others to support you. 

  • Share with them what you are doing and why it is important.
  • Ask them to observe your effort and impact. 
  • Be wary of “yes” people. Find people willing to give authentic feedback.

3. Define a timeline.

  • Determine a timeline for your initial effort. 
  • Review your progress at that milestone and make necessary adjustments.
  • Be wary of giving up too soon. 

Effort over time compounds just like interest. If you are playing the long game, success takes time. Even though there are times to retire an effort, too many stop inches from success.

Don’t give up after the hard work has already been done just because you can’t see the finish line. Your effort and time to this point are sunk costs. The return on that is almost infinite. Stick with it. Never give up. Never! 

Boost Your Performance

If you want to stop, then stop. Don’t keep wasting your mental energy debating the issue. If you don’t want to give up, then commit. Give it your all and decide today that you are “in.” Then, get busy getting good at what you are supposed to be good at. Effort over time produces results. Go get ‘em’!

What’s Your Opinion?

What is an idea you’ve had that you feel a nudge to pursue? 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.