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New Year! Same Me? (#125)

The Confident Leader

I love the start of the new year. It’s exhilarating – a blank canvas to write a new leadership journey… cue eyeroll from leaders who don’t necessarily share this outlook. They see a different view – a looming Mount Everest that must be climbed yet again! So, as the leader, how should you approach the new year? 

Listen. I wish I could tell you it gets better. But, it doesn’t get better. You get better.
— Joan Rivers, American Comedian

This Week’s Edition

The first day of the new year can be exciting for some, but dreadful for many. What steps must you take today on your journey to climb the mountain that lies ahead? 

Clarify Your Thinking

Often leaders come to their first coaching session of the year with a bit of dread. Intellectually they are able to acknowledge the success of the previous year, but they are overcome by the anticipated effort required to climb the mountain again. 

Thoughts lead to actions. Dread (as a routine of thinking) is like a lead weight on your leadership. Not only does it drag you down, but it pulls your team down with you. 

“So, what’s the good news Robin?” you might ask.

My response is clear, “your mind is powerful. You control your mind, and you have a choice in every situation. You can change your thinking. Repeat that thinking over time and you create a new routine of thinking.” 

Old Thinking: The mountain I just climbed in my business was hard enough last year. This year’s goal is to grow by 30%. If I barely made it last year, how will I be able to do it again this year? I’m not sure I’m up for it.

New Thinking: I survived last year. I am going to thrive this year. Who knows what I will find on my grand scavenger hunt that is 2023? 

Thoughts Lead to Actions

My year end conversation with a newly minted CEO revealed that he is concerned about his direct reports not taking ownership for their leadership responsibilities. Their blame game and professional victimhood mentality compounded his concern.

I quickly reminded him of his leadership of one of his team members who succeeded by ending the year outperforming his goals. My client led his team member well by: defining his role well, setting explicit expectations, training his focus on the two most important KPIs and holding him accountable for his performance on a regular basis.

It was abundantly clear that this leader has the skills to lead well and that he had acquired some hard fought wisdom over the course of the year. He had just overlooked these accomplishments and needed the reminder to apply his skillset to a new set of leadership circumstances.

Take these steps to assess your leadership skills in order to prepare to apply them for the coming year. 

Step 1: Review your year month by month. List your successes, large and small. Identify the leadership skills and approach you drew on to achieve those successes. 

Step 2: Make a list of your upcoming challenges and goals to be achieved.

Step 3: Match your leadership skills and approach (from last year’s successes) to the upcoming challenges and goals. Apply that leadership “wisdom” to your new Mount Everest.  

Good bye dread. Hello Grand Leadership Scavenger Hunt 2023!

P.S. Remember to take stock of your leadership by conducting an annual Leadership Wellness Check.

Boost Your Performance

This may come as a surprise to you, but you have ALL the tools you need to get where you need to go. Find out how to use your 50 units (aka weeks) to get where you want to be as discussed in this weeks video. 

What’s Your Opinion?

What’s one way you can think about this coming year as blank canvas? 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.

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