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Oh… Now It All Makes Sense (#166)


The Confident Leader


Covid. Supply chain issues. The Great Resignation. Culture wars. Inflation. Soaring national debt. High interest rates. International conflicts. 

With so many major events within the last forty-three months, can anyone be expected to lead well amid this set of cumulative once-in-a-generation events?

“The ultimate measure of a [leader] is not where [they] stand in the moments of comfort, but where [they] stand at times of challenge and controversy.” 

Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil rights leader and minister

This Week’s Edition

One of the panelists in National Confident Leader Week mentioned the once-in-a-hundred year events occurring almost every quarter. He’s right. How should a leader think about leading under these conditions?

Clarify Your Thinking

In almost every coaching session or leadership workshop I am conducting these days, we are spending an inordinate amount of time talking about the impact of these macro-events on their business. 

The ripple effects are huge – increased cost of doing business, customer attrition, downward pressure on price, limited recruiting pool, challenging employees… the list goes on. 

Even the most prepared leaders can falter from their own thinking:

  • Can I really do this?
  • Where is the playbook for this?
  • I’m not sure I can keep this up for much longer.

It’s not about never doubting your leadership, it’s about what you do in the face of that doubt. 

Old Thinking: It’s just too much. The major events are blind-siding me frequently and with a severity that seems to grow with each event. I might be ready to hang it up.  

New Thinking: I’ve not seen anything like this before. I’m tempted to panic, but maybe I should reflect. How have I been able to manage other hard situations like this before?

Thoughts Lead to Actions

At a recent client event, I facilitated a leadership experience I designed for the exact situation described above. It was meant to be a leadership reset – something to reconnect them with their influence as a leader. 

Feel free to conduct this exercise for yourself if you think it might be beneficial:

Step 1: Think back to the first time you can remember exercising some sort of influence. Describe it by writing it out.

Step 2: Recount every situation in your life since then that you have experienced an opportunity to offer your influence.

Step 3: Draw that influence journey on a poster board with markers. (See, the picture above as an example).

Step 4: Share that journey with two other people and ask them to make note of the attributes they believe you displayed in that situation as they hear you describe your influence journey.  

Step 5: Take a step back and see what might be a constant theme (or two) throughout the entire journey.

Note: watch this week’s video for a verbal description of the instructions. 

The personal revelation each leader had upon doing this exercise was truly profound. Many recounted initial influence experiences that dated back to childhood. Others were in awe at the continuity of a few attributes that had be present in each influence situation. 

The crowning comment of the event was from one leader, “for the first time, now it all makes sense.”  The peace and calm that came over this leader was visible. 

Let us know what you experienced by doing your version of the exercise. Post a picture of your journey or tag us in a post on LinkedIn – @robinpou.

Boost Your Performance

Watch this week’s video for the details on the Influence Journey instructions AND more information as to the results of the exercise for the 120+ leaders – Now it all makes sense!

What’s Your Opinion?

What are some attributes of your influence as a leader? 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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