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Scattered (#40)

The Confident Leader

In today’s go-go-go culture, it seems as if our task list is never complete. As a result, some leaders experience the feeling of being spread too thin only to have the goals they yearn to achieve never materialize. They feel scattered!

He who has a why can bear almost any how.
— Victor Frankl

This Week’s Edition

Scattered: One of the Five Types of Doubt.

Clarify Your Thinking

As one of the top producers in his real estate company, Max was promoted to the top leadership post. “Congratulations,” I said to him in our first coaching session.


“I’m not so sure I should be congratulated. I have so much to do. I don’t have enough hours in the day,” Max shared. His new leadership job was so consuming that his “real” job, sales and client service, was suffering.


“Robin, the problem is that I did my main job so well I just fell into this leadership role,” Max confessed. Feeling like an accidental leader is a common struggle for many professional service providers when they are promoted to leadership positions.


“It’s impacting both roles, and I’m starting to drop balls,” Max said. “Also, my team is chasing too many things. They are not focused. I’m starting to doubt whether all this hard work will ever produce the results I want.”


Max needed to do something. His instinct was to gird up and just manage his time better, but this failed, as it had many times before. It left him even more doubtful and feeling like a day trader of priorities, flipping back and forth from one thing to the next never moving gaining any appreciable ground.


Old Thinking: I’m embarrassed, because everyone had such high hopes for me in this role. I feel guilty, because I am neglecting my best clients. I have no idea which of my activities to pursue to get the results I want.


New Thinking: Just doing more is not working. I need to understand why I am undertaking all of these seemingly disparate responsibilities.

post pandemic vision

Thoughts Lead to Actions

The specific solution to Scattered starts with defining your leadership purpose. The coaching conversation sounded like this:

“Max, why did you accept the leadership role?” I asked.

“Because it’s an honor you don’t turn down.

“Given your frustration, why are you continuing to stay in the role?”

“Because I want to help my team,” he said.

“Why is that important to you?”

“Because I can help them do good work and achieve their goals,” he said.

“And why is that important to you?”

“Because they’ll be able to provide for their families and give the next generation greater opportunity,” he offered a little stunned at the depth of his answer.


Max defined his leadership “why”: I choose to lead others to help them fulfill their potential, provide for their family thereby altering the trajectory of the next generation.


If you experience the Scattered doubt type you can:

1.   Define your “why”

2.   Evaluate each of your activities relative to your “why”

3.   Prioritize those leadership activities that further your “why”

4.   Retire those activities that do not further your “why”

5.   Celebrate the tradeoffs: intentionally prioritizing things that further your why and saying “no” to the others.


When a leader knows their “why,” it provides context – the ability to determine which efforts are the primary focus. Energy follows focus and what you focus on tends to manifest.


Boost Your Performance

If Max’s story resonates with you, this week’s video will further expound on his story: how he discovered his professional purpose, learned how to use it, developed the ability to say “no,” and celebrated the tradeoffs.

What’s Your Opinion?

Have you ever experienced leadership doubt similar to Scattered? 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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