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A Leader’s Thinking Sets the Tone for the Organization’s Success (#187)


The Confident Leader


In a recent revelation, a CEO remarked, “Robin, I think we are in a recession. My goal is to survive ‘til ’25.” In this candid statement, he unwittingly unveiled deeper insights into his thinking.

“You don’t have to outrun the bear. You just have to outrun your friend.”

Anonymous (survival of the fittest quote)

This Week’s Edition

Amidst uncertain times, a leader’s perspective on growth opportunities can often foreshadow their potential success or failure.

Clarify Your Thinking

While the phrase “Survive ‘til ’25” might sound clichéd, it hints at something profound – the leader’s underlying belief in their capacity to navigate challenging circumstances. Survival is a zero-sum game – a matter of living to fight another day. Many find themselves in genuine survival mode, grappling with the economic impact, fluctuating interest rates, and evolving banking practices.

For those not in such dire straits, clinging to survival-centric thinking can cast an unnecessary gloom, hindering the potential for growth and innovation. This thinking can operate as a self-fulfilling prophesy inadvertently leading to:

  1. Diminished team engagement and productivity.
  2. Artificial constraints on potential growth opportunities.
  3. Failure to recognize emerging possibilities.

Old Thinking: Woe is me. Things are going to be tough for the entire year. I’ll hunker down and try to survive.

New Thinking: Things are tough now, but there are proactive things I can take to strengthen our organization.

Thoughts Lead to Actions

Leaders articulate their thoughts through their words. When these thoughts fail to align with success, reframing becomes essential. A leader’s ability to manage their thinking is pivotal in achieving desired outcomes.

Take these steps this week to regain control over your thinking:

  1. Reflect on your thinking about your leadership and the prospects of the business
  2. Determine which thoughts set you up to succeed (i.e.: the results you desire)
  3. Work with your thinking partner to reframe your thinking and initiate actions that generate the outcome(s) you desire. 

NOTE: We aren’t suggesting you adopt a posture of ignorant optimism or superficial positivity. Effective leaders confront reality while actively shaping their thinking on their circumstances, their influence, and potential opportunities.

EXTRA: Consider alternatives to the slogan Survive ‘til ’25:

  • Let’s Soar in ‘24
  • Make More in ‘24
  • Make it Pour in ‘24
  • Hear Us Roar in ‘24
  • Strengthen Our Core in ‘24

Boost Your Performance

Watch this week’s video to discover strategies for transcending mere survival, propelling both your leadership and your organization forward in challenging times.

What’s Your Opinion?

What is your motto (i.e., thinking) in 2024? 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.