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Something New! (#41)

The Confident Leader

This week I had three almost identical conversations with CEOs. “Robin, I’ve hit the end of my business development target list. As I’m emerging from Covid, I’m finding that I’ve run out of people to reach out to?”

Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.
— Og Mandino (author)

This Week’s Edition

To survive (let alone succeed) in the post-Covid era leaders must build new things. Relying solely on legacy relationships, ideas, products, services or processes will not generate future growth. Leaders pursue new.

Clarify Your Thinking

“Robin, I’ve called everyone. The few who are left to call feel like I’m scraping the edges of an almost empty peanut butter jar.” Tim said as he was describing his business development efforts.


As a result, Tim felt daunted by the fact that he might have to start over. He said, “It’s like preparing to climb El Capitan – ascending a sheer cliff face. It’ll require an insurmountable amount of effort, and I doubt I can do it. But, I’ve got to because my current business feels like a block of ice melting in the hot sun – potential loss of clients, employees and a shrinking prospect base.”


“Based on our coaching, what do you know to be true?” I asked.

“Intellectually I know that things are moving forward even though I can’t see them. Emotionally, I’m not there yet.”

“What about that patience thing you’ve been working on?” I asked.

 “I know. I’ve got to be patient. It’ll pay off eventually just like when my old boss called after ten years and referred that client to me?” Tim said.

“Yes. That’s reputational presence.” I reminded him.

“Right!” He affirmed. “That’s my mailbox money. My reputation is working for me even when I am sleeping. I’m not actually starting over. I’m just building on what I already have.”


Old Thinking: I’m not in the game right now. The snap-back economy is passing me by.

New Thinking: I’m actually IN the game. I’m just in the outfield, and no balls are coming my way, yet!”

post pandemic vision

Thoughts Lead to Actions

Tim was feeling that he had come to the end of his known business network universe. This scared him. His new thinking propelled him to expand his universe. He needed NEW, new relationships.


“I’m going to reach out to my legacy relationships. I’m often tempted to write them off as old, but since everything in the world has changed maybe they have too.”

“That sounds promising,” I said. “What will you talk about with your old people?” I nudged. 

I am going to ask them about them. If they’ve changed, I don’t know them as well as I used to. I’m just going to show up curious.”

“Great. Think about asking them the second question.” I offered. “Look for more than their surface response. Really listen to them and ask the next question based on what they share.”

“I’m horrible at that. I only wait for them to finish so I can drive the conversation toward my objective,” Tim said.

“That’s good self-awareness. Instead, make a mental note to ask the next question. Who knows what you will find?” I offered.

“My dad said that everything is something, and with this approach I am going to turn my current nothing into something,” Tim said.


Action Plan

1.   Redefine your “sales quota” to be the weekly connections you make.

2.   Make a list of existing contacts: clients, partners, etc…

3.   Reach out to everyone, even if you think it won’t be fruitful.

4.   Stay curious and ask the second question to gather information.

5.   Use that information to create NEW.


Boost Your Performance

Tim’s activity of reaching out to his legacy relationships resulted in learning valuable information about his market during this time. As a result of being curious he unearthed new connection points to people he didn’t know. This type of new is available to you too. Check out the video to learn more.

What’s Your Opinion?

What are you doing to create new in these new times?  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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