Skip to content

Too Many Choices. I Can’t Commit. (#29)

The Confident Leader

Whenever we find time to enjoy a movie, I spend so much time attempting to decide what to watch from the thousands of options, I end up exhausting our allotted time. Apparently it’s common: the Netflix Effect!

The road to success is littered with many a flattened squirrel unable to commit.
— Rocky (of Rocky & Bullwinkle)

This Week’s Edition

COMMIT: With too many options, leaders I work with report a higher incidence of inability to commit to a particular strategy. Choice paralysis is a cousin to analysis paralysis from last week’s edition #28.

Clarify Your Thinking

A coaching session with a successful CEO who was stuck, revealed the surprising poverty of too many choices. “Robin, I want to grow my business, but there are too many good strategies to choose from.” In desperation, Chris said, “I don’t know which one to pick. Just tell me what to do?”


With an abundance of options, Chris didn’t want to:

·      Miss out on a better option (FOMO)

·      Make a bad choice ending in failure (Fear of failure)

·      Waste his time on an inferior idea (Fear of inefficiency)


My movie selection process was similar as I didn’t want to:

·      Miss out on a great movie by picking a lousy one

·      Ruin our date night

·      Waste two hours of precious time on garbage


To solve the Netflix Effect, I often search reviews. “Certainly 4.25 stars from 2876 people can’t be wrong,” I tell myself, only to end up watching a movie I don’t like. Because my uncertainty is great, I outsource my decision to any ‘ole critique handing out five stars regardless of their tastes, preferences or values.


Uncertainty is fertile ground on which seeds of doubt grow roots.  Consequently, we are heat seeking missiles to curb uncertainty at any cost. Leaders will outsource their decision to others, “Robin, that strategy is working for my colleague over there. It’s a proven success. Surely it will work for me. right?” Wrong!


For a leader, a borrowed strategy feels decisive and a prudent mitigation of risk and uncertainty. Although, this approach can lead to leadership doubt because the strategy is not really their own and may not function in the same way. As that doubt grows, the leader may pine away for one of the options they did not choose.


post pandemic vision

Thoughts Lead to Actions

Merely relying on the outside appearance of someone else’s successful strategy does not take into account your unique circumstances: your vision, goals, strengths, opportunities, market differentiator, prospects, clients, etc…


Leaders need a reliable way to vet the many options before them to find the one to which they want to commit.


I coached Chris to:

1.   Write his long-term three-year vision

2.   Make a list of his personality, leadership style, strengths and skills

3.   Write his “why” – why you are doing what you do


He then vetted his options by narrowing the list to only those that:

·      Supported the achievement of his vision

·      Aligned with his style and strengths

·      Fulfilled his purpose


Eventually, Chris chose a strategic option with greater certainty because it was consistent with his personality preference for introversion (vs. his colleague’s gregarious extroverted approach). Within three years (effort over time) he generated growth for his business three times his original goal.


Increase your aptitude for making a decision by narrowing your options according to your vision and why you are pursuing it according to your style.

Boost Your Performance

Take three simple steps to a more confident process to vet your options:

1.   Be clear on your long-term vision for your leadership and your business

2.   Understand your identity as a leader in all its facets

3.   Take the time to understand fully your “why”

The actual undertaking of each of these three may take some time, but together they will take your leadership game to the next level.


What’s Your Opinion?

How do you make solid leadership choices from among the myriad options available to you? Email me at

Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

robin pou, chief advisor and strategist

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.

Let’s Connect

Follow me on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter.

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.

Let’s Do This!

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.