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What’s Within Your Control? (#195) 


The Confident Leader


Last weekend, Jalen Brunson scored 47 of 97 points for his NBA team in a playoff game. His performance (48% of the points his team scored) is impressive, but it’s another aspect of his game that is more compelling…

“I cannot always control what goes on outside. But I can always control what goes on inside.” 

―  Wayne Dyer (American author and motivational speaker)

This Week’s Edition

Are you spinning on things that are beyond your control? If so, focus on what you can control…

Clarify Your Thinking

To many, the world seems upside down: 

  1. University campus protests have forced graduation cancellations. 
  2. Persistent inflation is decreasing purchasing power.
  3. Political upheaval is increasing during election season.
  4. Employees are facing challenges personally and professionally.

Amid variables you do not control, how can you remain clear-headed and confident about what the future holds?

Leaders yearn to lead with confidence. To do anything less jeopardizes their job. 

Question: How do leaders arrive at this point of confidence?

Answer: Control what you can control – your skill development.

Amid the chaos of the NBA playoffs, Jalen Brunson’s mental game is at its peak. In an interview, he shared, “I work too hard not to be confident in myself.” Meaning, Jalen’s intentional effort to sharpen his skills produces the confidence needed to create legendary performances. 

Old Thinking: How can I be confident when everything seems fragile, unstable, and chaotic?

New Thinking: I need to figure out what is within my control and devote myself to those things. If I can do that, the results may take care of themselves. 

Thoughts Lead to Actions

Ask yourself: “What can I control?” The list of answers is usually short, but powerful:

  1. Your reaction to unforeseen circumstances
  2. Your thinking
  3. Your effort
  4. Your process for skill-building

Leaders need something solid they can count on in an ever-shifting climate where nothing seems like it can be relied on. You have the opportunity to level up your skill and give yourself a chance to create a core foundation of confidence.

Step 1: Identify what you control.

Step 2: Identify the daily/weekly disciplines that improve the skills you want to develop.

Step 3: Answer the question: Why does this level of skill help you?

Improving your skills is challenging. It takes intentional effort in an already busy leadership life. Can you stay consistent long enough to see the fruit of your labor? James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, warns of boredom while executing on monotonous habits when pursuing excellent.  Beware! How badly do you want it?

Jalen Brunson’s story is a good reminder for us leaders. His effort over time has generated a level of confidence that is posting win after win.

When you arrive at the day when your hard work has given you the confidence to perform as you desire, ping me. We want to celebrate with you!

Boost Your Performance

Get on track to win your week. Take the Win Your Leadership Week survey. Spend 5 minutes and alter the trajectory of your next 5 days!  

We’ve had 41 leaders leverage this leadership tool to win their week. One leader said, “These questions are similar to the conversations I have with my work accountability partner, but better!” 

Every year you get 50 attempts to get it right. Let’s take it one week at a time. Let’s win the week! 

What’s Your Opinion?

What is in your control and what is not in your control this week? 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.