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When Pressure Is A Good Thing (#154)

TCL Illustration 154

The Confident Leader


“Robin, it’s miraculous. Our team is fully aligned,” John, a CEO, offered.

“How did that happen? Just two weeks ago you were sitting in my office telling me how completely unaligned your team was.” I half jested. John’s response was counterintuitive.

““Building a visionary company requires one percent vision and 99 percent alignment.”

— James C. Collins

This Week’s Edition

Team alignment is an X factor in an organization’s success. Leader’s who understand and commit to alignment for their team will generate momentum. Let’s explore why.

Clarify Your Thinking

John went on to share some recent challenges his team had experienced. “We lost one of our biggest clients. Two of our team members quit and our cashflow is at an all time low,” John said.

“Explain to me how the pressure presented by those challenges contributed to your new found alignment?” I asked.

“Well, it appears that we have all awakened to our shared reality. As a result we have agreed that we don’t have the time or the money to sit around debating all the things we don’t agree on. We have serious challenges. Alignment is our only option to forge our way through this battle. It’s amazing how pressure creates clarity.”

On a daily basis, I am in conversations with leaders who are facing massive challenges posed by this current economy.

Those leaders who seek outside insight are able to get out of their heads, process their thinking and lead their team to a state of alignment, their best hope for navigating the current conditions.  

Old Thinking: Something feels off. The team isn’t clicking right now but I’m sure it will all work out. We all know what we’re working towards, right?

New Thinking: Yes, my team is skilled and capable, but the tough issues we are facing need to be addressed in order to keep us on the same page and able to move forward. This pressure I am feeling as a leader is the thing to help us get to where we want to go. 

Thoughts Lead to Actions

So, what is alignment? Put simple, all team members rowing in the same direction. The experts offer a few thoughts:

  • A shared vision and goals
  • Open communication
  • Commitment to collaborative decision-making
  • Mutual accountability

Take these steps to create alignment for your leadership team.

Step 1: Make a prioritized list, with your team, of the issues that are essential to your success. And then major on the majors. Stop yourself from engaging topics that are not crucial to the current state of the business 

Step 2: Determine which ideas “might” be undertaken to fix or solve those issues essential to success. 

Step 3: Assess the scope, time, budget and impact of each idea in order to determine which one or ones might be best to employ. 

Now you are ready to make a decision and GO

There is no time for lack of alignment. Be the leader your team needs to move past the emotions of the day and the distractions of nonessential issues. 

True leadership alignment is the key differentiator between the organizations who will still be standing on the other side of this recession we refuse to call a recession.

Boost Your Performance

I once read an article about how bad the culture is inside emergencies rooms. Often the staff, nurses and doctors don’t get along… until an emergency is wheeled in. Then, everything changes. Find out more in this week’s video.

#154 from Robin Pou on Vimeo.

What’s Your Opinion?

How do you define alignment? 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.