3 Things You Can Do to Curb Your Loneliness as a Leader
3 Things You Can Do to Curb Leader Loneliness
Recently I wrote an article discussing 4 reasons leaders are lonely. “Great article!” people told me, “I get it, but what do I do if I am a leader who is challenged by those exact reasons?” To refresh your memory the 4 reasons that business leaders are lonely are because;
1. The Buck Stops Here! As leaders we are making tough decisions that affect our employees and we feel that the buck stops with us.
2. We Can’t Take it Home! If you are a business leader, you know what I am talking about. Family and friends just don’t get it. They don’t understand the complexity of the problems and they feel that they don’t have anything to offer in terms of advice.
3. We Feel Shame! We want to give the impression that everything is always going great when it isn’t always and we feel ashamed because we aren’t as successful as others believe us to be.
4. We Don’t Know the Answer! Related to the shame of failure, is the embarrassment of leaders when we don’t have the answer. We think because we are in the top seat that we need to know the answer to every question and the solution to every problem
What do successful leaders do to curb loneliness?
a. Create a Team – One of the best things that I ever did in my business was to get my meet regularly on a quarterly basis with my department managers to study the biggest challenges and opportunities and formulate a plan together. This took the weight off of my shoulders and enabled me to share some of the decision making and workload. It also gave me the opportunity to talk about some of those tough decisions and get real feedback in a timely manner. Sometimes as leaders we think that we are the only one with effective business ideas, but the reality is that your front-line workers, your managers, and even your customers have some incredible ideas and are more than willing to help you build the dream. Tap into your dream team and never be lonely again! If they are not a dream team yet, as you engage them to work together as a team they will become the dream!
b. Have a Support Network- I run several peer groups for business leaders. Recently at a group for Executive Directors of non-profits, I overheard a couple of leaders say that despite the fact that they feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that they have to complete in their organization, getting together with their peers is one of the their most important monthly tasks. They clear their calendars to make it happen. Having a peer group with whom you can share your challenges and opportunities each month can be invigorating. When you realize that your issues are not unique, that others have gone through a similar situation and is are willing to share what they learned, your burden becomes much lighter.
c. Trusted Advisors- Did you know that over 45% of fortune 500 CEO’s use business coaches? Many of the CEOs I know have trusted advisors, some are within the company, and many others are outsiders who observe the business with new eyes. For some it’s an accountant, others a lawyer, sometimes it’s a mentor or a coach. When you have someone with business knowledge who gives you honest and open feedback you have less need to hold the stress inside. Not only that, trusted advisors like business coaches have been proven to be a great investment with a 700% ROI! Having someone who keeps you accountable, gives you a different perspective and reduces your need to take your stress home to your family and friends is what the doctor ordered for most business leaders.
The days, weeks and year running a business are too long to be spent thinking that you are doing it by yourself. The stress of loneliness has been proven to be detrimental to your health. It can be lonely at the top, but it doesn’t have to be!
Dave Fuller MBA, is a Certified Business Strategist and Coach living in Prince George B.C.. Dave is the author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy. Find yourself lonely? Email email@example.com!