We’ve all heard the phrase “it’s lonely at the top”, and in a lot of situations it is. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, I would argue that it shouldn’t be. Rather that sharing some resources that help executives, business leaders, and entrepreneurs overcome loneliness, I hope you see that you don’t have to feel that way in the first place.
It’s understandable that one would feel isolated as the CEO or President of an organization. For the most part, there is only one person that has to answer for the success or failure of said organization. All eyes are on you and it’s very difficult to understand this pressure unless you’ve been in that situation. At times it can be supremely overwhelming, daunting, and scary, while at other times it’s amazingly rewarding, humbling, and exciting. There is a very, very small percentage of people who are or have been Presidents of companies and can empathize with these feelings. So corporate leaders may feel like those around them don’t understand the amount of stress they’re under or the decisions they make. This may be the case, but it doesn’t have to be.
Executives are surrounded by a team of people who are all working towards the same goal. If the people around you weren’t highly efficient, motivated, and trustworthy, they probably wouldn’t be there. Your organization is moving and growing because of the team you built – not because you made every decision correctly. There will always be a time when you look back and think “I should have done this instead,” and 99.9% of the time the ship keeps steaming ahead despite the fact that you would have made a different decision knowing what you know now. You are not alone in your endeavor for your organization’s success – the whole company is behind you. Share your goals with your team and have them share those goals with their team and so on, until the entire company is rowing in the same direction. Your team is there to catch you when you fall and lift you up – just like you are for them.
Employees won’t know what you don’t share with them. So if you think they don’t understand what you’re going through as the Executive of the company and you’ve never shared it with them, you’re probably right. Communicate your journey with your personnel; share with them your ups and downs and reasons for some of your decisions. Your employees want to know that you’re a person, too. Revealing your journey and reasoning with them helps them understand you better which builds rapport and trust, and makes them want to do better. The more tools someone has in their toolbox, the more things they can build. Imparting knowledge of your journey also helps your team members see that they, too, can achieve great things.
We’ve been talking this whole time about loneliness. Perhaps this emotion isn’t loneliness at all – we’ve just been calling it that because that’s what we’ve heard it called in the past for so long. Maybe the feeling that company Presidents and CEOs experience can better be described as influence, perseverance, or success. You fight day in and day out for the success of your customers, your company, and most of all, for your employees. You’ve made it through the hard times so you can experience the good times again; and whether you realize it or not, your influence expands far wider than you can see.
I’m passionate about this topic, so look for more articles around this in the future. If you have any thoughts you would like to share or would like to have a discussion around this, please reach out to me.