I don't think I ever learned this in school. No one warned me or taught me how to cope with it. There wasn't a manual for it.... It was the all too common experience that leadership can get pretty lonely at times. OK, sometimes excruciatingly, painfully lonely.
"The penalty of leadership is loneliness" said H. Wheeler Robinson.
There's this gnawing feeling at times that "no one gets me." "No one else is wrestling as deeply with this as I am." "No one really understands... and if I share what's bouncing in my head with them, it may undermine the very optimistic vision we're trying to accomplish." "How can I carry this burden that feels so heavy and yet still so vital at this time?"
Then there's the leader fear to deal with: "What if I make the wrong decision and it costs us the company?" "What if I mess this opportunity up and don't fulfill my potential?" "What if I really hurt people around me?" "What if this project really is as wacky as my critics say it is?" Or even, "What if I make a poor decision and it costs the health or even lives of others?"
This is all part of a "
Sure, leadership loneliness may not be able to be eradicated. Just part of the cost of leadership. But, Lonely Leadership Syndrome can be lessened. Maybe significantly... and healthy leaders will change the world... Starting on the inside with their own world. How could it be any other way?
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