If you’re feeling lonely as a leader right now, you’re not the only one…

The last few months have been brutal, we’re all feeling exhausted and more burned out than ever. Let’s just get through the next few months to the New Year and hope things improve in 2022 – sound familiar?

I’m fortunate enough to work with leaders of companies of all sizes and across different industries, different ages and different levels of experience. All very diverse but all sharing similar challenges right now, and sometimes all they want to hear is that they aren’t the only one…

Increasingly leaders are asking me “what are you talking about with other leaders?” or “are other leaders struggling like me?”. It’s always been lonely at the top, that’s a fact of becoming a leader and taking on the ultimate responsibility for the success of your team, whether in business, sport, education or anywhere. Who’s there to support and encourage you, be a sounding board, someone you can vent to or cry on their shoulder? This pandemic has made us all feel more isolated and less confident about our leadership actions than ever.

Whether it’s dealing with exhaustion/burnout for you or your teams, leading through uncertainty, implementing hybrid working, the great staff attrition, or simply heightened imposter syndrome, the conclusion is clear…we’re all struggling and as leaders we don’t like losing control.

A friend summed it up perfectly “humans are conditioned to be in control of things, even more those in leadership roles, but right now they aren’t and they may never be again, so they need to learn to live with that…”

Perhaps that’s why entrepreneurs and founders tend to be coping more with this brave new world,  they are used to adapting, used to finding creative solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems and having a positive mindset. Yet even they are struggling with people challenges at the moment, many of them losing previously passionate staff who’ve now decided they want a simpler, more balanced life rather than chasing that next round of investment. Have people realised there is more to life than money, job titles and status?

So what’s the answer? Quite simply talking to others, listening to what they say, knowing that you’re not the only one suffering, having a positive mindset and embracing the fact that you’re going to be leading through one of the most uncertain periods of history. Think about it, you’ll talk about this in years to come. You’re going to be a pioneer of a new style of leadership, relinquishing those outdated, traditional views and prioritising people, purpose, empathy, authenticity and agility above anything else.  

#leadershipskills #lessonsinleadership #leaderchat #leaders #leadershipdevelopment #leadership

Published previously on LinkedIn