A well-known business mantra states that it’s lonely at the top. I don’t buy it and I don’t think any leader should either. In fact, it’s ONLY lonely at the top if you’re alone and that is a choice you make.
The problem with many leaders is that they don’t develop and create meaningful relationships outside their workplaces. Most don’t make the time for it. The demands of a growing business are always consuming more time and energy than we have.
This past weekend I was reminded of the importance of real friendship. A few families got together who own businesses and the three of us men escaped the living room to eat more cake. We ended up talking for hours around the small kitchen table about life, business, purpose, marriage, faith, and personal calling. It was challenging. But it was also refreshing to be with friends that care enough to make sure you’re living to your full potential.
Here’s my advice to leaders and the steps I’ve taken to ensure it’s not lonely at the top.
1. Take time to develop friendships.
As you mature, the circle of friends typically narrows. Usually family takes the most time but it’s important to foster a few key relationships where you can be yourself, have fun, actually talk about real issues. Remember that iron sharpens iron.
2. Join peer groups.
I’ve been privileged to be part of several peer groups that have been a big help. LeaderImpact (www.leaderimpact.com) is an organization I’ve been associated with for over five years and we weekly get together to review the latest leadership material, discuss life and the importance of faith. TEC (www.tec-canada.com) is a group of entrepreneurs that get together monthly to discuss business, life and learn from top-caliber speakers.
It’s important for all of us to remember to take time and nurture the relationships that matter. No one succeeds alone and it should never be lonely at the top.
Have a great day!