by Jonathan Jones
Most authentic leaders will confirm that the higher they go in their careers, the lonelier it gets. True leaders have followers, but in times of crisis, they are often left to make unpleasant choices on their own.
No leader takes pleasure in making decisions that will have unfavorable consequences for their followers. However, on occasions, dismissing an employee or making a change in office policy or business plan that doesn’t make everyone happy is necessary to preserve the company’s culture. There may be distrust throughout the ranks if such choices are made occasionally behind closed doors. When workers doubt their leader’s intentions, they don’t see the bigger picture.
So, how can you prevent feeling alone in your leadership role?
First, be honest with yourself. Understand the personal and organizational principles that guide your behavior. These principles characterize your leadership. Making a difficult choice may initially make you feel that nobody is following. However, followers will eventually catch up if you are trustworthy, consistent, and self-assured.
Second, interact with others around you. As a leader, you are responsible for fostering the growth of your team members by cultivating an atmosphere that invites their input in problem solving and decision making.
Finally, get involved with a community of people who are similar to you. Find an executive peer group where you can be with contemporaries from non-competing companies and can find a safe space to learn from each other with no other agenda but to help one another. Sharing your experiences with others who are dealing with the same challenges may help you to implement the first two tips.
Collaboration with reliable individuals strengthens leadership abilities.
Jonathan Jones (Jonathan.firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.