Someone once said, “It’s lonely at the top.” Most leaders can appreciate the truth of that statement, and yet it doesn’t have to be that way. Loneliness is a choice.
A second gauge that a leader needs to pay attention to is the relational gauge. If your relationships are lacking, so is your leadership. Leadership, at its essence, is relationship.
The temptation for a leader is to insulate and isolate himself from the outside world. Giving in to this temptation is a mistake. Doing so causes a leader to lose touch with people, ideas, and culture. Leaders who have lost touch are not far from irrelevance.
When you look at the relational gauge in your life what does it say? Are you some people magnet with your needle pegging on a full tank? If not, chances are you are experiencing your fair share of “tank drainers” and you could use some refueling.
Consider the following questions to help you assess your relational gauge:
1. Do I have a couple of close trusted friends I can confide in about my life and leadership?
2. Are there others who would use my name as the answer to the last question?
3. Is there unresolved conflict between someone and myself?
4. Do I spend time thinking about how I can bless someone else, or am I only consumed with myself?
5. When was the last time I did something fun with a group of friends?
6. When I have free time, do I prefer being alone or do I enjoy the company of others?
7. When was the last time I wrote a note of encouragement to someone who was hurting?
Relationships can be a challenge. But great leaders meet the challenge and keep a high priority on their friendships.
You don’t have to be lonely at the top. You can choose a better way – the way of relationships.
Leadership Begins at Home,
Why do you think some leaders struggle to have meaningful relationships?
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Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.