Is leadership lonely....?

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

Leaders do have to make difficult decisions that can be isolating, but leaders should resist becoming aloof or stand-offish.

I have been thinking a lot about getting to know people in relation to building better cultures and teams as a leader.

A recent post in a leadership forum discussed the idea of “lonely leaders,” or what military leaders sometimes refer to as the “loneliness of command.”

I contend that whilst leaders do have to make hard decisions that can be isolating, they do not have to be lonely. A critical component of effective, healthy leadership is knowing your people. Good leaders invest time getting to know their people well, and well led people will give an awful lot back, a uniquely rewarding reality. To truly know people, leaders must invest time in both getting to know them and nurturing the relationships.

Active listening is a skill that helps, and one that has taken me time and patience to improve upon; I must be self-disciplined to do it well.

How do you work on your active listening skills?

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