Overcoming Being Lonely at The Top – Three Main Traps To Avoid
The view from the top is a lonely one – this line of thinking is not true, but perpetuated all the same. Although there is no clear and direct link between loneliness and responsibility, it is true that power amplifies a *feeling* of loneliness especially when it entails sole responsibility for exceptionally tough decisions that nobody within the organization wants to make.
Once you step into a leadership role, it means significantly multiplying the number of people you need to satisfy. If you are not able to prove your value to your team, there is a chance that you could lose them. If before you have precise knowledge of what was expected from you, as a leader of your team now, every team member will be judging your performance on how good you are in managing them. Unlike a formal work evaluation, the metrics that will be used in evaluating and grading you will not be found in any conventional career ladder because it will be exclusively influenced on how each member of your team understands what good management is.
To avoid the loneliness of being on top, the first thing you need to avoid is martyrdom. This is a trap particularly common among new leaders who strongly believe that there is an unwritten rule that requires them to go above and beyond their call of duty just to help their team get over their personal issues with their new leader. Although there is nothing wrong with being helpful, don’t expect any medals or awards to be handed out. You are being tested and expected to prove yourself in this scenario, regardless of whether you have a stellar track record or not.
Next, avoid perceiving your team as your family. Aside from the fact that family dynamics are often messy (we don’t need to be bringing that kind of culture into the organization), it creates enmeshment and enmeshment breeds and feeds the blame/shame/judgement game and this is a toxic triangle that will throw a turd in any punch bowl!
Lastly, once you become a leader, your team is not your peer group, so you need to create a new peer group internally and externally. Aim to build relationships with peers and mentors to avoid being an island of one, to enhance your leadership skills and to allow you to feel more settled in the organization.
Every leader has a success coach to help them continually up level their leadership, thus elevating their team and the organization. Ready to be supported on your journey to your next level? Let’s chat.
To your success,