Leadership can be a lonely adventure because you always find yourself pushing forward and defining reality when everyone else has their own idea of what should or could be. There is a big difference between the reality of leadership loneliness and leading in isolation. Feeling seasons of loneliness is a natural reality but isolation is a choice and must be battled on a daily basis. You may feel alone but you’re not. You can’t allow that feeling to push you away from those you lead and those you lead with.
Isolation in leadership drives us to poor decisions because our choices will always be based on our best or preferred interest and not the needs of the people we lead. Isolation robs you of perspective and critical information.
Here are 4 indicators you may be leading in isolation…
- You struggle with input from other leaders // ideas are the fuel of a great organization. When you can’t embrace ideas that are not your own then you are probably stuck in isolation. In isolation we begin to think that we are the best voice for our organization.
- You’re difficult to reach by the people you lead // people you lead need to be able to connect with you. When you are never available you encourage them to leave you alone and push yourself into more isolation.
- You’re not learning from other leaders // if you don’t have leaders in your life that you are learning from up close (mentors) or at a distance (reading, conferences, blogs) then you might be in isolation. Leaders never arrive and always need to learn.
- You struggle supporting the best plan over your plan // this is an issue of control. You may be in isolation when you fight for your idea over seeking the best idea and then you can’t find joy when the best idea moves forward.