“By Dan Rockwell, Leadership Freak”
“It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.” Albert Einstein
You can be loved, respected, successful, and appreciated, but still feel like you’re swinging the sword alone
It’s normal to feel alone. It’s the pattern that weakens your knees and crushes your spirit.
10 reasons you feel alone:
- Work consumes all of life. Everything is about getting something done.
- You care and help in self-destructive ways. Lonely leaders need dependent followers.
- You’re hiding inner pain. Secrets make you lonely. Fear of rejection keeps you crouching behind the bushes.
- Listening and judging are the same thing.
- Drink, food, or tobacco are an escape.
- Control is your middle name.
- You unintentionally intimidate others.
- You always know more than others.
- Your public self has strangled your private self.
- You can’t be alone.
4 ways to deal with leadership loneliness:
There is no permanent cure for leadership loneliness, only regular treatments.
#1. Feeling alone is about you. Expecting others to solve our loneliness only makes us feel more alone. Others help, but can’t solve loneliness.
#2. Deal with feeling alone by getting alone. When you feel alone in crowd, it’s time to get alone with yourself. Isolation, as a pattern, limits leaders. Solitude, as a practice, strengthens.
Those who fear being alone, can’t be alone.
#3. Practice forward-facing vulnerability with an inner circle of trusted friends. (Even though others can’t solve leadership loneliness, develop a small group of friends you trust and respect.)
Vitality feeds on long-term authentic connection.
#4. Live like the world will go on without you. Yes, you’re filling an important role. You’ll be missed when you step away. But the sun will still rise when you’re gone.
What are some causes of leadership loneliness?
How might leaders address the feeling of being an army of one?