Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s lonely at the top?” That term can ring true no matter where your “top” may be. As you are likely aware, there is a heavy responsibility in being a leader, especially at the C-Suite level. The burden is upon you as you carry the weight of your subordinates, clients, organizational needs, as well as the partnering community.
Leaders can be surrounded by many people and still feel alone (we can coach you through this). This is especially true because, unless you are in a leadership position, it’s difficult to understand the load placed on a leader.
A Harvard Business Review article written in 2012 states that more than half of the CEOs surveyed reported feelings of loneliness. While some may believe that this comes with the job, there’s no comfort in sitting with that reality.
It is important to acknowledge that when leadership loneliness is ignored, it can lead to a few common outcomes:
So, what can you do about it? Don’t go it alone. Acknowledge your feelings and talk with someone who can relate. Surround yourself with people you trust. Use your paid time off to ensure you take opportunities to regroup.
Coaching for Leaders offers tips on how to grow in loneliness, and perhaps even see it as an opportunity to flourish. This may be a time to assess your current situation and determine how you can fine-tune it. Determine what needs to change. Maybe you need to delegate more. Perhaps the organization needs restructuring or you, personally, may want to consider a career change. Whatever “lonely” may feel like for you, take action.
If you are feeling depressed more often than not, you can call the national hotline for mental health at 1800.273.TALK (8255) to receive free confidential help.