How to cope with loneliness at the top

Almost every leader talks about a certain loneliness being there at the top. FILE PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH
Almost every leader talks about a certain loneliness being there at the top. FILE PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH 

A young carpenter who had been looking for work met a kind old man who needed some work to be done on his old fence around his large property.

The young man had less than a productive first day. His old truck broke down two miles from the man’s house, so he walked in 45 minutes late.

His hammer broke during the day. And to make his troubles worse. he severely twisted his ankle towards mid-day and could barely walk.

The kind old man offered him a ride home. When they reached the house, the young father invited him in to meet his family.

As the older man approached the rickety door of the humble home, he saw the father pause at the entrance and touch a large coat hook with both hands before opening the door. The young father completely changed.

After having been beaten down all day with problems, a big broad smile came across his face as he hugged his three small children and kissed his wife.

As they were walking out the door they passed the large coat hook and the old man asked him about what he had seen him do earlier.

The young man replied, “That’s my problem hook.I know I am going to have problems, but one thing I never want to do is bring them home to my wife and children. I simply hang my problems on the hook before I enter my house. When I leave in the morning I pick them up again.”

The young father continued, “The odd thing about it is when I pick them up in the morning, they seem to be lighter.”

The position of leadership could be interesting, challenging, fun and fulfilling to many. But almost every leader at one point or the other talks about a certain loneliness being there at the top.

Are you lonely at the helm of business?

Here are some don’ts:

1. Don’t think you are alone: Being alone can easily get you into the trap of self-pity. Don’t fall for it. Be the leader who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way, so go ahead and set the path.

2.Don’t do what is easy: As a leader, you don’t have to necessarily take the tough path ahead always but when you need to make tough choices, do not shy away from walking the tough path.

3. Don’t think of staying alone: Cultivate your circle – keep talking and listening to your friends, teams, mentors. Don’t miss an opportunity to pick a conversation.

4. Don’t fall in wrong company: Not staying alone comes with a caveat, beware of the wrong company you can easily fall into. They come in different forms and shapes. Stay away.

5. Don’t give up on your hope: The secret sauce is your will power and confidence to push your way ahead, so just keep marching.