It Lonely at the Top

Early on in my career, at one of our regular Friday afternoon social sessions, I found myself alone with our recently appointed Managing Director.  I’ll never forget our conversation. He said “Its lonely at the top.”

“Why do you say that?” I asked.

He replied,  “for a some reasons. Firstly, as the ultimate leader, it is my job to provide the overall strategic direction. Providing a vision that is compelling; gets our people out of bed every day and keeps them focused on making the vision a reality, is perhaps, the most difficult leadership task that I have to do. And, you’ll be amazed that, even my leadership team, look to me for clear direction.


Also, I am often called on to make tough decisions that are commercially sensitive. Because of the confidentiality, I am unable to even share the details with my executives.”


One of the consequences of being the head of a large or small business can be loneliness – not having someone to talk to; to share ideas with; and discuss some challenges or the potential unintended consequences of a possible decision.


Many chief executives or business owners find it difficult to create a powerful and compelling vision that they believe in, let alone one that their people can become emotionally invested in. And without the inspiration of the head, the executive team may find it difficult to envision the future.


If you have experienced either or both of these business inhibitors, you will most likely have experienced the dreaded disease called loneliness. You may have felt lost without a clear future direction. Your business growth may even have slowed, or worse, stalled. Having a compelling vision is a strategic imperative for developing unity of Purpose. Unity of Purpose leads to effective business planning, which in turn leads to unity of action. Consistent unity of action will ultimately lead to achieving or exceeding goals. Success will breed success!


About the author: Ivan Nurick, strategic business consultant with over 30 years experience and developer of the Strategic Fit program.


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