I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. —Stephen Covey
I just finished a book that completely rocked my world. It is one of the most important books I have ever read and it allowed me to better understand the difficulty of leadership. We all hear the cliches: “leadership is lonely”, “leadership is hard”, leadership is far from glamorous but what I have discovered is that it is never the act of leading that is the problem. The problem is how we do leadership.
I believe everybody is a leader, it does not matter if you are leading your family, a troop of girl scouts, a classroom teacher leading third graders, or the CEO of a publicly traded corporation, everyone is a leader.
We talk about leadership, how to develop it, strength it, but we rarely talk about “the other.” The reason why leaders fail is the self-induced isolation they often find themselves in; the lack of surrounding themselves with others.
[bctt tweet=”The reason why leaders fail is the self-induced isolation they often find themselves in.” username=”ronkitchens”]
At the end of the day failure lies in whether or not we, as leaders, have prepared a support network that will rally to us on our bad days. Leaders understand that we must have a safety net, a personal board of directors, a group of people who encourage and guide us.
When we look at leaders that fall, rarely do they fail because they do not have the skills, the knowledge, or the capacity to lead. They fall because they do not build their safety net to address the tough days. When those days come and they will come, leaders are left alone, isolated and without the support.
In that moment when faced with difficulties, leaders that are isolated and lonely end up making really dumb decisions. You see it all the time; it is the stuff that makes the headlines. When you track that back it is almost always rooted in stress and not having safety nets in place to help them bounce back on the bad days.
I highly recommend you pick up a copy of The Power of the Other by Dr. Henry Cloud, my wish for you is that it impacts you as it has me.
Question: Who is in your safety net?