5: Don't be a Lonely Leader

Yes the buck stops with you...

Yes, the buck stops with you and you’re the one waking up at 0400, worrying about issues across the whole business, but you don’t have to shoulder the responsibility alone.

Put measures in place that will provide you with space and time, objective support and a complete distraction to the day to day activities:

Get to know yourself

Make time for reflection, whether this is in the car, on the train or during a lunch-time walk. Reflect upon what is and isn’t going well and dig down to unearth what is really concerning you. Consider how you really feel about these situations, how you can replicate success and visualise what ‘better’ would look like where improvements are required. If you can see a way forward you can then develop the right mindset and behaviour that will help you (and those around you) to find a solution.

If you have difficult meetings/ conversations ahead, consider what you will say, how you will say it and visualise the outcome that you are aiming for. If you can distance yourself from your emotional response, you will be able to hear the opinions of others and assess their point of view rationally.

Build a Support Network

None of us has all the answers and there are some challenges that cannot be discussed internally and you can’t take the problem home either. Look for advisors who can provide specialist insight or who are just good listeners. These people give you the ability to share your concerns with an objective ally who can provide a dispassionate view. You can also use your network to generate an understanding of best practice in any area of the business ie; The Marketplace / Product or Service offer / Engagement & Culture / Processes / Finance.

Find a Balance

More and more reports are highlighting the benefits of wellbeing in the workplace and this applies to you as much as to your team. It doesn’t matter what you do, from sport to literature to gardening, it is important that you find something that you enjoy doing that provides a contrast to your business life. Sometimes you will have the best ideas when you are not even thinking about the business. A number of MDs that I know have non-contact time when they are in the office which provides the opportunity to breathe, to think and to plan ahead.

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