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Walking In Front Can Be Lonely

A Real Look At What Being A Biz leader Is Like

By: Michael McMillan

Being raised by an entrepreneur the idea of being a worker bee in a company never fit my mold.  From the first time I sat down at my first job as a call center agent I had this unsatisfiable hunger to be the leader of my team, department, and ultimately company.  To this day that hunger has never gone away, and has become one of my largest drivers every day.

What has gone away though is my false glamorization of what a life as a biz leader really looks and feels like.  

When I was younger I had this vision of running a large corporation with all my close friends by my side.  All of us being extremely successful and happy since we got to work and then hang out together each and every day.  It became my vision for what true happiness as an adult would look like at the ripe old age of 19.

The reality of that vision not being obtainable came to a head while I was still in college and found myself on one end of the table being forced to fire two of my then close friends.  It was a situation I hope none of you have had to or ever have to be in.  To this day I still remember the look in my buddy's eyes as I had to break the news to each of them that I was letting them go.  It is something I know I will never be able to get out of my memory.

Those types of hard decisions are what is not only expected, but demanded of us lucky few who are drawn to the responsibility of leadership.  This demand on our role is what causes the almost requirement of separating out our personal and professional lives for mental sanity.  

Once this separation occurs is when we begin to feel the disconnection from all others in our office.  Yes, we may have a friendly relationship with our co-workers, and may even have our families hang out, but that is where it stops.  Building too close of bonds with those we work with is a dangerous game that most of us leaders can share story after story of how it backfired on us.  For this reason we always befriend at arms length.

Even more importantly when we are speaking about the loneliness of leadership comes down to decision making.  The higher we climb the ranks the less people we have to help insulate our ability to make decisions.  This lack of team to collaborate with is what leads many entrepreneurs to making very poor choices in their biz, and in many cases leads them down the path to close their doors.  

Having trusted advisors as a leader is critical to both personal growth, but also the long term health of the biz we are running.  This is why I always encourage my entrepreneurs that I work with to promise me that even after our engagement completes that they will stay in touch with me while they locate their new primary advisor and mentor.  This way I know they do not ever have to sit in that leader chair without a hand on their shoulder.  

So if you are looking at your career path and dreaming of one day joining us up here in leadership please make sure you see these roles for what they are.  They are roles of great honor and privilege, but more than both of those they are roles that require great humility and self confidence at the same time to ensure we lead our teams to the best of our ability.

On behalf of all of us who have led organizations we welcome you to this role, and happily hand you the reins.  I just ask you be truly ready for what you have accepted and go into it with your eyes wide open.

To Your Success & Prosperity!