The lonely leader.
Feeling lonely can be part of being a leader.
In part one, I talked about the importance of being aware and developing a tribe that you can connect to, enabling you to share experiences and thoughts.
I will talk about two areas that can have a massive effect on you as a business leader and the lonely leader situation.
Noticing and understanding your emotions.
Understand and notice your emotions
Similar to being aware of loneliness, it’s essential to understand your emotions and pay them the respect they deserve. Research is there to back it up; Holt et al. (2021) reviewed over 100+ studies into loneliness. It highlighted a relationship between loneliness and poor health outcomes and was similar to obesity in its consequences.
“I am swinging brick”
was what I heard a business dad mention in my research. For too long, this emotional side was thought of as a weakness. Of course, as a business dad, you need emotional control. When things are not going well, or there is a problem, people in your pillars will look to you. They want to see someone in control, which is ok. However, you need to have time to notice your emotions.
As one business leader said,
“physically and mentally I am broken, but emotionally I am good; I don’t cry”.
This really resonated with me.
Why as business leaders are we so protective of our emotions?
We are trying to spend so much time outside our body and mind, trying to disengage from work, trying to get lost in the latest tv series, and trying to distract ourselves during exercise.
When do we take the time to reflect on our emotions?
Or a better question would be when, as a business dad, do we have the time?
However, I have mentioned how loneliness can affect health and cognitive performance, and therefore we all need to take the time to block it out in our calendars. For me, the best thing to do is to go for a walk with no phone and ask the question:
How am I feeling?
Have you checked in with your emotions?
Do you have a practice that allows this?
Do you have a suitable space and time?
Have you anyone to share those emotions with?
A great way I find is to do a short breathing exercise and then write down what comes up. Below is a 6-8 minute practice to help set the state for this pracitice.
I am still in the process of my research project and would love to speak to business dads. If you would be interested in supporting this project, drop me a message or book a call here.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this area of leadership.
Progression over perfection.