It’s Lonely At the Top

It's lonely at the top

“It is strange to be known universally and yet to be so lonely.” ~ Albert Einstein

As a business leader I can relate to the old saying “it’s lonely at the top”. And almost every leader I worked with shared observation similar to the one well versed by Einstein.

The higher you climb on a corporate ladder, the more sparse the trusted relationships. Sometimes the loneliness is the result of responsibility weighing on your shoulders, sometimes it’s the result of bad decisions you made along the way with people around you.

No matter where you are, here are a couple principles to remember when you feel lonely.

1. Use alone time for personal improvement

A little bit of loneliness can be a good thing. Alone time can be used for introspection, learning and personal growth.

Here are couple things you can do when you feel lonely:

  • Evaluate your strengths and redefine your priorities
  • Invest in your own growth and improvement
  • Read a book
  • Choose a bad habit to tackle
  • Start a new hobby to enjoy alone time more

Here’s something to think about… “Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time when you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.” ~ Douglas Coupland

2. Use alone time to evaluate your relationships

There are times when we are lonely because we cut off the communication channels with other people. Or we neglected the relationships with people who matter to us. Or we never even built important relationships to build a support net for ourselves. Best way to build a strong network as a leader is being intentional about your relationships.

Best way to build a strong network as a leader is being intentional about your relationships. Click To Tweet

You need to look at the following relationships:

  • personal relationships – family and friends
  • professional relationships – business partners, direct reports, clients
  • support network – coach, advisors, professional network

What is the status of your current relationships? Is there a relationship that should be cut off or a support network that needs to be built? What are you going to do about it?

3. Use alone time to support others

You are not the only person on earth feeling lonely. Chances are that you are surrounded by others who feel just like you do. Identify those individuals, reach out to them and choose to make their day. Send a “Thinking of you” card, email or tweet, or make a phone call. Helping someone else will make you feel good about yourself. Plus, your act of kindness will make a difference in someone else’s life.

4. Use alone time to take a break

There are times when you feel emotionally withdrawn not because people around you don’t understand or support you, but simply because you are mentally or emotionally exhausted. For your own sanity, take a break! There’s nothing wrong with taking a weekend off to watch movies, read books, ski or swim in the lake. (Ok, unless it’s ALL you do with your time all year long, haha.) Once refreshed, you will have a renewed perspective, more energy to tackle challenges in front of you and to make an impact only you can make.

It's OK to take a break! Click To Tweet

And finally, here’s something to inspire you to maximize your alone time: “Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.” ~ Dag Hammarskjold

I believe in you!

Signature Silvia Pencak
Who is Silvia Pencak

PS: As you take time to pause and invest in your personal growth, here’s a complimentary resource for you…

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