When you have a vision for something greater, at some point, you will be alone.
There will be grey seasons when you:
- work alone
- shoulder the responsibility alone
- fail alone
- experience fear alone
- make big decisions alone
As a leader, you get to choose between the ego and comfort of staying among the crowd…. over the vulnerable courage of stepping ahead of the crowd to lead a better way.
As a leader, you get to choose between complaining about status quo and confines of bureaucracy and small-minded people … over the inevitable alternative of being your own, lonely boss.
Your life and choices are yours alone. But you don’t need to live in aloneness.
It’s the story you tell yourself. It’s the story you believe about your aloneness – what’s the truth of it, how you carry it, why you stay in it and how to move beyond it.
It is not easy to tell yourself a different story. To stay in familiar ways of thinking and being is easier. To change is not comfortable. The risk of being less than, of not having it all together, of not knowing all the answers, of grief, shame, longing and shouldering the responsibility of decisions feels less vulnerable in aloneness.
It may take longer than you expect to tell yourself a different story. Maybe longer, to actually believe a new story. Here is the truth of it – you don’t need to walk alone. Not at all.
There is a different way. It begins with your thinking.
That’s the way of the extraordinary ones who choose to participate in a greater journey. They change how they think about things. And they also seek out specific values-based relationships who add joy and wisdom along the way.
That’s the way of those who know their values, grow their values and integrate their values into the heart of leadership, business and life.
That’s the way of those who seek to influence culture in meaningful ways.
As a human being – worthy of dignity, respect and purpose – you are not alone. What if you believed that? Think about that.
Metacognition. Think about what you are thinking about.
- Think out loud.
- Then think with others. Think with those you trust to be a reflective mirror of your values and a deep well of support to your story. Think with those who will offer you gutsy pushback and fantastic feedforward. Think with those who will hold a respectful space for you without judgement. Think with those who will challenge your process, projections and assumptions.
- Notice what you are thinking. Notice what needs to change. Notice who is there to help you make that one next decision.
- Adjust accordingly – with the partnership, comradery, friendship and trust of others who understand the discomforting work of a leader.
Yes, your decision belong to you alone. Yes, your thoughts belong to you alone. Yes, the behaviours you choose belong to you alone. No, you are not alone.
It’s a big world out there and you are in it by design and for good reason. Your values, purpose and life matter.
Examine your thinking. Adjust accordingly.