It can be lonely at the top…
As your career progresses and you move towards more senior leadership roles, you will experience many changes to how you relate to people within various structures, like moving from managing a small team to managing groups of managers! Eventually, as a CEO, you are managing the whole organisation, and this can at times feel isolating and lonely.
Some of the discoveries I made along this journey to CEO:
· Your role changes from being an expert in a particular field to being across all fields and necessarily letting go of the detail to focus on the big picture. This can be challenging for a lot of people – it’s a whole new way of thinking! But as a CEO your primary roles will be as a leader and an influencer.
· To ensure success the CEO must ensure they are surrounded by capable people who know more than they do about various aspects of the organisation. You will be relying on these people completely! I believe that leadership is a ‘team sport’.
· More than ever, as a leader of an organisation, you will need a firm grounding in self belief. You must know yourself really well and while acting with conviction, should be humble enough to continue to learn from others.
· As CEO, you will not be able to be ‘best friends’ with your colleagues who now report to you. This is felt keenly when you move up to this position within the organisation you have worked in for several years. Inevitably, these relationships must change.
It can be lonely in leadership roles, and it’s important to support yourself in new ways, such as talking with new peers, being part of leadership organisations, or working with a coach or advisor. This will help the transition and make your journey all the more rewarding!