Les Gray and Mud were only lonely at Christmas, and that was due to a failed love affair. However for many business owners and managers it is lonely all the time. The phrase “lonely at the top” is not just the title of a (non-Christmas) Randy Newman song. It is the genuine status of many senior executives and business owners who feel that everything revolves around them, and that there is no one that they can turn to for help.
Of course it does not have to be this way. Mentors and coaches abound. Non-executive directors, aside from offering a wealth of experience and contacts, are often able and sympathetic listeners. A number of networking groups offer formal and informal support for business executives who want to confidentially share common issues with their peers. Even your part time Finance Director can help you take an objective outside view of the business to enable you to keep things in perspective.
Then there are businesses formed by genuinely complementary partners Opposites attract in business as well as in love, and two or more individuals who recognise their strengths and weaknesses can provide the ideal combination to deal with business leadership and management issues.
Finally creating and developing a good team with clear direction and delegated authority can also go a long way to making life easier for executives and business owners. Good businesses pretty quickly outgrow that phase where they can effectively be run by one person, so identifying and nurturing the talent within your business might pay dividends sooner than you think.
The dangers of not sharing your problems with someone include stress, insomnia, alcoholism and other addictions. These in turn could lead to relationship problems which may lead you to end up as lonely as Mud at Christmas. It really doesn’t have to be this way….