The best leaders are the most vulnerable and humble leaders. They may not have started off that way, but what they did learn along the way was that they need to let other people into their world, and they need to be open, transparent, ask for help and admit when they’re stuck.
In our western culture, we often celebrate the individual who has overcome adversity, pulled up his or her bootstraps and made it on their own. I certainly applaud successful people for their effort, discipline, hard work and sacrifices, but we should ask the question – “would there be an easier way than doing it alone?”
Solo ocean crossing or flights around the world make for a great story, but could the person have got there sooner, in better shape, and on an easier path if they would’ve not gone alone?
Leadership reflection point – as a leader are you isolating and insulating yourself? Are you living in an echo chamber of one? If the only voice you hear is your own as you rationalize, justify, and plan your way forward, you will have blind spots. The best leaders step out of the darkness of self-isolation into the light of community.
I don’t know your situation but it’s likely that there are areas in your life where you are trying to do it alone and figure it out yourself. Ask yourself: “Is it working? How do I feel? Is flying solo making the situation worse? Is the solo effort compounding fear, anxiety and possibly even depression?” Humans were designed to live in community, whether it’s a small group, a circle of peers and trusted advisers, or a group of fellow troopers. If you keep waiting until you’ve got it all figured out, you’ll probably be waiting a long time. My suggestion is that you let others in, open up and share what your challenge or opportunity is and grow through support and encouragement from others rather than self-criticism or striving for perfectionism.
The path you select will determine the outcome you achieve and who is there to join you on the journey.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).