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The Danger of Leading Alone

The higher one climbs on the ladder of leadership, the higher likelihood for loneliness.

But loneliness should never equate to leading alone.

This lesson was taught early on in my leadership experience when I was working three jobs to support myself in college and still trying to do school. Apparently, that wasn’t enough on my plate because I became the president of our dorm club and did a stint as the school mascot.

I was obviously overzealous and quickly began to wear thin. But as those around me began to counsel to cut back, or to make better time management decisions, I kept coming back with statements like, “No one knows exactly what’s it’s like to walk in my shoes and (insert whatever counsel here) is not the answer.”

I sincerely believe I did damage to myself during those years.

I became a shell of my potential.

The counsel finally started sinking in my final year. I had physical signs I must cut back drastically.

I quit working graveyard shifts and cut back my work hours. I was finally able to sleep every night. I did not realize how much my choice to not listen to others was affecting my heath until one of my friends commented a few months after I made the changes that I looked 10 years younger. I was only 22 at the time!

Because we are finite and can absorb only a fraction of the available knowledge in the world, it is impossible to know everything.

Leaders who think that no one could possibly help in a specific situation seem unable to realize that independence of spirit is liable to lead to too much self-confidence. This causes a false trust in his or her own judgment and the inability to respect and highly esteem good counsel.

Those who regard their own judgment as supreme will fail. Guaranteed.

“Outside knowledge” from a trusted source can always inform a situation, even if it is partial.

Choose not to fail - listen, learn, and be with.

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