It’s Lonely at the Top

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We’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s lonely at the top” and for some of us, we know all too well how true that is!  As the top leader in any organization, it can feel like you carry the weight of its success or failure on your shoulders every day.  And all too often, you carry that weight home and spend restless nights pondering the many questions that roll around in your head.  Do we have the correct strategies?  Are things on track?  What am I missing?  Do we have the right team?  What are my competitors doing that we’re not?  What should we do about _____ (you fill in the blank)!  The list goes on and on and it’s a wonder how some nights you get any sleep at all!

Most leaders, unless they’re sole proprietors, have at least a few people on their team to help with the issues of the organization.  But often this just isn’t enough because as the leader, you can’t always talk about everything with your direct reports.  So, what do you do?  Many leaders join executive networking or round table groups which can be tremendously valuable.  Others hire consultants that come in and provide insight into what you might do with some of the tougher issues.  But in most cases, after the round table meeting is over and/or the consultants are gone, you’re left to dwell, alone, on the many challenges and opportunities that await you and your organization.  

But, there’s also another way to get some help and it’s called “Confidential Advisory Services”.  Confidential advisors are seasoned executives who have been where you are and more importantly, where you are going. They have “been there and got the T-shirt” as the saying goes, so they bring tremendous insight and lessons learned in the trenches having battled with similar issues in their careers.  They meet with you one-on-one and if desired, with other members of your team, on a monthly basis to review, listen and ask questions. They will also challenge you, the leader, when no one else will. They stay with you and can also help you implement the critical initiatives that will bring change and improvement to your organization. 

It’s also been said that time may be our most precious commodity. But many top leaders spend, and quite frankly waste, vast amounts of time wringing their hands because they don’t have someone to talk to. Advisors are also your confidential “sounding-board” for you to brainstorm with and share ideas. They often provide suggestions from their many experiences that can help you make faster and better decisions. The time savings alone can be worth its weight in gold, and less tossing and turning at night is an added benefit!

In my experience, every organization should have at least one advisor for all the reasons above AND for an outside pair of eyes they bring to look closely and confidentially at your organization. At the end of the day, none of us have all the answers or experiences to tackle everything that an organization faces.  If you already have a confidential advisor, you certainly know the tremendous value they can provide.  If you don’t, I encourage you to give it some serious thought!


Brian Gora | Conversion-omics Keynote Speaker, Consultant, & Trainer

Brian is an energetic, engaging, and deeply genuine speaker who combines nearly 40 years of military aviation experience and a career as a Fortune 500 global senior executive to inspire all levels of leaders to be the best they can be. Throughout his career, Brian witnessed firsthand what happens when leaders fail and he uses his substantial real-life experience to fuel his passion for leadership development and strategic business improvement.

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