LEADERSHIP IS DANGEROUS SERIES – ISOLATION
February 1, 2018
In my first post on LEADERSHIP IS DANGEROUS SERIES, I said in my next post, I will be talking about the first trap a leader MUST AVOID.
Trap 1: Isolation
There is an old saying about leadership. It goes “Leadership is a lonely place to be”. The worst part about this is that the saying is often true. Leaders tend to lean towards an isolation mindset. This is the first trap I want to talk about. Isolation in leadership often happens as you gain stature and begin to see success come your way. You start to see yourself in a different light. You become someone others seek out.
The problem arises due to the fact you only have so much time in your day. Just like everyone else, you have 24 hours to get things done. With everyone clamoring for attention, you begin to feel overwhelmed and draw back. Revealing yourself to a trusted few or, if it’s bad enough, no one else. Why do we do this? Most likely it’s because we begin to feel guilty that we cannot help or meet with everyone who desires our attention. We feel if we can’t meet with one, we shouldn’t meet with any. And the vicious trap of isolation begins to wrap it is dirty hands around you. To avoid the feeling of letting others down, you withdraw to your own world and take care of your own business. Neglecting anyone else. Can you see how isolation is a trap?
You become withdrawn and begin to lose the personal touch you originally brought to the table.
You can break this trap. It’s possible and I’m going to give you some words of wisdom on how you can
overcome this dangerous situation. The first thing you need to do is realize you can’t reach everyone. There’s no possible way for you to meet everyone’s needs. You’re one person and you’re limited in the amount of people you can personally touch. Now this isn’t a bad thing. It’s the truth and the sooner we’re able to come to grips with it, the sooner you’re able to break free of the isolation. Next, you need to realize you can do for one what you wish you could do for everyone. This is quite the struggle as our desire is to help everyone. But we can’t touch everyone. Which is why you must start with the ONE person you can help.
Reach out and offer a helping hand to one person who needs it. Don’t worry if you can’t offer the same to everyone else. Focus on this one person. Give them the attention they need and push them forward.
Now, here’s the really cool part. By starting with one person, you’re actually helping more than the one.
This person you helped, he’ll go on to help another person. Maybe more. The help you have given him has now been extended to others. And you’ve helped not just one but many. Another place we find ourselves becoming isolated is in our friendships. We become leery of the motivations of others. Who are our real friends and who are coming to us just because we’ve obtained a position of power?
This is something you’ve got to get out of your mind. RIGHT NOW. Sure, you’ll come across people who want to be around you because you’re in a position of authority and they’ll try to abuse it. It’s not fair but it’s a price we must pay for being willing to lead others. Instead of becoming isolated from those seeking relationships, we need to become aware of the fact we need these friendships. We become stronger when we’re surrounded by others. They lift us up and encourage us to carry on. Ecclesiastes 4:12 puts this fact plainly. This scripture states:
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (NLT)
If you’re a believer, you can’t ignore this verse. It’s telling us we need to be standing together with other people. Guarding each other’s backs. Being there for one another. Close friendships help us stand tall and stand strong. When trouble comes, your friends and family are going to be the ones telling you you’ve got this and to keep going. And therein lays the major trap of isolation. It keeps us from relationships and moving forward. We’re easily defeated when we’re by ourselves. However, having two or three people surrounding you will keep you strong. Decide today the two or three people you can join with to share the trials of leadership with. Make a commitment to one another. Let each of you hold the others accountable. Be ready to lift up the friends you have made when they’re down on their luck and questioning their value. Within this group of close friends, you’ll also, hopefully, have the advice of wise counsel. This is another benefit of getting out of isolation. You’ll discover you’re able to consult with your wise friends and make better choices. Proverbs 11:14 says
“Where there is no counsel, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety”.
What does this mean to you? It means you need to have people around you. Those 2-3 people who are willing to give you counsel and encouragement. Don’t neglect this vital facet of your leadership. You’ll need it more than you will ever realize. Knowing you have others you can count on will strengthen the confidence you have in your leadership. You’ll hear the honest feedback of those that love you. You’ll feel the hands of those same friends lifting you up when you fall. You’ll get the inspiration and encouragement you need when you feel you cannot continue leading anymore. Tell isolation you’re done with him. He no longer controls you with the fear of what others will do. You’re ready to stand with others who have your back. Make a choice and make those friendships!