"It can be really lonely," she quietly revealed. Catherine, the head of a small nonprofit, was telling me how she always makes sure her team members have the support they need to be their best. It's a top priority for her. "And who gives you the kind of support you give them?" I asked. "No one," Catherine responded. She relies on herself.

Yes, being a leader can get lonely, no matter how self-reliant you are and how many people are around you. To some extent, it's the nature of the role. But it need not be the norm for you. 

As an Amare love-powered leader, be sure you have at least one person you can and do regularly confide in -- a colleague, friend, coach, peer group, or life partner. It can serve as a great pressure release and help you know you're not alone.

  • Do you feel lonely a lot as a leader?

  • What's your reaction to the idea of having a confidante? 

  • Are you willing to accept leadership support?

4 Amare Ways to Be Less Lonely as a Leader

  1. Take stock of your loneliness. Think back on the last few weeks and note when you felt lonely (which is different than alone). Consider what was going on and what circumstances triggered you to feel lonely. 

  2. Watch out for stories. Don't let feelings of loneliness morph into made-up stories of unworthiness, weakness, or other personal shortcomings. Stay with the sensations of lonely, even when they're uncomfortable. They will pass.  

  3. Make vulnerability a leadership strength. You having the courage to admit loneliness makes it easier for your team to share their vulnerabilities. Be the role model for leading with this kind of authenticity (the "A" of the Amare Way ABCs) and provide skill-building opportunities for those who follow your lead.

  4. Create community for yourself. Commit to giving yourself the gift of support. Take five minutes right now to make it happen. Also, make sure you have someone on call for when you have especially difficult moments. Consider if there are leaders who might benefit from your peer support, too. 

When you keep everything to yourself, with no one to offer a kind word, to call you on your BS, to give you perspective, it's a lot harder to be your best.