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It's Lonely at the Top! part 2
Invite your staff

Regularly invite your staff for a one-to-one discussion. Help them to get used to an open and honest talk where both of you can discuss anything under the sun. Show that you care about them and that you want them to be successful. If they are happy and successful, so will you.

Clarify your vision

Give them your vision about the future of your department or company. This will create motivation, communication and you will also create team spirit and cooperation towards your common goals. Instill a feeling that you are there together to achieve a common result and draw the benefits of it together.

Get the best people

Don't be afraid to surround yourself with high-caliber people, including ones that are better than you are. Doing this will increase the possibility to have good and productive discussions since your staff can appreciate and understand the complex situation of being where you are – alone at the top.

Build a management team

Create and formalize a management team. Have regular meetings and build an atmosphere for openness, creativity and decision making. The stronger team you have the more you will get done. They will feel part of a very important group and you will minimize the lonely feelings since you have a team to lean on.

Find a speaking partner

Ask someone to be your speaking partner, someone you can trust and who is willing to support you. A good portion of a manager’s success can be attributed to having a professional coach or mentor in his life. The coach/mentor is there to guide you in the right direction, provide advice, criticism, and reinforce what you already know.

Have a laugh

Encourage your people to lighten up and have a laugh at work. This will increase productivity, improve moral and boost profits. They already know that you are the boss. Now they also realize that you want them to have a fun, enjoying work, being creative and showing spirit at work. The result will be that you get closer to them rather than distance yourself from them.

Show the Way

You need to know where you are going and then show your staff the way forward. Below are some examples of how you can do this:

  • Recruit and select people effectively. Use common sense and various recruitment tools.
  • Set expectations and define clear goals for each person.
  • Motivate your staff by focusing on their strengths and manage around their weaknesses.
  • Help them to grow into the most suitable roles for the company as well as for them selves.
  • Make tough and timely decisions.
  • Grow the business by involving your staff, ensure crystal clear communication.
  • Turn each team member’s unique talent into performance.

Your starting point is therefore each employee’s talents. You have to do what ever it takes to figure out the best way to transform these talents into performance. To show the way forward is therefore to serve the employee first. Ensure you know your staff and manage them differently depending on their needs and personality. Find out what ambitions they have, how they work and behave. Show them the way forward and you will minimize the feeling of being lonely at the top – because it’s a team effort.

So now you have it. It is lonely at the top, but there are remedies and ways to minimize this. There will always be a distance between you and your subordinates. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t have a productive and happy life as a manager – without being too lonely.
Henrik Essen
Executive Coach
Essen Management
For information on Executive Coaching,
contact Henrik Essen on:
Email: henrik@h-essen.com
Web: www.h-essen.com
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