By definition, a leader is a singularity. There can be only one leader for every team. There’s no such thing as a 10 person team with nine leaders. That’s simply not the way the concept works.
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Oddly, and not to be confusing about it, different people can be the leader at different points in time. Often, it is a situational phenomena.
A team leader will need to recharge her batteries from time to time. When that happens, she will likely appoint one of the team members to take the reins while she is gone. Or, a crisis could happen during the team leader’s absence. Hopefully, another person on the team will rise to the occasion and lead, albeit for a short period.
Nonetheless, being a leader is a lonely thing. I imagine you’ve been a leader, either from time to time or always. So you know about this loneliness concept.
Naturally, everyone on the team will be looking towards the leader for exactly that, leadership. I’ve written about certain aspects of this in other articles.
In a traditional company setting, meaning one with a hierarchical organizational chart, there is a leader in every one of those little boxes until you get to the front line workers. So when you look at that kind of an organizational chart you’ll see there’s many boxes and therefore many leaders.
We also want each of those “box occupiers” to be a manager, but that’s another story for another time. So how can it be lonely when there’s so many people in those positions?
The answer lies in the quote, “the buck stops here”.
Everyone reporting to each of those box occupiers has a reasonable expectation of being led by that person. Of course, everyone except the person occupying the very top spot is reporting to somebody. So, every leader but one is reporting to another person in a leadership spot.
That one is the chief executive or simply the “chief”.
Everyone, but that individual has someone to talk to about issues, problems and concerns. This include peers and supervisors.
But, the business owner or chief is all alone.
There is no one to really be candid with. That’s why it is such a lonely spot.
Some of these individuals might place some reliance on a board or an industry association group or a mastermind group of some sort. But factually, they really have to go it all alone.
Because of this, it is a very lonely place. It is a place very few can really excel in.
So, what is the solution?
We have found being a member of a round table of others in the same position can be the answer. Let’s call it a “kitchen cabinet”. This is group of individuals at the helm of companies of all sizes, from all industries, with all sorts of legal organizations and with a variety of ownership structures.
When this group is a very high functioning, quality group of individuals it can have a profound positive effect on addressing this loneliness and helpless feeling.
Remember there can be only one leader for every team. So, if you are worried about leading we can help you.