Fast Friday with David Coverdale, Whitesnake

Posted October 15, 2010 in Latest News & Insights

Ultimate hair metal 80's bandRecently, I’ve been reliving my misspent youth listening to Toronto’s Boom 97.3.  Tuning is like finding yourself trapped in a John Hughes movie.  Anyway, this morning’s tune was a (highly sanitized) version of Whitesnake’s classic hair metal anthem: Here I Go Again from the unforgettable “Whitesnake” lp. (I hear my friend Mel’s eyes rolling even as I type).  Anyway, the poetic lyrics master and front man, David Coverdale croons:

“Here I go again, on my own.  Like a drifter I was born to walk alone.”

So, what does this have to do with leadership you ask?  This week I had several conversations with amazing leaders who are in various stages of “daze and confusion” around where they’re at in their careers.  All are talented leaders, and all are trying to figure out how to “stay engaged”.  And all were feeling confused, isolated and frustrated to some degree or the other and were clearly in need of someone to talk to.

And, to me, that’s what’s challenging about leadership.  Everyone’s always barking about how lonely it is at the top.  Well, my newsflash from someone who’s been at many of levels of leadership is this: it’s lonely in the middle too!  Leadership at any level can be lonely and, if you’re not careful, you can find yourself feeling isolated like that Coverdale drifter.

Adding to the pressure is that, as leaders, we’re continually surrounded by propaganda that talks about how “engaged” we need to be all the time, every second.  How, it’s our responsibility to get the most out of our teams, that if things are derailing, we need to look in the mirror, etc. etc.  (Ironically, most of this stuff is written by people who’ve never actually led teams before, but just spent a lot of time on the side lines evaluating.)

Well, from one leader to another, I’m here to tell you, that sometimes you’re not going to feel all that engaged.  And that’s o.k.  In fact, that’s normal.  And furthermore, you don’t have to go it alone.  If you haven’t already joined our community, what are you waiting for?  It doesn’t cost a thing and, the upside is, you’ll connect with some really interesting leaders that are just like you.  Let’s make leadership in the middle a little less lonely for everyone shall we?

Happy leading!

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