I was talking with a friend the other day that is having to make some difficult decisions for his organization that he knows are right and necessary, but he also knows they will be very unpopular and he will most likely lose friendships over the decisions he has to make. I was able to remind him of something all leaders need to know.
There is sometimes loneliness in leadership that cannot be avoided. Don’t offer to lead if you are not willing to sometimes stand-alone.
Even in the best team environment there will be times when the direction the organization needs to go involves making decisions, which adversely affect the rest of the team. Consider, for example, some of the hard decisions the United States auto industry is being forced to make to remain viable. The companies that survive that crisis may be the ones who are willing to make the hardest choices.
There have been times when I have to have hard conversations, correct people who are wrong, force my views on others or follow through on the plan I think is best for the organization, even though it is unpopular, all because I happen to wear the leader hat. That responsibility should never be abused as an excuse for dictatorship or poor leadership, but loneliness sometimes comes with the territory of being a leader.