Talk about it. The challenges that surround us in work and in combat are, in many ways, the same. We worry about deadlines, objectives, our coworkers and ourselves. All of this worry creates pressure that can be hard on leaders and employees alike as we strive to achieve success. That pressure can weigh down on people, reduce productivity and hurt the overall health of any organization. You can’t make it go away by wishing for less jobs, fewer deadlines or better weather. On the plus side you can train to set yourself up for success becoming a student of your profession, but a great shortcut during that process is to talk about it. Often times leaders put themselves on a pedestal so they don’t feel comfortable sharing their concerns with members of their team only adding to the pressure or the “burden of leadership.”
To be really successful leaders need to find a place to discuss concerns, talk about goals or just vent. Getting things off your chest makes it easier to breathe. I’m not suggesting that standing at the water cooler complaining about work is in any way useful to a leader or the organization. But, if you as a leader choose a circle of friends or peers you can confide in to help you think through a problem, identify the parts that can be fixed and come to peace with the parts that can’t, you’ll find yourself moving your team forward at an even faster pace, driving your whole organization with you.
Remember that just because you are the boss doesn’t mean you’re alone. Seek out that inner circle whose advice you trust, coaching that brings out the best in you and mentorship you admire. Then, talk about what’s on your mind. One thing the military has learned after hundreds of years of war is that leaders that bottle up pressures or try to keep their fears and concerns to themselves only end up making poor decisions or driving their team in a way that reduces productivity and causes them to miss the target. You’re chances of winning are greatly reduced if you try to make it a solo effort. Companies build teams to get more done, but leading one should not mean you’re alone.