You Don't Make it to the Top by Yourself

When it comes to leadership, one of the things we underestimate is the value of friendship. If that first lines causes you to cringe with thoughts of, “Here comes the soft stuff,” perhaps you are the very one who needs to read this. Why? Because chances are you are lonely.

Yesterday while having a discussion with one of my daughters I reminded her that a person can be lonely without being alone. Some of the most isolated people I know are surrounded by people. The problem is, it’s either the wrong people, or they have chosen to detach themselves from the right ones. You know, the whole, “It’s lonely at the top,” deal ... often a mask for arrogance.

The opposite is also true. You can be alone and not be lonely. Great leaders find camaraderie with their principles, their faith, and occasionally a trusted friend who is like-minded.

Loneliness is a choice --- So is friendship.

As you begin a new week, may I encourage you to pay attention to your team, your family, your friends.

I have a friend who continually reminds me, “Your friends determine the quality and direction of your life.” He is right. We should choose our friends carefully.

This week, maybe we ought to go into it trying to improve the quality and direction of our friends' lives. It is what great leaders do ... the ones who are not lonely at the top. The ones who realize, you don’t make it to the top by yourself.

Leadership Begins at Home,


Do you think it has to be lonely

at the top?

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Coach Brown

9 years ago

If anyone wants to find the validity of one's leadership quality, do not ask for a personal resume', The best resume' of genuine leadership is found in interviewing those he or she leads. How will they respond when they realize he or she is being considered for another position of responsibility? Will they be glad or sad he or she is leaving?


9 years ago

So true Coach. Thanks!

Scott Benton

9 years ago

I believe it is true that friendship is important with the people that we lead such as the supervisors that work for me. But, when it comes to the guys in the trenches, that friendship can open the door a perception of special treatment, I believe that is where building mutual respect comes into play. Let them know what is expected of them, give them not only responsibility but authority to make decisions, and support and teach them when they make mistakes. Being positive and rewarding great performance as well as giving them a nudge when they get off course.


9 years ago

Interesting perspective, Scott. Thanks for the great comment!


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