Being a business leader can give you a great feeling of professional achievement and satisfaction, but it does also have the potential to be lonely. You have ultimate responsibility for the success of your company and this puts you in a unique position within your organisation.
However, my own experience as an entrepreneur tells me that heading up a business doesn’t necessarily have to be isolating. Drawing on observations I’ve made throughout my career, here are some suggestions that could help you to stay connected to the people around you.
Cultivate a cohesive team
People sometimes mistakenly think that being a leader means you must have all the answers. In fact, the most successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of tapping into the talents and experiences of others.
Great leaders build strong teams around them and encourage people to connect and collaborate with each other. In turn, this builds a strong sense of team spirit that reaches right to the top of organisations.
If you cultivate a business culture in which your colleagues are part of the decision making process and feel connected to your company’s underlying goals and objectives, you’re much less likely to have the sense that you’re on your own.
Reach out to others for support
It’s also important to realise that you can reach out to others for help and support. Being a leader doesn’t mean you have to be infallible. Even the best entrepreneurs experience difficulties from time to time – and being able to turn to others can help them cope.
Connecting with mentors or fellow entrepreneurs can be especially useful if you’re just starting out in your business career and I’ve found that these relationships can last throughout your career. Getting the opportunity to share your experiences and thoughts with others who have been through similar circumstances is a good way to combat feelings of isolation.
Make yourself approachable
The way you interact with your colleagues will also have a big impact on your connections to people in your business. If you come across as aloof or intimidating, the people around you are more likely to keep their distance.
I have made an effort throughout my career to make myself available to people at all levels in our organisation, and at all stages of their journey in the wider network. I hope it has been as beneficial to those around me as I have found it myself.
Ultimately, I believe that if you’re approachable and you welcome input from others you will find you can work more closely with your colleagues.
As the Cobra Group of Companies’ chairman and founder, Chris Niarchos has many decades of experience as a business leader and he knows how to overcome a range of challenges associated with running a company. He has steered the Cobra Group to international success and continues to strive for excellence both for the company and himself.