Don't be a Castaway!

Don’t be a Castaway.

In my experience with leaders of family businesses, a common realization that stems from our conversations is that of isolation. Often it is suppressed, pushed behind the rigors and stressors of everyday business. Yet, when we sit together and I just listen and probe, this realization frequently percolates to the surface.


We are all familiar with the cliché “it is lonely at the top”. The reality is that it can be and quite frankly, frightening as well. Decisions need to be made everyday that impact the business, the family and the families of the employees. That can be a very heavy burden to shoulder alone. So, don’t!



The CEO Snapshot from 2012 produced by RHR, found that 50% of the CEO respondents cited feeling lonely or isolated. Of that group 61% think that hinders performance.


A great illustration comes from the movie Castaway. Tom Hanks, finding himself unbearably lonely turns to a Wilson volleyball for comfort. The simple act of having an outlet begins to restore his sense of being. Now, I am not advocating that CEO’s turn to random sports equipment to find solace. What I am suggesting is that every CEO identifies someone or some group outside of their organization that can provide a sounding board, an available ear and some needed support


Join a YPO organization, or find another similar group nearby. Reach out to other family business leaders and suggest that you establish a communication path to bounce ideas off one another.  Find a trusted advisor, someone who can lift your head up and help you work on your business, not just in your business. Whatever you do, don’t remain feeling isolated or alone.  Isolation is not a position of strength, leveraging the collective intelligence of others and having a support mechanism are actions that effective and strong leaders take.

For more information or if you just need a “Wilson”, please click on the button below to schedule a free “growth” assessment.


Thanks for reading.