The hard work of leadership is a lot easier when you’re surrounded by accountable leaders. We are so excited to launch our Accountable Leaders Community! Click here to learn more about it and become a member.
Isolation and loneliness are huge problems for leaders today.
Right before the pandemic upended all our lives, Cigna released a major survey on loneliness. They found that 61% of Americans were lonely, up 7% from 2018. More than half of all Americans said that they sometimes or always feel alone, and nearly half said that they don’t feel close to anyone.
Even though this survey was conducted before the pandemic, it was already clear from the results that people who interact with others in person every day were much less likely to be lonely than those who were more physically isolated. Of course, the pandemic sharply increased the number of people who said they were often lonely. And young adults were actually more likely to be lonely than older adults.
I talk with leaders every day in my work, and I can tell you that this is a real and painful issue for almost all leaders right now. Being a leader has always been challenging. The nature of the role is that it can cut you off from others, and isolate you.
In many ways, this has only become worse. We’ve all spent almost two years cut off from our normal routines and isolated from friends and family. We’ve also been cut off from socializing at the office, and many leaders, in particular, are still struggling to find their way in remote or hybrid work.
WHY IT MATTERS:
Loneliness at work can undermine results—and mental health.
Loneliness has a major impact on a person’s ability to do good work. According to Cigna, about 1 in 10 workers who are lonely say they’re doing lower-quality work than they should be, and lonely workers are twice as likely to think about quitting their jobs than connected workers.
Of course, the impact on work is only one worrying outcome of increased isolation. Far more serious are the effects of loneliness on a person’s health. One researcher who’s studied loneliness and mental and physical health says that isolation is as bad for health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or abusing alcohol. Loneliness makes people more likely to be depressed, and it affects executive function and accelerates cognitive decline.
On the flip side, feeling connected to coworkers and happy with the amount of face-to-face interaction with colleagues you’re getting can make you feel less lonely overall. So a person’s work environment can help, if it’s a source of meaningful connection and strong relationships.
A stronger network can improve your reputation as a leader and help you deliver results.
Making more connections with colleagues and other leaders within or outside your organization can have enormous benefits. First, it can reduce your feelings of isolation and loneliness. This can improve your overall mental and physical health, which will ultimately make you better able to carry out your work.
But the benefits of having a strong network go beyond your day-to-day work. I’ve seen time and time again that leaders are at their best when they have a supportive community around them. Getting support from colleagues and peers can help you lead your team to deliver results, improve your reputation as a leader, drive change within your organization, and simply get advice when you need it.
My team and I are fully committed to addressing this critical challenge that leaders face.
The Accountable Leaders Community will connect you with leaders who are striving to be their best.
Our Accountable Leaders Community is a global network of leaders who want to maximize their impact and unlock the leadership potential in their teams and organizations.
We first launched it in April of 2020, just as the global lockdowns and the pandemic started to become real. In our small way of helping leaders at this critical time, we made access to the community free. Since that time, we built a following of accountable leaders, many of whom told us they wanted even more from their experience.
So, my team and I have been working away and we are thrilled to launch what we’re calling Accountable Leaders 2.0. It will now be a paid membership offering where you will be able to:
- get actionable advice and perspectives on your toughest leadership challenges,
- engage in personal advisory sessions,
- take assessments to identify your leadership accountability strengths and weaknesses;
- access our original research;
- attend workshops and
- take our signature, self-paced course, The Mindset of An Accountable Leader
Members of the community also get the enormous benefit of connecting with leaders like them, who are focused on improving as leaders. You’ll be able to build relationships with peers who can help you enlarge your perspective and tackle bigger challenges.
If you’re struggling and feeling isolated in your leadership; if you’re facing big challenges and need advice; if you could use more support from like-minded leaders like you, then consider joining our Accountable Leaders Community today.
Do you have a strong community of accountable leaders around you?Gut Check for Leaders
- Are you a community builder?
- Community starts with building relationships at work
- Building good relationships at work
More Leadership Resources
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