Many times when I speak with leaders I sense that the higher they climb the leadership ladder the lonelier they might feel.
Isolation, I remember the first time I heard that word related to my life context. Few years after our relocation, someone I met told me that I probably have a deep sense of isolation. Leaving our family, friends, and career behind was a very isolating experience for me. Until that person used the word ‘isolation’, I knew there was something, but I couldn’t point my fingers on, but that person nailed it. They were able to express the word I couldn’t find to explain what I had felt for so long. Isolation is one of the deepest experiences you have after relocation, not only you feel alone and isolated, but you tend to isolate yourself. Not because you plan to do so, it is just a natural way to be when you have the feeling that every time you leave your house you feel different than the rest around you.
The second time I chose to use the word isolation was during my last leadership role. You see, there is that unique paradox in leadership. Leaders lead, and when they lead others they need to connect with them, they need to communicate their passion and vision so people will choose to follow them. When you enjoy leading processes and people this is an exciting experience, but mostly you can not escape the challenge and sometimes the challenge becomes a drama. I could sense in some moments how I escalate when I stepped into the path of a challenge with another person, or a difficult situation. I can even sense how I want to dive into the drama. But with experience, you learn how to manage yourself and see what are your options in the situation. But here is the thing, many times when you are there, in the challenge, you are there all alone. Sometimes your friends are part of the organization and you choose not to gossip about the situation, and again, the higher you go the harder it becomes to share your challenges. With some leaders sharing their challenge might look like they share their weakness, a path they are not willing to take. So what’s left? a mentor or a coach can help you go through the experiences and learn what you can do better, or help you make a new choice, make a different decision, or show up differently. These are one, or two hours in a timeline of many constant struggles, where the leader feels alone.
This is when the sense of isolation showed up again, how can I support myself, especially as an extrovert persona who needs to talk through her challenges with others, how can I go through this experience on my worn? There were many moments of frustration, and a huge need for self-care until I found few different ways to support myself beyond my coach and my mentor. I started with a friend a masterminds group.
Masterminds group was one of my wants, to have conversations with a diverse group of leaders and business owners from different business areas and different perspectives. The main thing that connects us all is our want to be challenged by others, willingness for a new perspective and a deep want to grow as people. It is amazing to see the changes that each one of us went through since we started this group, and this is one of my favorite meetings each month. There is something compelling about knowing that others have challenges as you, and it is inspiring to listen to their vision, creations and willingness to share.
This is when a new idea started percolating. What if I could engage the structure I have created in different Masterminds groups and we could meet outside? There is nothing better than facing your challenge in nature with other bright minds around. I allowed myself to take some time and think it through, I asked different people for their feedback and then reached out to my friend Ronen Divon who is an integrative healer, yoga teacher and focus on energy work and we co-created a masterminds group that engages mind, spirit, and body.
I am very excited about this program, you know this newsletter is for sharing my messy ideas, and experiences, but feeling messy as a leader created this program, because I can see the need with my clients who are busy people, who never have the time to support themselves, nor to breath but crave walking in nature, or having a deep conversation with another human being while just being themselves.
I believe with all my heart that the more leaders connect with other leaders rather than isolating themselves they can create more impact in our community and beyond.
If you are curious to learn more about this program click here, and if you have a friend or collogue that you think might gain from this program would you be willing to spread the word and share with them?
My question to you – are there areas in your life where you isolate yourself?