One of the key indicators of a leader's success is the depth of the friendships they have. While not always true, one of the observations I have made in dealing with healthy leaders is that they have a set of deep friendships. On the other hand, many leaders who burnout or flameout do not have those deep friendships.
I think there is a correlation here and it centers around a leader's willingness to be transparent and truly authentic with other trusted individuals. Those who resist authenticity often resist deep friendships because those relationships are based on authenticity and a willingness to reveal the true us. This is why putting leaders (any leader) on a pedestal is dangerous. Pedestals keep others at a distance and allow a leader to live without true authenticity.
It is in the context of deep friendships that we allow others to see all of us because we also know that they love us and our shadow side (we all have one) will not deter their love. In fact, the more authentic we are with others, the more respect we gain. Those friendships are also critical in our own spiritual journey because it allows others to speak into our lives on issues that we might otherwise ignore. And all of us have issues we want to ignore.
The authenticity of deep relationships invites counsel, insight, a shared spiritual journey and ultimately the accountability that comes from having friends who love us and will tell us the truth. Those who are afraid of this tend to keep others at a distance while those who value this intentionally develop deep friendships.
Deep friendships are an anchor in our lives to honesty, growth, the accountability that comes from relationship and the truth about ourselves. Healthy leaders know that they vulnerable due to their leadership position and the fact that their staff will not always tell them the truth. In addition, success can go to our head and it often does. Key friendships are anchors to reality that every leader needs.
Posted from Oakdale, MN
All of T.J. Addington's books including his latest, Deep Influence, are available from the author for the lowest prices and a $2.00 per book discount on orders of ten or more.