When I think about leadership, I envision the strength, the momentum to build, create, to move people towards a common goal. I imagine also the strength of the following and perhaps the support and strength a lead takes from this. In times of a leader's personal need, I see another angle - the side where letting your followers see weaknesses can leave them astray - where only a select few should see the darker days. In these dark days, in absence of those trusted few, loneliness sets in.
A leader needs a close base of companions - those to show the 'freak out' moments of uncertainty, doubt, the emotionally frayed side that we all have from time to time. These are the counterparts that will keep this side close to heart - trusted advisers, friends.
A first transitional view of this is the first step into a managerial role and becomes more evident as responsibility grows to encompass a larger organization or multiple organizations. The unshakable resolve and comfort provided by the one that states with confidence, "we have a plan" or "things will be okay", brings tremendous strength and hope to those that follow. The 'friend base' shrinks the higher we climb up the pyramid. Perceived favoritism of friends or families, the desire to distance and sort thru support staff who seek favoritism thru false friendship tends to weed out a number of individuals. Time constraints and limits, required business dinners and events encompass more and more time – the potential pool shrinks further.
Yet there is still a need for the nurturing, true friendships. These must be held close and time set aside to grow and sustain.
There isn't always a plan. There isn't always a path or information. Perhaps the world is falling apart for that leader alone. In these moments, when the team's need is greater over self, individual strength, passion and courage are needed to pull forward.