Everyone needs good friends.
If you’re a leader of any kind, you especially need friends.
Many blessings abound from friendship - accountability, personal growth, shared experiences and much more.
Here are some benefits of having and being a good friend:
Leadership is relentless.
It can seem like your job is never done.
Your mind can easily become overwhelmed with the task at hand and like an all-consuming fire, your leadership can demand all of you.
I don’t believe this is a good thing.
You may think that you just enjoy your work so much that it’s fun for you to be consumed by it but that’s nonsense.
I know from experience that you need to regularly stop, enjoy and rest.
And that’s where a good friend comes in.
A good friend can help you rest from your leadership.
They can serve as a distraction from your work.
Sure, you’ll talk to them about your work, projects, and dilemmas, but your friend is not your direct report and as a friend, they are distanced from what you do.
This is a good thing because they can listen and offer a different perspective, joke with you or turn the kōrero to something else, something pleasant, something restful.
Have fun with your friends, share an adventure, and talk to your friends.
They will help you rest.
Leadership can be sobering work.
One temptation characteristic to leadership is to take oneself too seriously.
The planet will not fall apart without you even if it sometimes feels like it.
Your mind is likely to be always racing around and around; thinking, dreaming and plotting about how to lead your organisation or team better.
But eventually, you need to turn that off and laugh a bit.
Good friends can help you with this.
A good friend can bring you joy to an otherwise serious life.
Laughter is a good medicine, and a good friend will make you laugh.
Leadership is honourable work.
Done correctly, people will look up to, admire and often seek to emulate you.
But as you step out in leadership you might be tempted to get a big head about it.
You might begin believing some of the great things people say about you.
A good friend can help maintain some humility in your life and keep you grounded.
A good friend laughs at you, rolls their eyes at you or jokingly mocks you, which can be good for the soul.
Leadership can perplexing work.
The questions abound and wisdom is always needed.
A good friend will often offer you insight that is far removed from your daily grind.
As they listen and ponder, their perspective can sometimes be on the money.; they may even challenge your thinking.
Allowing a friend into your mental space can help you find the wisdom you need.
So get together with your friends regularly so that you get the rest you need, laugh and have fun, remain humble and get another perspective that could shift your perspective.
For all these reasons and more, I make the time and effort to get together with friends, which enhances the joy in my life and makes me a better person and leader.
P.S. Register for the 3rd iWahine Leadership Hui so you can expand your network and make some new good friends. https://www.iwahine.nz/p/iwahine-leadership-hui-november-2018
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