At times, leadership can be a tremendously lonely experience. The emotional fallout of making difficult decisions that negatively affect the lives of some team members, the feeling of rejection when team members leave for other opportunities, and the discomfort of disappointing passionate team members who offer ideas that can’t be executed in the moment, among many other leadership acts, all take their toll.
Gwendolyn Brooks's great poem "The Preacher Ruminates Behind the Sermon" gets at this:
I think it must be lonely to be God.
Nobody loves a master. No. Despite
The bright hosannas, bright dear-Lords, and bright
Determined reverence of Sunday eyes.
Picture Jehovah striding through the hall
Of His importance, creatures running out
From servant-corners to acclaim, to shout
Appreciation of His merit's glare.
But who walks with Him?—dares to take His arm,
To clap Him on the shoulder, tweak His ear,
Buy Him a Coca-Cola or a beer,
Pooh-pooh His politics, call Him a fool?
Perhaps—who knows?—He tires of looking down.
Those eyes are never lifted. Never straight.
Perhaps sometimes He tires of being great
In solitude. Without a hand to hold.
Serving as a school principal I feel this from students, parents, teachers and community members. I have to come back to my ‘why’ and that is for the betterment of others. Great reminder today!
We took a few minute to discuss:
"loneliness that is as dangerous to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day."