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I had the privilege and responsibility of being a partner at one of Cyprus’ largest law firms from 2012 to 2018. Since then, I’ve dedicated myself to consulting and coaching leaders. Over the past decade, especially in the last six as a leadership consultant, I’ve worked with numerous leaders, CEOs, managers, and partners, helping them set their firm’s direction, identify and communicate their values, and create sustainable growth.

When we think about leaders’ goals, we often focus on financial, strategic, or performance-related objectives. However, some of the most significant concerns leaders share with me are rarely discussed publicly or even with their families and employees. Here are three such goals that leaders often keep hidden:

1. Peace of Mind

“I want to be able to sleep at night. I keep ruminating and worrying about work, about possible mistakes and disasters.”

Achieving peace of mind requires significant changes. Leaders need to ensure they have trusted people in key positions to keep things under control. This involves proper delegation of roles, not just tasks, to trusted individuals who can shoulder the responsibility of managing departments and teams. Without trusted managers, leaders will be trapped in a cycle of micromanagement, constantly fearing underperformance, missed deadlines, and mistakes, ultimately playing the role of the firefighter.

Before delegation, it’s crucial to clearly identify and articulate the company’s direction and values. This ensures everyone understands what is valued and expected. An HR manager can facilitate conversations to align goals, expectations, performance, rewards, and feedback. Coaching may be necessary for both leaders and managers to ensure everyone is on the same page.

2. Relationship with Spouse and Loved Ones

“I feel that I keep alienating my spouse and loved ones by working too many hours.”

Success and material achievements can offer a sense of security to one’s spouse or partner, but no amount of status can compensate for a neglected relationship. A successful leader must balance their professional and personal lives. Neglecting a spouse, children, or friends leads to strained relationships, regardless of professional success.

Leaders must be conscious of their values and prioritize nurturing important relationships. The law of entropy teaches us that everything descends into disorder without positive energy and effort. The same applies to relationships with loved ones.

3. Issues of Self-Worth

“This manager does not seem to agree with the manner I lead the company.”

This concern is particularly relevant for successors—next-generation leaders or CEOs taking the helm of an existing organization. They often struggle to earn the respect of employees who have been with the company longer than they have. Winning people over requires a strong personality and the ability to withstand challenges.

New leaders must respect employees and the existing culture while growing into the leaders the company needs for a promising future. They should avoid feeling guilty or negative about being predetermined successors. Employees don’t get to choose the company’s owner or successor leader. It is what it is. This might sound tough, but that’s life in a free-market society.

Moreover, whether a successor or a newly hired external leader, one should be cautious about making changes without understanding the existing systems and processes. The Chesterton’s fence metaphor advises against removing a fence before knowing why it was put up in the first place. Similarly, leaders should understand the reasons behind existing practices before pursuing changes.

To effectively manage these challenges and orient themselves toward a flourishing future, leaders are advised to hire competent leadership coaches who can help them set sail for success.

What are your thoughts on the above, dear readers?

I would love to hear your thoughts below!


PS: For more on the Chesterton’s fence concept and why one should be cautious about both careless progress and blind tradition, check out my TEDx talk titled “How Limitations Can Elevate Your Life”. Link here.

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