It’s not often that people cry during our offsite leadership meetings – powerful all-day sessions where we help leadership teams focus on their business. After all, these are business meetings – not therapy sessions. But the flow of tears happens more times than I would have imagined before I started my coaching practice.
But it makes sense. My clients are passionate people who care deeply about their businesses. It’s more than just business – it’s their lives!
Business Is Personal
If you’re a business owner, you can probably relate. The business is your baby. You want to nurture it to greatness. But sometimes you’re so busy trying to keep things afloat that you don’t even realize the toll it’s taking on your life.
In a recent session, the head of operations (we'll call her Lynn) of a tech company began to well up with tears as it became evident her responsibilities were now becoming overwhelming. She was no longer able to keep up. The needs of the business were outpacing her time and expertise.
The CEO eventually hired a more seasoned COO and shifted Lynn’s focus to client retention. Though a tough transition at first, it was clearly the right decision for both her and the company.
Or the case where a co-founder came to one of our quarterly sessions with a chip on his shoulder… frustrated to be “wasting time” away from the operation with so many ”things” to get done! Halfway during the session he began to tear up while admitting that he was struggling with “letting go of the vine.” He wasn’t delegating. This breakthrough moment helped him re-energize and reset priorities for the next quarter.
Make no mistake about it: business is personal!
The Human Side of Business Is Essential to Success
The sooner we recognize the personal and human side of business, the more freedom we have to build organizations with passion and purpose.
I admire clients who demonstrate vulnerability and authenticity. They’re truly leaders who are willing to be exposed as “imperfect.” They recognize the human side of business and they can embrace it as part of the journey.
Crying may not be your thing. For some, it can be a wake up call that leads to more self-awareness. And that’s a powerful ingredient for any leader who wants to lead their organization to greatness!
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This article originally appeared on the Blue Core Leadership, LLC blog on May 25, 2016.