My clients have big hearts and a personal desire not just to succeed but to make the world a radically better place. I coach leaders of movements, CEOs of companies in rapidly changing industries, serial entrepreneurs, and leaders of transformational communities. I am the coach that coaches the guru. (And I insist on being coached by great coaches myself, too.)
High-level leaders have the same issues that everyone else has, but with higher levels of celebrity, authority, and activity there are some themes that often rise to the top:
Overwhelm: With so many responsibilities, decisions, people, and projects competing for your precious time and energy, cultivating simplicity and grace under pressure is vital. This includes gentle discipline, ruthless simplicity, and reframing the myth of ‘work-life balance’.
Culture: If you and those you lead aren’t having fun, something is wrong. Instead of feeding egos and comfort-seeking, what actually inspires loyalty and group flow is the creation of meaning and belonging.
Difficult People: At the top you often end up dealing with a broader spectrum of personalities. These people aren’t just problems to be solved; they are your teachers and through inner work you will usually find that they will help you unlock new potential within yourself.
Hollow: Success without the grounding of purpose, presence, and play can lead to existential angst. It’s a common myth that money and fame will make us happy, but it actually just magnifies how we already feel.
Isolation: It can be lonely at the top. People project onto you, instead of seeing you. You probably willingly put on a persona for others, too. There are fewer people around you who feel like peers. Just like everyone else, you have a need to be profoundly and vulnerably seen. You have both a desire and a fear to be completely authentic. The good news is that the more you heal, the cleaner and more constructive your authenticity becomes.