Loneliness has become a significant issue at all levels of management during a pandemic. But it is not denied that loneliness is always there at top designations within organisations.
Based on research, entrepreneurial ventures founded by co-founders perform better than the solo founders’ performance. These joint founders assign different roles and responsibilities to accomplish effectively for venture growth. Co-founders at top designations plan how to market the products and scale up the operations.
Founders are also responsible for idea generation. Joint founders get designated as vice president, chief executive officer, chairman, managing director or co-chairman, etc.
“Lonely at the top” is the most common idiom agreed by many CEOs, founders, and other organisational members posted at the top. Loneliness in terms of employment refers to anxiety, depression, isolation, and discomfort at the workplace.
There are several reasons behind Joint founders of an organisation feeling lonely working at top designations. Let us take a tour of why these founders feel lonely and how they can combat loneliness:
Why do co-founders feel lonely at the top?
Joint founders share responsibilities for operating entrepreneurial ventures. They also share risks, duties, and profits. They have to perform a plethora of activities that directly impact the venture performances and shape the future of businesses.
Joint founders feel lonely due to several reasons, including:
Reason 1: Maintaining secrecy
The most common cause of loneliness is that they have to keep information secret and formulate plans for the venture.
Joint founders cannot take suggestions to form friends and peers freely even if they are considered trustworthy. They have to safeguard the information from the competitors.
These founders need to protect the people around them. These top designated members have to absorb everything many times to not impose extra pressure on the people they love.
Reason 2: Sole accountability
Co-founders need to make several decisions upon which the future of the venture depends. Based on the decisions they take, investments and activities get planned and organisations are led.
Every decision of joint founders directly influences the financial performance of the venture. They have to take calculated risks. They may take suggestions from others but have to decide on their own.
The founders possess a high level of risk in formulating business decisions. Thus they often feel lonely because they are accountable for the decisions they make. These decisions are made based on cognition, knowledge, and skills, and are often stressful.
Reason 3: Less direct interaction
Joint founders are designated at top designations in management. They have to lead various teams in the organisation.
These founders abide to interact formally with the rest of the employees. They can behave friendly with the employees but cannot become friends.
Employees become casual if the joint founders perform a high informal interaction. The founders need to set the bar of maintaining a relationship with the staff members to dignify the designation.
Thus, in many events and occasions, these co-creators restrict themselves from participating freely and making social relations with employees. It ends up making them more lonely.
Reason 4: Trust issues
Even if the responsibilities for the joint founders of a venture are differentiated, they are related to one another. The joint founders are dependent on other founders in getting inputs and producing outputs.
In case of a new appointment in peer groups, it is difficult to immediately trust the person and restrict the co-creators to wholly relying on suggestions.
Internal politics and different thinking styles are the vital causes of conflicts among the joint founders. In the case of conflict, it is complex for them to work united. It gives birth to a sense of loneliness within them.
How to combat loneliness?
Loneliness is the most critical issue to be dealt with by joint founders. It may affect the emotional and physical health of the co-creator. The feeling of loneliness reduces competence level and confidence and lowers decision-making skills.
Co-founders need to combat loneliness to retain effectiveness and improve performances for future growth.
1️⃣ They need to build effective relationships with the people that share the same designation. It provides an opportunity to learn from others who are facing similar situations. It also helps develop skills and core competence to work from the top level.
2️⃣ Appointing advisory and skilled board members will make joint founders more confident in formulating decisions and business strategies. It is necessary to ensure that they are loyal to you and your company.
3️⃣ Joint founders can also spend time with colleagues, peers, and subordinates by ensuring that the information is secret. They can conduct informal meetings to get their views and opinions.
4️⃣ Creating a proper work-life balance also helps these co-creators to overcome the feeling of loners. Spending quality time with friends and family helps revive the morale of working.
5️⃣ Meditation and yoga help create emotional balances vital for performing business roles. It also helps in improving engagement levels for improving performance outcomes. They can also focus on mental wellness and consultation activities for their employees.
6️⃣ Lastly, continuous learning is the best way for self-development. It makes co-creators competent in accomplishing responsibilities. With learning, the people who mutually founded the venture would not face any difficulty in making self-decisions. It elevates their confidence level and analytical skills.
Every designation within business organisations has its pros and cons. Co-founders who are at the top position also struggle with loneliness issues.
The reality is that almost all employees at the top level get rare chances to work within groups. They often have to work alone.
Joint founders working at the top levels also need to overcome loneliness. The above ways surely help face the issues effectively and boost enthusiasm to work from the top level.
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