‘To all the wounded leaders’ - Rebecca Jane
It is my job to work with leaders of businesses, CEOs, managers and ultimately the people at the top. In December 2020 I witnessed the biggest downturn in the leaders I work with, to an extent I didn’t think is possible. A leader isn’t just defined in business though, a leader could be the leader of a household, a breadwinner, a lifelong supporter…
It doesn’t matter who you are. Mental health does not discriminate, regardless of position or power.
With responsibility comes unprecedented pressure, trauma, stress and storms you couldn’t imagine how to weather.
So to all the wounded leaders out there right now, the ones who have deeply struggled through the 2020 pandemic and the ones still trying to weather the storm. This one, is for you…
‘A true leader has the ability to weather storms and change, the journey of how to weather that storm isn’t pretty. It’s cold, lonely and isolating. It can take years to rebuild after turbulent and traumatic times, but true leaders WILL come out the other side. They just have to have enough faith to stay in the process.
My growth doesn’t have to be fast, the best growth in business is slow and steady, but when the growth has been steady for a long time, it can be easy to lose faith in your vision, and why you started. Every leader gets to that turning point…
I’ve watched the most amazing leaders lose their passion over the last year, motivation, they have simply just existed and hunkered into survival mode. The problem for them, when you’re at the top, who do you turn to?
I get scared to see the passion and flames in a true leader start to burn out. Their energy and drive can be such an immense loss to the world, because the passion of a true leader is infectious, inspiring and life changing - not just for them, but everyone around them. There comes a time when we can only sit back and hope that someone turns the light back on again for them.
To sit bac/k and see a born leader lose their passion is tragic, because you sit there on the sidelines KNOWING they have so much left to give.
When I lost my passion in the business I started, it was a detriment for me to stay. I knew it and everyone knew it. Eventually it is a disservice to the business you created to keep a soulless leader in their position, and that was me. One of the saddest things I’ve witnessed over the last year is seeing some epic men and women still have a tiny flicker of hope in their eye, and everyone sees it. You know they shouldn’t be defeated, they just have to get past the demons in their mind.
Wounded leaders are all around us right now, but a true leader is born with that quality at the core of their heart and their head. When that person is on fire, everyone is there with them.
They make people believe in their cause, they help people see sense, they are incredibly credible (hard quality to find in people!!!!) and more importantly they help people believe in themselves. They may skim bits, they may miss details - but that’s ok because they’re all things that other people can help with. The values at their core and what makes them a great leader simply can’t be taught!! Leaders have the ability to change lives. How many people do you truly know that possess that quality?!?!?
I have been lucky enough to have known an amazing leader or two in my time, and they are people I will always hold a space in my heart for. They’ve inspired me, made me believe in better, made me believe in myself when I found it impossible and they’ve changed my life. I’m
Lucky to have known those incredibly special souls.
I accepted a long time ago that actually, fully leading isn’t for me! I’m happy being someone else’s number two. I’m currently living the role of a leader, because I do whatever it takes to make a situation work - and that’s the sad part for me. I am here by default. I currently see wounded leaders all around me, the people who have lost their soul and their way… ultimately deciding they just can’t do it anymore. They should be in the place I am, and I know one day, when Covid-19 isn’t quite the same memory traumatically raw in our minds, they will make their come back. People like me just have to hold the fort in the meantime. I’ll keep championing the true leaders to come and take my place, because the world will just be better with them leading the way.
A leader is a man or woman who literally inspires you to be the best version of yourself and they believe in you more than you ever could yourself. I’m not just a product of hard work, education and life experience. I am a product some of best people I have ever met. Each person who lights up your life and your journey shapes who you are, and it’s important to acknowledge, recognise and say a heartfelt ‘thank you for the legacy’. I for one could not be more grateful and proud for the foundations my leaders help me lay. I wouldn’t be here without them.
To all the leaders out there who are wounded, now, or in the last year… it may not mean anything, but I’m proud of you. In case no one told you today. Just being here after the last year is weathering the storm. Even if you can’t see it right now, there’s still a fire inside you and one day it will burn bright once again. The world NEEDS people like you, and we would all be lost without you. Stay strong, but allow and accept the days when that statement just feels too hard.
We’ve all had a tough year, and we’re almost at the end. There isn’t long to go now. We’re all
Sat here, ready and waiting for the wounded leaders to make their come back… and I know I for one will certainly be cheering them from the sidelines.
For all the leaders who got me where I am today and held my hand in my times of crisis. You will always have a small part of my heart, and I hope you go on to inspire thousands more people, just like you have done with me. To inspire another is one of the greatest abilities and gifts life could ever bring.