It is lonely at the top. That’s a fact borne out in my work with senior leaders. The higher up the organization you go, the fewer peers you have. The people giving you advice have their own agendas, not nefarious…
I was reminded of the power of the human mind to see what it wants rather than what is actually there while hiking in Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina last month. We were camping on a remote island in the middle of the park and our guide had warned us that at night everything sounds larger. A squirrel would sound like a deer, a deer like a bear, and so on. I remembered this when I was woken in the middle of the night and wondered just how large the approaching squirrel could be.
Then outside my net window I saw a ram standing in the moonlight right next to my tent. He was white and wooly with large horns. I thought it was rather enterprising of a sheep to have swum across to an island but wasn’t fazed and fell back asleep. Next morning the guide explained that was no sheep, but rather a wild boar, and I must have mistaken the tusks for ram horns. Plenty of tracks and evidence of digging proved his point. Because I wasn’t expecting a wild boar, my mind approximated something more familiar. A good reminder that we see what we want, regardless of reality and that wild boars are harmless unless cornered.
This came from my monthly newsletter archives, read avidly each month by over 2,000 senior executives. To receive it directly in your inbox, sign up here corrieshanahan.com
The audio version of my new book, “Do it, Mean it, Be it, The Keys to Achieve Success, Happiness, and Everything You Deserve at Work and in Life” is available here on Amazon