top of page
  • Writer's pictureLaura Macknick

The Lonely Leader

In this week's #LEADSbyExample column, Laura Macknick with the Don Wood Foundation shares her insights on leadership. Laura has been a great advisor, advocate, investor, and cheerleader for leadership development across Northeast Indiana!

As a child, my father groomed me from a young age for a leadership role. He often commented on my academic achievements, athletic performance, musical abilities, or other undertakings from the perspective of how I could lead my peers. If I only had a dollar for every time, he told me, "Laura, leadership is lonely." I often marveled at this statement, wondering what he could mean. Anyone who knows me recognizes my extreme extroversion and natural inclination to make a friend. And after all, don’t leaders lead other people?

Fast forward with the years passing and my experiences in leadership evolving. I have begun to appreciate and understand this statement. A true leader has the confidence and the fortitude to stand alone. It takes a lot of courage and grit to make decisions or take a position on an unpopular issue, even if it is right. An upstanding leader considers their core values when deciding how to move forward with both every day and critical issues. For me, one of those core values is Servant Leadership. I am blessed and thankful that my own personal core value matches up with the Don Wood Foundation’s value set. Developing this core value has enabled me to find a blend of lonely leadership all while focusing on the growth and well-being of my team members around me. It both satisfies the extrovert in my blood all while keeping me grounded to consider the right course of action, even if it is not the most popular choice.

I greatly enjoy the opportunity to mentor up-and-coming leaders of tomorrow. While I sometimes shy away from using the precise phrase my father often shared with me, I recognize the tenants still ring true. I encourage tomorrow’s leaders to look inside, dig deep, and understand their own core values if they wish to lead by example with others. There will be days in leadership that it is a lonely road to walk, but the outcomes of leading others towards growth and success is absolutely worth every step of the way.

Submitted by Laura Macknick, Executive Director for the Don Wood Foundation

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page