William Deresiewicz wrote a great article on leadership. Solitude and Leadership discusses a common challenge leaders face. All leaders face many challenges, and one of them is balancing time with other people and time alone.
An important aspect of leadership is interacting with other people. In order to lead people, you have to connect with them and communicate often. You have to make time for them and listen to their thoughts and suggestions. But, in order to do this well, a great leader schedules time for solitude. They take the time to be alone.
Great leaders improve their abilities through times of quiet reflection and study. The work that is done in the quiet, when no one is around, is what matters. It is during these times of solitude that leaders develop and improve their ability to lead. Neglecting times of solitude will limit your ability to lead well.
The commitment to develop as a leader is more important than the act of leading. It is easy to underestimate the commitment necessary to become a great leader. That is why great leaders are rare. If you want to be a great leader, schedule time to think and to prepare for the responsibility.