It’s not always easy to have friends at work when you’re the boss. The critical skill senior leaders need to maintain their leadership and friendships is emotional courage – the willingness to act powerfully in the face of deep emotion. Three tactics can help you navigate this complexity – and make you a more capable leader overall.
- Have a strong, clear commitment to your business objectives. If you want to achieve something, you must be willing to make hard decisions. Be transparent, upfront, and passionate, even as others, including friends, disagree with you.
- Develop your friendship skills. Certain skills, like unwavering integrity, empathetic listening, and strong boundaries, can help you manage dual roles of friend and business leader.
- Be prepared to lose the friendship. Recognize that you ultimately can’t control what happens to the friendship. Some people just might not be able to live with your decisions. Learn to feel the sadness and move on.