I have had the great fortune throughout my career of managing and leading some amazing individuals and organizations. I have also had the opportunity to be mentored and coached by some real superstars.

One of those people was a gentleman by the name of Kevin Leo. When I met Kevin he was at a point in his career where he was most focused on teaching and mentoring—sharing his many years of experiences and success, while working on things that he found to be important and impactful.

Kevin had played in the corporate world of marketing and advertising for many years, and he was well regarded as an amazing and top direct marketer in the country. He spoke often at conferences and his expertise and trainings were highly sought after.

Kevin recognized my drive and ambition and often coached me to be careful of what I wished for, and to be focused not only on succeeding and winning, but also on learning, getting better and making those around me better, so we could all achieve together.

He used to say, “It’s lonely at the top. The decisions are bigger and harder. The pressure is stronger. And you often have to stand alone and make the tough decisions that others won’t. If you are only focused on winning, at all costs, it will be even lonelier. It will be harder to build teams, trust and support. And people won’t rally around you if they don’t understand where you are leading them and how you all can work together to achieve the goal.”

So I have tried to take his advice and guidance to heart. I have worked hard to build strong and impactful teams that are not only focused on “getting to the top,” but I also make sure to help and encourage others along the way, so we can all achieve success together.

I know I don’t always get it right, and I certainly have more learning to do myself, but I continue to work on it. This past year of craziness has prompted me to reflect even more on this topic, and how changes in the work environment made it even more difficult—and more important.

Much of what I have relied on and learned from was based on the physical interactions of working together and having immediate feedback and response cycles. I began to realize that these concepts are not only about team building, trust and success, but they are closely tied to emotional and physical well-being.

Not being together created more stress, slower responses and feedback, faster emotional cycles, and frankly, more loneliness.

As an organizational leader, I would encourage you to spend some time thinking about this and how it has changed in the past 12+ months. Help your team, your managers and your organization’s other leaders understand the connection between success, team building, trust and wellness.

Train and mentor everyone to not only take care of the business and work at hand, but also to take care of each other and themselves. And don’t forget to take care of yourself in all this. You don’t have to be alone even if you are not together with the team.

Working with your employee assistance partner is a great way to support and strengthen all the individuals within your organization (including you!) and the organization itself.

We at FEI are here to help you build a plan for you and your team. We bring the tools, the training and the knowledge to help you build a resilient and successful team that brings everyone to the top and supports everyone’s physical and emotional well-being along the way.