At the height of his poplularity, Lionel Richie stepped away from his songwriting and singing career to be there for his very sick father for several years. In an interview with Matt Lauer, he essentially said, “When life calls, you have to go.”
When life intervenes, you have to be there for a sick friend or family member. That doesn’t make you less of a business leader. It makes you more of one. It shows that you realize that business is a subset of life, not the other way around. By doing great quality work day in and day out, you are able to be there for other people when they need you.
I’m not talking about the consistent excellence delivered by being a great parent, child, grandchild, sibling or friend. I’m talking about those times in your life when you parents are very sick or a friend is extremely ill or facing a major difficulty. Leave whatever you have to leave and go be there for the other person. Your greatness as a leader is first demonstrated by what you do for those people closest to you, not for the masses removed at a distance.