Are You a Leader? You Need A Second in Command

I never thought I would embody the ‘it’s lonely at the top‘ stereotype. But it’s because I thought I would have no friends—I still did—so I thought it did not matter. That is until I realized I was alone in all aspects of leadership. I never thought I would need a second in command.

You know that there are some problems other employees will never be able to understand. There are some challenges unique to leadership roles. Worst of all, they are problems you cannot share with the rest of the team because again…they are leadership challenges.

With time, maintaining your energy can become challenging. Not only do all leadership tasks fall to you, but you have nobody to share personal triumphs and challenges with. This can become draining and could even affect your work, insights, and decision-making capabilities.

You should never find yourself stuck in this situation. Just because you are a leader does not mean you should drown in struggles and decisions. You need someone to support you in difficult moments, make decisions, help the team, and do everything else to keep the company going.

Whether you are a CEO, regional manager, or team leader, you need a second in command. Still, the idea of leading with others can sound frustrating and something you’d rather skip. But it is worthwhile in many ways.

The Concern With the Second in Command

There’s probably a reason why you or other leaders avoid getting a wingman to help with leadership tasks; some are valid, others not so much. Do you fall into any of these categories?

Trust Issues

Who said they are only for relationships? As a leader, you might worry that your second in command could make decisions you disagree with. And if you drift a little further into those feelings, you might worry that your wingman is trying to be number one.

Loss of Control

If you are a control freak, the thought of having someone take over some of your tasks is very unattractive. You feel that having a second in command means you won’t have as much control over the team or projects.

Different Ideas

Leaders might be afraid that their second in command will have different ideas about how things should be done, which could lead to disagreements or conflicts. If you are like me, you’d rather drown in work than risk confronting a partner.


As much as it’s difficult to admit, some leaders are scared they will get too accustomed to having a helping hand. You could be scared of leaning too much into that comfort and falling apart when the helper leaves. Imagine all the self-doubt that follows! 

Ego and Pride

Sometimes, leaders feel that needing help is a sign of weakness. It is a real issue among men because societal pressure tells them they must handle business themselves. So you may be drowning in work but cannot admit that you need a second in command to help you out.

These are real concerns, but having a number two can be really helpful. A leader who realizes they need a second in command is the leader you want to be.

Do I Really Need A Second in Command?

They take control when needed.

Imagine trying to create a better company but feeling frustrated because you don’t have the time, resources, or people to turn your plans into reality. This is where realizing you need a second in command can make a huge difference.

A second in command is someone who can take control when needed. They are responsible and will help you think intentionally about your plans.

Having someone to share the load lets you focus on developing strategies and finding answers without worrying about the team falling apart because someone is taking care of it. This gives you more time to work.

You will receive inspiration and encouragement.

As a leader, you’re often the one who encourages others. You always should. But how often do you receive encouragement yourself?

Everyone needs inspiration and encouragement to stay motivated and positive. It is another reason why you need a second in command. They can provide the support and encouragement you need, especially on your darkest days.

Having someone by your side who understands the challenges you face and can keep you positive can make all the difference. A wingman helps you stay focused and keep going, even when things get tough.

It deepens accountability

Leaders often lack the level of accountability that employees have. However, accountability is crucial for performance and growth.

Without it, leaders can make poor decisions, and teams might become too scared or discouraged to share ideas or insights, ultimately hurting the company. It is why having a second in command is essential.

They ensure you’re held accountable, preventing isolation. They’ll challenge you and tell you the truth when you need it, helping you make better decisions and encouraging a more open, innovative team environment.

They give you the time and space to focus on the big picture

You juggle many roles as a leader, from checking if everyone is doing their job to signing off on timecards. Now, imagine how much time you could save if you didn’t have to handle these day-to-day tasks.

Think about what you could accomplish for your employees and the company with all that extra time. You could finally refocus, see the bigger picture, and create strategies to execute it. Plus, you’d have time to take care of your mental health, which is crucial for better leadership.

This is exactly why you need a second in command. They handle the daily operations, letting you focus on the larger goals without worrying about the team falling apart.

They become your sounding board.

When you come up with new ideas, you want a chance to test them out before presenting, even as a leader. Your second in command can become your sounding board. They can provide opinions and insights and listen to your logic to ensure the best outcomes.

It helps sharpen and deepen your ideas, making them stronger and more effective. Plus, your second in command can bring their own ideas to the table, giving you new perspectives.

This collaborative approach is another reason why you need a second in command. They help you refine your thoughts and develop the best possible solutions.

What To Look for in A Second in Command


When choosing a second in command, honesty is key. Imagine you’re working on a project, and things aren’t going as planned. You need someone to tell you the truth, not just what you want to hear. An honest second in command will provide accurate feedback and keep you grounded.

This honesty ensures that you’re always aware of the real situation, allowing you to make the best decisions. Having someone straightforward and truthful is why you need a second in command who values honesty above all.

Problem-Solving Capabilities

A great second in command needs strong problem-solving skills. Think about those times when unexpected challenges pop up. You want someone who can think quickly and come up with practical solutions.

A second in command with excellent problem-solving capabilities will help navigate these obstacles smoothly, ensuring the team stays on track.

Their ability to tackle issues head-on is crucial, especially when you’re focusing on the big picture. This is another reason why you need a second in command who excels at finding solutions under pressure.

Calm Demeanor

A calm demeanor is essential for a second in command. Picture a situation where everything is going wrong—deadlines are missed, and stress levels are high. In such times, you need a second in command who remains composed and doesn’t panic.

A second in command with a calm demeanor will help keep the team focused and maintain morale. Their ability to stay cool under pressure reassures everyone and helps prevent chaos. 

Good Emotional Intelligence

Good emotional intelligence is another important trait. Imagine dealing with conflicts or sensitive issues within your team. A second in command with high emotional intelligence understands how to navigate these situations with empathy and tact.

They can read people’s emotions and respond appropriately, helping to resolve conflicts and build strong relationships. This skill is important for maintaining a positive work environment and ensuring team cohesion. 

Can Fit In Your Shoes 

Your second in command should be able to fit in your shoes if needed. Think about when you’re unavailable – maybe on vacation or dealing with personal matters. You want someone who can step in and lead the team without missing a beat.

A second in command who understands your vision and leadership style can seamlessly take over, ensuring continuity.


Trustworthiness is perhaps the most crucial quality. You will share confidential information and rely on someone to handle important tasks. You must trust that your second in command will act with integrity and keep things confidential.

Knowing you can rely on them builds a strong foundation for your working relationship. This trust is necessary for effective collaboration and peace of mind. 

Start Scouting your Wingman

In the fast-paced world of leadership, having a reliable second in command can make all the difference. Imagine the freedom of focusing on big-picture strategies while knowing that daily operations are in capable hands.

Picture having a trusted advisor to share honest feedback, solve problems, and stay calm under pressure. Think about the value of someone who understands your vision and can seamlessly step into your shoes when needed.

These reasons highlight why you need a second in command. They provide the support and partnership essential for personal growth and the overall success of your company. Investing in a strong second in command is investing in a brighter future.

So stop carrying the whole team on your shoulders and start scouting for the guy who will help you become a better leader. 

About Author
About Author

Waithira Njagi is a seasoned wellness and relationship content writer with nearly a decade of experience. Her passion for helping others navigate the complexities of personal growth and connection shines through in her engaging and insightful writing.
With a knack for distilling complex topics into easily digestible pieces, Waithira's work is geared toward readers seeking guidance and inspiration on their journey to holistic well-being.
When she's not crafting engaging articles, you can find Waithira curled up with a stack of romance novels– always rooting for love to win– or enjoying quality time with her beloved family. Her dedication to spreading love and positivity is evident in everything she creates.

Waithira is here to remind you that life, much like their stories, is a tapestry of connections - to loved ones, and the endless adventures found in books.


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