Work Smarter//

It’s Lonely at the Top

Being a leader can get lonely. Here are some tips to help.


Running a business is isolating. Whether you’re a CEO or business owner, your job is unlike any other. The success or failure of your company rests squarely on your shoulders. That’s a burden most people can’t understand, and it may also explain why 63% of executives experience loneliness in their role.

Although it may be difficult for leaders to admit, or even recognize, very often their feelings of isolation are self-induced. A study conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that nearly 100% of CEOs enjoy the process of receiving coaching and leadership advice, but only one-third actually enlist that type of help.

Going it alone can be dangerous. Making it to the top of the leadership ranks doesn’t mean you suddenly have all the answers. Even the most adept leader can have blind spots that go unrecognized without outside perspective, and they can lead to costly mistakes.

Flying solo can also be detrimental to your health. Trying to do everything can quickly lead to exhaustion and frustration; in fact, 75% of executives plan to leave their jobs within 5 years, many because of burnout.

So why is there a gap between needing and wanting counsel and actually seeking it? Unfortunately, I have noticed a tendency among some top-level executives to view asking for help as a sign of weakness. Trust me, it’s not!

Having a way to discuss your unique situation can reduce stress and keep you sane. Whether you hire a coach, find a mentor, or join a peer group, it’s important that CEOs and other senior executives have a safe haven to get camaraderie, empathy, and advice.

I’m a strong advocate for peer groups, like The Alternative Board’s advisory boards. These confidential groups are made up of leaders who want to help each other succeed. They’re a collegial environment where executives can comfortably share issues they can’t discuss with anyone else, including their staff or family.

No matter where you find it, getting support is incredibly important. If you don’t yet have somewhere to turn when you’re struggling with a decision or beating your head against the wall with your board, now is the time to find one. Don’t wait until you need to talk. Make it your mission today to find a supportive, inspirational, and like-minded sounding board.

You don’t have to go it alone, but only you can seek the support you need to rid yourself of loneliness.

Originally published at medium.com

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Work Smarter//

The Tribeless Tribal Leader: CEOs Shouldn’t Go It Alone

by Jodie Shaw
Community//

Why Do Leadership Teams Fail?

by Katie Rasoul
Community//

Five Reasons Humility Is a Necessity for Memorable Leadership

by U.S. Money Reserve's Angela Koch

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.