CEO Isolation: Clarity and Confidence Can Come Through Discussion
Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
Many CEO’s find it is lonely at the top. During the times when they have to clarify their thinking and make some key decisions, many CEO’s feel quite isolated. CEO isolation is a major factor that needs to be addressed in order to optimise CEO leadership performance.
At times when CEO’s want to improve their leadership performance, most benefit from having a relationship with someone they can use as a sounding board, someone they trust and someone who will be prepared to challenge their thinking when appropriate. When I say that trust is important, this is because the value for the CEO in this type of relationship will come from a basis of openness and honesty and they need to feel they can be totally honest with their confidant, peer or coach.
This relationship will typically create an environment where the CEO can get above the day to day workload, responsibilities and challenges of their role and having the opportunity to reflect on themselves, their leadership and their business from this perspective will often in itself create new and rich perspectives.
When you have a lot on, a lot to think about, and a lot of calls to make, being isolated is not a winning strategy. This is particularly critical if you are leading the organisation through a period of significant change, growth or transition. Being able to discuss situations with someone who has some understanding of business and leadership without having an agenda, and someone who can assist you to clarify your thinking through discussion can provide a real advantage in getting the best from your leadership.
Take the time to consider if this sort of relationship might be of benefit to you over coming months and consider who you might know and trust to engage in this relationship. Sometimes it might be a peer, an advisor, a mentor or business coach. Explore the opportunity because addressing CEO isolation in this way can pay major dividends in terms of optimising your CEO leadership performance.