How Do You Feel?It’s Lonely At The Top!

Being a CEO is one of the most illustrious, powerful, influential and highly sought-after titles in business. However, it has been touted that only three in five newly appointed CEOs live up to their performance expectations in their first 18 months on the job.

A New

Before we look at how you might start with a new approach, it is well known that serving as a CEO can be all-encompassing, assiduous, stressful and lonely. Do you agree?

Here we have chosen three of the core pillars mentioned in the ‘How CEOs succeed’ section to eliminate the feeling of loneliness at the top.


Conscious leaders have an innate ability to authentically express themselves with integrity, full transparency, and no hidden agendas. Being able to listen first, be attentive and aware of the needs of others ultimately builds upon honest communication which will improve teamwork, support, collaboration and strengthen all relationships.

Being able to keep their emotions in check at all times enhances decision making abilities and keeps conscious leaders realistic and focused. Emotions affect our moods and our physiology, and everyone knows that making decisions under conditions of stress and anxiety is not a good idea.

By becoming more self-aware, and subsequently recognising their strengths, weaknesses and hidden biases, leaders gain the trust of their team members and increase their own credibility. Additionally, a culture of self-awareness advances learning and development by promoting the value of continuous growth and development.

The happiest CEOs are those that recognise the benefits of being what is called a servant leader. By seeking to understand the diverse perspectives of others, see the needs of people around them, and realise that success means sowing seeds that benefit others rather than feeding the ego.

Awareness can truly help you to contribute beyond yourself and reach your ultimate goal of success and happiness.


It’s important to create the right culture in any organisation. As a CEO or senior leader whilst it is beneficial to understand a person’s intellect, skillset, technical capability it is equally important to consider a person’s aspirations, motivation and their purpose. Having an understanding of why they are joining the organisation or your team together with what drives and encourages them to work from a place of ego or of service.

Incorporating an overall assessment of an organisation’s health by taking into consideration everything from alignment on direction not just at board level but with the employees too. Are they coachable, self-aware, empathetic, adaptable, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes? Do they smile a lot and keep their composure under pressure? A combination of these strategies will enhance more conscious leadership.

In the largest research effort of its kind, McKinsey found that CEOs who insist on rigorously measuring and managing all cultural elements that drive performance more than double the odds that their strategies will be executed. And over the long term, they deliver triple the total return to shareholders that other companies deliver (Scott Keller and Bill Schaninger, Beyond Performance 2.0: A Proven Approach to Leading Large-Scale Change, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2019).

With this in mind great CEOs need to support dynamic thinking combined with excellent decision making which can generate opportunities from challenges and change.


As a conscious CEO and leader, it is imperative to be true to one’s values albeit it requires commitment, discipline, honesty, and self-awareness. Whilst achieving results is one of the core areas of focus, all decisions should be taken from a values perspective and not one of ego. Some of the core values that motivate conscious leaders are:

  • Authenticity
  • Ethics
  • Integrity
  • Responsibility
  • Trust

These are often shown as a reflection of how each member of staff is treated with compassion, kindness and respect.

As a CEO it is truly beneficial to evaluate your own personal values, those of the management team and the organisation on a regular basis.

There is a simple quiz below to help you identify your human design type which will help you recognise your values.

Having reviewed awareness, culture and values it is possible to understand the benefits of integrating these processes into the business. Not only will it help build a much more dynamic culture and team camaraderie it will equally build better and stronger relationships which will hopefully eliminate the sense and feeling of loneliness at the top.

No matter how successful you are there is always added benefits to be gained from having or hiring a respected and trusted mentor who can act as a confidante and equally support with business knowledge, skillset, emotional intelligence and life strategy to maintain a more holistic approach to succeeding in business and life.

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“If everyone is moving forward together then success takes care of itself.”

Henry Ford

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Copyright by Shirley Palmer. All rights reserved.

Copyright by Shirley Palmer. All rights reserved.