“It is lonely at the top” is a common saying between CEOs and business owners.
In many cases, you are the head of the organization and you do not have any peer inside the company with whom to talk. Ironically, once you are in that role, you have things to talk about more than ever – vision, strategy, what you want to do next with the business, personnel issues, major challenges, And the list goes on and on.
There is no question, this issue has never been more prevalent.
At IE Consulting LLC, we have recently seen a very large increase in requests for business advisors. I quite often asked why I think this is happening.
My answer, “As the leaders of a company, we are more alone than ever, we do not have all the answers, sometimes feeling like we don’t have visibility into what the future holds, and just need someone to talk to us, be on top for a while and bring their point of view and vision. ”
The next question I get is, “What kind of consultants are CEOs looking for?” My response varies depending on the situation, but below are some examples to help answer that question.
A mid-to-large-sized company with a business growth in an industry or business sector is not familiar or comfortable. Interim CEOs are expecting a 50% increase again this year and are unsure what their organizational structure should look like at that point. It has no ratio or compensation benchmark for other companies in the industry as it is a fairly new industry for it. The CEO is looking for someone with a deep industry background to tell him/her what she/he knows and does not do around plans for profitable growth.
Small family-owned businesses that seek to focus not just on growth but on business value. The CEO has received an offer to buy the company but it is “not enough to retire.” There are some long-term business relationships that are potential catering. The owners are looking for someone to help them figure out what the roadmap options are, so that an increased assessment can be obtained and they can be trained through the mines.
The interim CEO has a long-term employee who aims to help the company manage and reduce its workload. Unfortunately, none of this is happening. S/He knows s/he needs to replace the employee but there is also a long-term connection. S/He is then not sure if s/he needs to move forward and how best to replace the person. The CEO is looking to reduce his/her workload and reduce expenses. She/He is looking for a mentor to help guide in completing both.
In each of these situations, the head of the company had no one who could provide advice internally and needed someone who could step in in that capacity.
As difficult as it is to get beyond our four walls (metaphorical company walls or office / home office walls), it is now more necessary than ever.
Here are some common options for gaining perspective or finding like-minded people and building a credible relationship with them.
Industry Events, Roundtables
CEO Peer Groups
If you feel that you don’t have time for these or are a little too familiar with the above examples, you can bring expertise.
Here are some examples of how to get help within your four walls without hiring someone for long term.
Expert Roundtable – Specific to Your Company and Business Issues
Part Time Interim Executive
There are several options for transferring a conversation from one person to two or more within a trusted and confidential setting. If you do not have it internally with your leadership team, then it is easy to find someone who is suitable for the time you need. Let us know how we can help.