Get All Access for $5/mo

Almost Two-Thirds of CEOs Don't Get Outside Business Advice A new survey finds that most business executives really are lonely at the top.

By Jenna Goudreau

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It's lonely at the top, as the saying goes. And, according to one new survey, most executives are not getting outside business advice despite wanting it.

Nearly two-thirds of CEOs and almost half of senior executives do not receive coaching or leadership advice from outside consultants or coaches, the survey finds. The study of more than 200 CEOs, board directors and senior executives of North American public and private companies was conducted by Stanford University and executive coaching firm The Miles Group.

"Given how vitally important it is for the CEO to be getting the best possible counsel, independent of their board, in order to maintain the health of the corporation, it's concerning that so many of them are going it alone," says Stephen Miles, CEO of The Miles Group, in a statement. "Even the best-of-the-best CEOs have their blind spots and can dramatically improve their performance with an outside perspective weighing in."

Of the CEOs who have received coaching, most (78 percent) said it was their own idea rather than the board's insistence. Meanwhile, the top areas that CEOs hope to improve are delegation, conflict management, team building and mentoring.

Here are three common pieces of advice you'd get from a business coach:

Face challenges.
Great leaders are brave enough to face up to challenging situations and deal with them honestly. Whether it's steering through a business downturn or getting struggling employees back on track, effective leaders meet these challenges openly. Regular communication with your staff is essential. Informing them of both good news and bad helps employees feel trusted and more confident that they won't be hit with unpleasant surprises. See more: 5 Keys to Inspiring Leadership, No Matter Your Style

Ask more and better questions.
Inquire more deeply to truly unearth important ideas. When you improve the quality and quantity of questions you ask, you increase the potentially valuable information you receive. Don't just ask an expert for their opinion. Dig deeper: ask them why they feel that way, whether they've counseled others with a similar situation and what happened as a result. See more: Leadership Basics: What to Do When You Don't Have All the Answers

Consider the best uses of your time and attention. Delegate the rest.
An important question that all leaders need to ask themselves on a regular basis is 'What is it that only I can do?' That question is not about being indispensable. Rather, it's about thoughtfully considering the highest and best uses of your time and attention. Where is the value really added? Assess the things that only you can do, and find help for the rest. See more: Five Ways to Better Leadership

Jenna Goudreau is a senior editor at Business Insider and oversees the Strategy, Careers, and Your Money sections.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick


Four Takeaways for the Franchise Industry From My Time at the Republican National Convention

Matt Haller, President and CEO of the IFA, says the stakes are high for franchisors and franchisees in the upcoming presidential election.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

How to Build a Successful Startup, According to an Investor Who Made Early Bets on Twitter, Lyft, and Twitch

He's found a few patterns after nearly two decades of investing in startups.

Growing a Business

The Top 5 AI Tools That Can Revolutionize Your Workflow and Boost Productivity

Discover the top 5 AI tools for marketing and content creation that every marketer needs to know.

Science & Technology

No More ChatGPT? Here's Why Small Language Models Are Stealing the AI Spotlight

Entrepreneurs can leverage this growing tech to create innovative, efficient and targeted AI solutions.

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.