The higher you climb on the executive ladder, the greater your risk of leading from an "ivory tower" where those around you tend to tell you what you want to hear versus what you need to hear. That's the nature of power. Unfortunately, that may also lead to your undoing if it goes unchecked for too long and results in negative business results due to your own leadership blind spots.
It's understandable that your staff might fear confronting you with constructive feedback for fear of retaliation. You may also be withholding certain business (or even personal) issues you're struggling with from your team in order to avoid undue distraction or concern. And it's quite likely you don't share any of this with your spouse or family, simply because they may not have the context to relate or the patience to hear you out.
All of these conditions can leave a leader in a silo during times when they need support the most. The solution may lie in joining an executive peer group. More than just networking, these groups typically provide peer support structured in regular meetings to provide learning opportunities, accountability, and access to resources and minds at the level you may need.
Here are a handful of organizations that might be a fit for you:
Vistage International consists of 22,000 members worldwide. Local peer groups form and meet in person to support one another in challenges related to business, personal growth, and family. The group chair also functions in a coach/mentor capacity on a one-to-one level to provide additional guidance and accountability for senior leaders.
EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) is a peer-to-peer network for founders. EO has 13,000 members across 58 countries, with the average member's company bringing in $5mm in annual revenue (members must have a minimum of $1mm in annual revenue to be accepted).
Young Entrepreneur's Council serves founders under 45 who live in North America and run companies with a minimum of $1mm in revenue or financing. In addition to online support forums and learning webinars, YEC emphasizes its access to media exposure and invitation-only events and VIP experiences.
Young Presidents Organization, or YPO, has over 22,000 members in 130 countries. Membership criteria varies by the type of business, but in general, members run businesses bringing in $12mm in annual revenue or higher. YPO is organized into local and regional chapters, with regular exclusive learning and personal enrichment events.
Women face a unique level of isolation in business leadership. While many business issues transcend gender, every female executive deals with problem solving around the specific challenges that come with being a female in business, both on personal and professional levels. Many women simply relate better to other women, which can be a challenge in organizations like YPO, which is more than 90% male.
To that end, Chief recently launched with $3mm in backing as a private network focused on connecting and supporting female leaders, including a focus on developing VP level female talent to make the climb to the C-Suite. As Chief's website notes, "At our current rate of change, it will take over 200 years for women to reach parity in business. We're not waiting eight generations."
With any of these organizations, you get out what you put in. If you're committed to engage with and support the network, you'll see far more benefit from your investment. Explore the fit carefully and find the right group for you, then nurture the relationship to help you and your business grow.