Kit Bingham, Julian Fox and Steven Mccord look at how the person in the top job can best be supported and conclude that leadership is by definition isolating, so chief executives better get used to itIt is a well-worn cliché of leadership that it’s lonely at the top. Prime ministers, presidents, generals and the stars of sport, stage and screen – not to mention chief executives – have all observed that the higher they climb, the more isolated they become. But need it be so? Today’s chief executive should be well buttressed by executive and non-executive colleagues from whom advice and counsel can be sought. Externally, there is no shortage of professional mentors or coaches who can ease the loneliness of command. But each of these relationships may be compromised in ways that impede true candour, making it hard for a chief executive to develop truly open and honest channels of communication.