But getting quality feedback from other internal leaders was a chief complaint among the CEOs survey by The River Group.
"The whole aspect of it's lonely at the top. You don't create that. It's created around you," said Lyons, a four-time CEO of multinational businesses in the U.S. and Europe. "Even your closest friends treat you differently. You try to get honest feedback. But people are cautious what they tell you."
One of the best ways to combat this echo chamber is to enlist a trusted advisor or a CEO coach—someone who can tell the CEO exactly what they need to hear without fear of repercussions, Lysons said.
Lyons recalled what a friend told him when he became a CEO for the first time: "You're going to be smarter. You're going to be funnier. You're going to be more handsome. You're going to be taller. And [it's] all because your title changed."
"One of the biggest problems new CEOs can have is actually believing you're CEO," he said, stressing CEOs just occupy the position for a period of time.