Why should you think about joining an Executive Peer Advisory Group?
CEOs, business owners, and executive leaders understand the challenges that come from leading an organization. The experience can be a lonely one, isolating and overwhelming. Whether you’re managing shareholder expectations, communicating breaking news to the public, or mentoring the next generation of leaders, the responsibilities are endless. Executive leaders need to identify and depend on resources to support them through this journey. One of those tools is a CEO Peer Group.
Sometimes called a Strategic Peer Advisory Board or a Mastermind Group, peer-minded leadership forums bring business leaders together for a simple purpose – to aggregate the hands-on experience and shared knowledge of a group of executives. The groups are confidential, with members agreeing to not share information outside of the group and led by a professional facilitator. Joining a peer group gives leaders a unique chance to share lessons learned, challenge one another, identify opportunities they may have missed, and learn from similar executive experiences. Here are seven reasons to join a peer group today:
#1: Accessing a Safe Haven
One of the primary benefits of joining a CEO peer group is meeting a group of leaders who have faced similar challenges and opportunities. As an executive leader, identifying and admitting your own mistakes can be challenging. Sharing your successes can be just as tricky. A peer group gives you a safe and confidential space to ask for help, celebrate your success, and learn from other’s shared experiences. Moderated by a professional facilitator, each meeting allows you to step back from taking the lead, listen to, and share lessons learned, and reduce the feelings of isolation that can come from leading an organization.
#2: Strengthening Your Network
With a peer group of non-competitive members, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your professional network outside your normal channels. In addition to meeting executives who share similar experiences, goals, and challenges – you’ll also expand your network of professional resources. Your CEO group will tackle real problems and ongoing challenges faced by team members each week in stark contrast to abstract academic programs or generic business panels and industry conferences.
#3: Learning How to Scale Effectively
If your organization is looking to grow, joining a strategic peer advisory board can help. Effectively scaling a business is one of the toughest challenges a CEO will face, and learning how others have done it successfully will increase your chances of success. If you’re asking questions like “What do we need to do to reach the next level,” your team is in a similar position to other executives in your industry. Learning from shared experiences and others’ past mistakes will help you navigate your growth plan.
#4: Exposing Your Blind Spots
One of the tenants of great leadership is knowing how to identify your own weaknesses. Juggling that knowledge with the burdens of executive leadership is key to long-term success. A CEO must be confident in their decision-making, and vacillating from this can be deadly to an organization’s sense of purpose. Sharing your leadership journey with a peer group will help you identify blind spots before they become problems. Joining a peer group helps you avoid mistakes with honest feedback from other CEOs that helps you see what you may have missed and where you can improve.
#5: Being Held Accountable
Accountability is so important to great leadership, but it can be harder to find the farther up you go up the ladder. After all, who is there to hold you accountable when you’re the one doing that for everyone else?
While some leaders have experienced board members to help, smaller companies may not. Within a peer group, each CEO acts as an accountability partner for the group’s other members. Together, you evaluate leadership styles, identify mistakes, and discuss alternatives. Membership in a peer group gives leaders an ongoing check-in to strengthen their commitment to learning and growing as a leader.
#6: Accessing Emotional Support
Navigating the impact of personal challenges on your professional life can also be a challenge for executives. As a peer group member, you’ll be surprised to learn that others share similar personal challenges. Interacting with peers from other companies about these problems provides a vital outlet you cannot find at the office. It can also help give you the support you need to get through challenging periods.
#7: Fast-tracking Your Leadership Development
As an active member of a CEO Peer Group, you’re constantly in touch with other leaders who have faced similar challenges and achieved similar goals. The value of this shared experience is immeasurable. Providing exposure to issues, you may face in the future long before you get there equips you with the knowledge you need to scale effectively, meet challenges head-on, and learn from others’ success. It’s essential to learn from our own mistakes, but it’s even better when we can learn from the mistakes and successes of others.
“The whole effort of CEOs working together is more than the sum of those same CEOs working separately,” writes Richard Franzi in Critical Mass: The 10 Explosive Powers of CEO Peer Groups. When leaders collaborate and share skills, lessons learned, and hard-earned business tactics, they create substantial and enduring benefits for both the group and each leader.
At Black Diamond Leadership, our Strategic Peer Advisory Board is carefully designed to equip CEOs with the resources they need to make informed decisions and accelerated organizational growth. Learn more about our peer group here, or contact us today to schedule an interview to see if you are a great fit for our Strategic Peer Advisory Board.