Books, Peer Groups, and Mentors
It takes time and experience for CEOs to gain the knowledge and wisdom needed to grow their businesses and leadership teams. Three tools that can accelerate the process are books, peer groups and mentors.
BOOKS. I love books and am an avid reader. I typically read about eight titles at a time ranging from business and leadership to religion, pop culture and biographies. I often recommend books or give them as gifts to clients and friends. Books are wonderful. However books are composed for general audiences and the offered is is non-specific. The content is usually sound, but it is also impersonal and often unqualified. If books are your primary vehicle for learning, it is important to read in volume so you develop perspective in personal application, instead of being limited to an author’s point-of-view.
CEO PEER GROUP. A second tool is a CEO peer group. A CEO peer group typically consists of 8 to 12 top executives and business owners, providing a safe environment for impartial feedback on issues they are facing, tips on how to better manage their businesses, or advice on things they have not yet encountered. The confidentiality and security of the peer group allows discussions to step into the personal side of matters, as there may be no clean separation. This is indicative of the relationships and trust that develops between the members of these groups. After all who can understand and empathize with CEOs better than other CEOs. I currently oversee two active CEO peer groups and have been a member CEO peer groups in the past so I can personally testify to their value and effectiveness.
MENTORS. The third tool that accelerates experience is a mentor. A mentor is someone who has already achieved something you want to emulate or has an experience or trait you want to adopt. Mentors are chosen for wisdom and experience. A mentor will work one-on-one with you to offer specific insight or instruction, deliver it in the amount, context, and timing to best apply to your personal situation. Then hold you accountable for following through.
The best thing about all of these tools is they improve your business by improving your abilities and increasing your knowledge. The ownership, control, and accountability remain just where they should… with you.
Please contact me if I can be of assistance with any of these important tools.
“I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.”
– Winston Churchill
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