It Is Lonely At The Top
Yeah it’s a cliché, but it’s also true. I’ve mentioned this in several postings because it is something every CEO has to deal with to achieve clarity and peace of mind.
One underutilized tool to help with this is a CEO peer groups (also called CEO roundtables). A CEO peer group typically consists of 8 to 12 top executive senior executives who get together for frank discussions on issues they are facing, how they can better manage their businesses, and to brainstorm future plans. At times the discussions will step into personal matters, as there often is no clean separation between the two, and is indicative of the kind of trust that develops between the members of these groups. After all who understands and can empathize with CEOs better than other CEOs. And all meetings and content are fully confidential.
CEO peer groups typically meet monthly and are organized to avoid competitor conflicts. There are a good number of professional organizations, for-profit and non-profit who organize CEO peer groups and with multiple formats. Some CEO peer groups are all day events with an expert speaker on a topic. Others gather for a discussion group around lunch. Either way, investing your time in a CEO peer group is a great way to develop contacts for expertise, and trusted advisors who know you.
In summary, a CEO peer group will equip you with:
- Access to other professional business owners and CEO’s.
- A process to share ideas and receive valuable input and advice.
- A sounding board for ideas, visions, values, strategies, and tactics.
- Ability to exchange ideas in a real world environment.
- A safe environment to discuss sensitive issues, such as employee challenges.
One great source for small to medium sized organizations in the Houston area is those operated by the Silver Fox Advisors. The Silver Fox Advisors is an association of CEO’s, senior consultants, visionaries, business leaders and former entrepreneurs who since 1986 have been providing mentoring and consulting to businesses, of all sizes, located in the greater Houston, Texas area. Currently the Silver Fox Advisors operate 20 such CEO peer groups with plans to expand, with a couple reserved for non-profit leaders. Each monthly roundtable is 90 minutes long and membership in a Silver Fox Advisor CEO Roundtable is offered at no fee. You can find out more at www.SilverFox.org.
Full disclosure, I am a proud Silver Fox Advisor, participate in one of their CEO peer groups to get advice on my personal business, and serve as an advisor for a different CEO peer group of about 12 members. Why? Simply because it works.