As a CEO or business owner, you have to face many challenging decisions.
You have to manage relationships with board members, middle managers, employees, customers, and other stakeholders. Lots of people expect you to have ready answers to their questions and quick solutions for their problems.
But where do you turn when you have questions? Who will help you resolve your own tough dilemmas?
Where Do You Turn When the Buck Stops with You?
Sometimes it may be appropriate to seek input from members of your team, especially if they have specific knowledge that would be relevant.
At other times, however, you’re expected to fly solo and make the call without consulting direct reports. Such situations might involve hiring or firing individuals, resolving conflicts between people or departments, or major budgetary expenditures.
Organizational leaders often turn to board directors, attorneys, accountants, and other outside consultants for expertise and advice.
All of these traditional sources can offer generalized and specialized knowledge, but they do have their limitations. For one thing, they often have their own agendas that may color their efforts to help you.
- Board directors, for instance, can listen and offer valuable input, but the fact remains they are the ones who will ultimately have to judge your competence as a CEO, which may not put them in the best position to offer the kind of help you need.
- Paid advisors such as lawyers and accountants provide services within the realm of their particular expertise, but they always have the ultimate agenda of retaining you as a paying customer.
In response to these limitations, executive coaching has emerged as excellent way to gain new knowledge and helpful insights that can improve your effectiveness. Through confidential one-to-one sessions, a qualified coach can provide the expertise and objectivity to help you make more effective decisions.
But what if you had an additional source of insight from fellow CEOs who know what it’s like to be in your shoes and who can give you a variety of perspectives to guide your decision making?
That’s where a peer advisory group, comprised of a dozen or so CEOs from non-competing organizations, comes in.
How Is the Peer Advisory Group Different?
According to a 2013 study from Stanford University, less than 1% of CEOs participate in a non-industry-specific peer advisory group.
That’s unfortunate, because group learning is an excellent way for adults, and entrepreneurs in particular, to gain new knowledge that translates into business success.
Decades of research across a range of disciplines — including organizational science, psychology, sociology, and economics — has concluded that diverse groups generally make better decisions than homogeneous groups. That includes having team members from a variety of professional and demographic backgrounds.
How does joining a group of individuals with varied experiences improve performance? Here are just a few benefits that researchers have discovered:
- Enhanced creativity
- Search for novel information
- Gaining different perspectives on a topic
- Better problem solving
- Improved financial outcomes
- New discoveries and innovations
By joining a peer advisory group such as those sponsored by Vistage International, you’ll become part of a collaborative learning environment alongside of other leaders from different industries. This lets you draw out unique wisdom from individual participants, generating a robust mix of ideas that benefits the whole group.
At each monthly Vistage meeting, your peers, along with your Vistage chair, will listen to your challenges in a confidential setting. Because members come from noncompetitive firms, they have the freedom to offer more candid assessments, which builds a sense of trust among participants.
Members offer suggestions and hold one another accountable by reporting on goals achieved at each subsequent meeting.
And what are the results? According to a 2015 study by Dun & Bradstreet, members who joined Vistage within the past five years grew their companies at three times the rate of average U.S. companies.
How Can You Join a Peer Advisory Group in Springfield?
Do you need a new source of learning and insight to help you make the best decisions for your organization?
Do you have questions about how you and your organization might benefit from a peer advisory group?
If so, contact us at Global Advisory Associates. We will provide helpful information about joining a local Vistage group right here in Springfield.