Vistage Executive Peer Groups
For Chief Executives, Managing Directors and Key Executives
Many people who are managing directors and business owners didn't apply for the job. Life chose them! They started a business and did really well. Then perhaps ten years on, you're still working really hard, faced with finance and people issues that you never signed up for. And it's lonely at the top.
If you could pick the brains of a dozen non-competing managing directors, who will give you unbiased, straight-talking feedback, what would you ask them? With Vistage, the world's largest membership organisation for managing directors and chief executives, I chair two private advisory boards in Bristol and Somerset, bringing together local business leaders to learn together, and from one another. Vistage is the world's leading Chief Executive organisation with over 1,800 members in the UK and over 21,000 members worldwide. We help our members become better leaders, to make better decisions, leading to better results.
Is an Executive Peer Group Right for You? And are You Right for an Executive Peer Group?
If you think that you're the 'finished article' and likely to be the smartest person in the room, then it's not for you!
Don't get me wrong; everyone in the room is a successful business person with years of experience. And every one is a lifelong learner, pushing themselves to be better. Leaders need to grow faster than their business, otherwise you're going to get swamped as the business gets bigger, more successful and more complex. If you're trying to grow your business, get more efficient, engage your staff more deeply and ultimately make the business independent of you on a day-to-day basis, then this may be the place for you.
All About Networking?
Sometimes I meet a person who wants to expand their network. Okay, then this isn't for you. There are other places to meet people, build your network and look to expand sales. I encourage you to build your network and raise your profile, but this is a place for serious learning and application.
What to Expect At Your First Meeting
You will be in a room with about a dozen managing director and CEO peers. I split my groups into those above £3m turnover and 35 people and those with smaller businesses or who are leading divisions of a large businesses. We're a friendly crowd and we want to get to know you and your business.
Each meeting starts with a check-in and a review of commitments from previous meetings. This is not a talk shop - it's about taking action and leading change. Expect to be held accountable by the group - also be ready to hold others accountable for the promises they have made to themselves.
Our guest speakers - six or seven times a year we have a guest speaker to talk on a subject chosen by the group. These speakers are absolutely world class, covering almost everything from marketing, sales and finance to leadership, personal wellbeing and motivation. You can see all the UK Vistage speakers here.
Executive session - this is where the rubber hits the road. Members roll up their selves and set to work on the issues, decisions and opportunities within their business, leveraging the combined brainpower around the table. This is about challenge, inquiry, thought and reflection. It's not meant to be a comfortable experience! Expect to be challenged and to have your thought processes tested by your peers. There's no agenda or oneupmanship - just a desire to get to the heart of the issue and plot a way forward. Equally, you need to be prepared to bring your experience to the table the help with other members' businesses. Everyone's responsible for helping each other make progress.
Review, commitments and close - as each meeting starts with a review, each meeting ends with commitments for the next month. You've got stuff to do anyway, so use this as an opportunity to make sure it's the right stuff and use the group to hold you accountable.
One-to-one Executive Coaching
Every member gets executive coaching one-to-one, either every month, or on alternate months. This is an opportunity to review progress, air issues, ask for help and to track progress against your goals. Everyone's got something they're trying to achieve: to grow their business; to sell their business; improve margins; deal with a difficult staff situation; find a new hire; plan succession - the list really is endless!
But who do you talk to that is experienced, impartial, objective, confidential and non-judgmental. That's my job as your executive coach. But I'm not here to be your friend! Expect to be challenged, pushed and asked "why?" I have no reason to accept what you say - unless I believe you and it makes sense to me. Often, clients say that just articulating their thinking out loud helps them clarify their thought process, spot inconsistencies and find better plans. I won't answer your questions - I will question your answers!
Click here to find out more about Vistage Executive Peer groups in Bristol, Somerset and South Wales.
Open Days and Events
Vistage run a series of Open Days across the country, with four in the South West and South Wales each year. These are sensational days with guest speakers and over 100 members, guests and colleagues from Vistage member businesses. Click here for more information.