3 types of leaders who should steer clear of a Vistage peer group

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You’re probably familiar with the concept of a mastermind group, or a similar gathering of like-minded leaders. Truth is, any kind of group that meets regularly, is led by a smart guide, is focused on growth and development, and provides accountability, is a good one. 

About 10 years ago I was a Vistage member, and now, as a Vistage Chair for almost three years, I’m convinced that there are three primary reasons why you should steer clear of a Vistage peer group.

1. You already know everything you need to know.

Successful leaders are constantly learning. That’s why Vistage CEO groups bring expert speakers from around the world to our monthly meetings eight times a year, for half the day. And at every meeting one member provides a brief but fairly detailed review of all aspects of her or his business. Vistage members often remark, “Wow, the more I hear about other people’s companies, the more I learn about mine.” They are naturally curious about how other businesses are putting a dent in the universe. If you’re not interested in learning, and growing, and changing, then you’re gonna hate being in a Vistage CEO group.

2. You see tremendous value in spending time with other owners and CEOs who think and lead like you do.

Our focus by design in on business diversity — we actively seek out and select leaders with different backgrounds, experiences, industries, and management styles on purpose, because that richness of varied perspectives is a core element of the power of peers. We all belong to industry trade associations, some of which have structured peer-group programs that meet every quarter. Those are certainly helpful for learning and sharing tried-and-true best practices in your industry, but when everyone in the room has been breathing the same industry air for a while, the potential for truly breakthrough ideas is limited. If you’re not willing to have your answers questioned, and your beliefs challenged, then Vistage might not be the thing for you.

3. You like back rubs. 

This is as compared with a deep tissue massage. If you’ve ever had one of those, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Back rubs are temporarily soothing and pleasant, and that’s about it. Kinda superficial. Deep tissue massage, on the other hand, can get pretty uncomfortable at times. Sometimes you’re sore for a couple days, but intuitively you know it’s really good for you in the long run. A Vistage CEO peer group is not a leadership book club, or a networking or referral group, or a mutual admiration society. We go deep on critical issues — strategic, operational, intellectual and sometimes emotional — and as a safe and confidential council of true peers, we hold each other highly accountable to commitments with no other agenda but to help each other be more successful.

Attention Knoxville Business Owners and CEOs: If you run an organization and have ever felt “lonely at the top” with nobody to share challenges with who really “gets it,” or needed to make a decision with less-than-perfect information, then we should talk. Only one representative from your industry can be in a given group (because we are bat-sh**-crazy about confidentiality), so contact me at kurt.greene@vistagechair.com or 865.407.0703 to see if you might be a fit. Meantime, you can check out the “Recommendations” section of my LinkedIn profile to see some of the leaders who’re in my Vistage groups and what they’re getting out of it.

Thanks for reading!

Hi, I'm Kurt Greene, owner of Arrow G Consulting. I also lead CEO/executive peer groups in Knoxville for Vistage.

When I’m not helping CEOs and senior leaders to improve themselves and their companies, you can find me re-arranging the stack of unread books on my nightstand, daydreaming about airplanes, and seriously thinking about getting the ol' college rock band back together. Learn more about the exciting work we're doing here at Arrow G Consulting HERE.