VerityThree Leverages Insight from Fellow CEOsTue, 17 Jan 2012 19:12
Entrepreneurship is big in the United States. New companies are being launched every day. Even if the president or CEO of a startup, be it a business-to-business or business-to-consumer venture, has a mentor, that doesn’t mean that he can’t benefit from relationships with other company presidents and CEOs. Nobody knows everything. And sometimes, the only reason a CEO can’t find the solution to his problem is because he’s too close to it. Enter CEO Focus.
Formed in 2001, CEO Focus is a peer consulting group that brings together small-business CEOs and presidents, from various industries, to troubleshoot each other’s problems. It’s based on the premise that “business owners learn significantly more from case studies and best practices from other business owners with whom they have deep relationships.”
It’s similar to support programs for cancer patients. Although the doctors and nurses are there to help the patients (the way mentors help the presidents and CEOs of startups), if they’ve never had cancer, they can only help so much. So, cancer survivors are enlisted to give moral support to and establish relationships with cancer patients. They understand what the patients are going through, and because of that, the patients trust them. Okay, the troubles company presidents and CEOs face can’t compare to battling cancer, but the basic principle is the same. It’s always better to get advice from someone who’s walked a similar path.
At CEO Focus, a company president or chief executive gets input from other presidents and chief executives who have walked similar paths in industries like retail, media, sales, healthcare or hospitality, among others. CEO Focus realizes that leaders of technology-based companies tend to think alike, and leaders of retail companies tend to think alike and so on. By grouping members into diverse industry groups, fresh perspectives, which often lead to creative solutions, can be offered.
Although the organization offers “quality small-business coaching”, it isn’t just for businesses that are struggling. The presidents and CEOs of successful businesses are also welcome, either to share how they overcame difficulties in their own businesses or to get input from the carefully chosen members of CEO Focus’ peer advisory board.
For a company president or CEO to qualify for membership, he/she must have commitment, desire, humility and be able to justify the return on investment. If a company president or CEO is willing to work hard, be honest and accept input from people outside his/her organization or industry, then CEO Focus is a good fit that’s worth the expense. Those who can’t admit that they don’t know everything need not apply.
It’s not easy to say “I don’t know.” But those small-business presidents and CEOs who can and do say those words, are eligible to sign up for membership with CEO Focus and not only learn a lot, but also, make some lasting quality relationships with other small-business presidents and CEOs. Whether a company serves other businesses or the general public, is tech focused or commerce focused, its president or CEO can benefit from membership in CEO Focus.