Peer Advantage & The Opposite Strategy

Remember the Seinfeld episode when George Costanza employed his “opposite strategy?”  Meaning, if he did the opposite of what he thought he should do, life would work out better. Earlier this week, I talked about the four ways we engage our peers.  We typically connect, network, optimize, and accelerate – in pretty much that order.  CEOs, however, should adopt Costanza’s “opposite strategy.”

While most business leaders, generally speaking, connect more than they network. They also tend to network more than they optimize and optimize more than they accelerate.  (And for most, they don’t accelerate at all).  CEOs, whose time is extremely valuable, should take a page from George and invest their peer engagement activities in the opposite order.  CEOs should accelerate first, then optimize, network, and connect.

Why? Because CEOs should invest their time, where they get the most value.  It’s essential that they get out of their company and industry silos to engage in rich conversations with a diverse group of fellow CEOs who truly empathize with the magnitude of their responsibility.  Ask any high-performing CEO in a group.  Your peers will broaden and deepen your knowledge and help you lead your organization more effectively.

Next, optimize. Take what you learn from your CEO group— your ideas and your understanding about how high-performing groups collaborate—and show your people how to lead groups that optimize inside your organization. Networking involves purposeful interaction with select individuals who can help you and your organization grow. What you gain from accelerating and optimizing will help you be an even more purposeful and more successful networker. Finally, stay connected. Connecting will help extend your reach and provide you with an additional knowledge channel for both intentional and collateral learning.

If it’s good enough for George Costanza… I’m just sayin’!

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