Leo & Randy On Peernovation

On today’s show, we make a BIG announcement!

Leo is launching Peernovation, LLC. You can read the full press release here at Yahoo! Finance.

Peernovation will address two major challenges for companies today: 1) The lack of ROI for employee learning and development programs; and, 2) the problem of alignment and employee engagement when implementing strategic initiatives. Bottary, who will serve as managing partner, will be joined by peer advantage group facilitator and podcaster, Randy Cantrell.

And…

Peernovation will also assist organizations that assemble and facilitate peer groups for business leaders by helping members maximize their collaborative experiences to achieve more impactful outcomes.  Bottary added, “When business leaders participate in high performing peer groups, they tend to be more adept at understanding the power of peers and creating more collaborative environments at their companies.”

Leo’s books – The Power of Peers and What Anyone Can Do

Leo’s speaking and workshops

Randy’s small business owner peer advisory group, The Peer Advantage

Subscribe to the YouTube channel

Connect with Leo on Linkedin | Twitter

Connect with Randy on Linkedin | Twitter

Leo & Randy On Great Groups

Today’s show is a discussion on Leo’s latest CEOWORLD column, Ten Attributes of a Great CEO Peer Group. They are:

  1. Having the right people in the room 
  2. Being truly committed to their fellow members 
  3. “Leveraging” their safe environment
  4. Being prepared to play 
  5. Being relentlessly patient with asking questions 
  6. Bringing important topics to the conversation 
  7. Understanding how to get the most from the group
  8. Being willing to challenge one another from a place of caring
  9. Accepting personal responsibility for your role
  10. Outstanding leadership

Leo will be keynoting in Oslo, Norway on August 28th at the 2019 Executive Growth Alliance Summit

Leo’s books – The Power of Peers and What Anyone Can Do

Leo’s speaking and workshops

Randy’s small business owner peer advisory group, The Peer Advantage

Subscribe to the YouTube channel

Connect with Leo on Linkedin | Twitter

Connect with Randy on Linkedin | Twitter

Leo & Randy On Achieving Goals

Today’s show is a discussion about how we can improve – as individuals and in our organizations – achieving our goals. We’re approaching the start of the second half of the year and many of us want to achieve some specific things before the end of 2019. Will we accomplish them? Or will we quit?

Some useful links mentioned in today’s episode:

William Ury’s TED Talk – Walk From No To Yes

Jennifer Vessel’s work – Executive Growth Alliance

Leo’s booksThe Power of Peers and What Anyone Can Do

Book: The Fifth Discipline: The Art And Practice Of The Learning Organization by Peter Senge

Leo’s speaking and workshops

Randy’s small business owner peer advisory group, The Peer Advantage

Subscribe to the YouTube channel

Connect with Leo on Linkedin | Twitter

Connect with Randy on Linkedin | Twitter

Leo & Randy On Podcasting

Today’s show was prompted by Leo’s participation in the C-Suite Network Thought Summit in San Francisco. He was on a panel about podcasting. Today we extend the conversation here on the WHAT ANYONE CAN DO PODCAST and discuss a few questions about podcasting.

How should you start your own podcast?

What makes a perfect podcast?

Leave us a comment below on how we can improve this podcast. You can also use the Contact page or hit us up on social media.

If you want to connect with somebody who is a professional podcast coach, then let us introduce you to Dave Jackson, owner of the School of Podcasting. His site has tons of free resources and he even has a live YouTube streaming show most every Saturday morning where he’ll answer your podcast questions – Ask The Podcast Coach.

Here are the panelists who appeared with Leo at the C-Suite Network Thought Summit.  Check out their profiles and their podcasts:

Audrey Strong, Josh Felber, Joyce Cordi, Chickie Fitzgerald

Useful links related to today’s show:

What Anyone Can Do Podcast on C-Suite Network

The book: Power of Peers: How the Company You Keep Drives Leadership, Growth, and Success by Leon Shapiro and Leo Bottary

The book: What Anyone Can Do: How Surrounding Yourself with the Right People Will Drive Change, Opportunity, and Personal Growth by Leo Bottary

Subscribe to the YouTube channel

Connect with Leo on Linkedin | Twitter

Connect with Randy on Linkedin | Twitter

Rich Karlgaard On Late Bloomers

Our guest today is Rich Karlgaard, publisher and futurist for Forbes and author of a new book, Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement.

Are all high achievers early achievers?

Can mature individuals with life experience add value to a workplace?

Does personal and professional growth have an expiration date?

Helpful links from today’s show:

Buy the book: Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard

Connect with Rich via his website: RichKarlgaard.com

Leo & Randy On Perspective

Today on the What Anyone Can Do podcast Leo and Randy discuss three components of perspective, formed as questions:

  1. What’s going on?
  2. What does it mean?
  3. How do we act on it?

Perspective is influenced by the people who surround us. Unique vantage points can be leveraged for mutual benefits, like the various camera angles used for instant replay of a sporting event.

*Stanley Cup Update – Bruins and the Blues tied at 2-2!  Game 5 tonight (Thursday) in Boston!

Mentioned in today’s show:

Ladder of Inference by Chris Argyris and Peter Senge

The Power Of Peers: How The Company You Keep Drives Leadership, Growth And Success by Leon Shapiro and Leo Bottary

What Anyone Can Do podcast on C-Suite Network

WACD Inspirational Quotes

Feel free to use this 4-minute video loop at your next mastermind/peer advisory group or team meeting. A big thanks to Vistage UK Chair Bob Battye who supplied most of the images!

What The Power of Peers Taught Us About High Performing Teams

When Leon Shapiro and I tackled the subject of how and why formal peer groups for CEOs and business leaders work so well in The Power of Peers, our research revealed two important findings: 1) The Learning-Achieving Cycle  common to high performing groups; and, 2) What we called the Five Factors necessary for making the Learning-Achieving reinforcing loop possible.

After conducting nearly 100 self-assessment workshops for peer groups since the book was published, I’ve learned that the Five Factors are more than just components of a condition, they are a system onto themselves.  What’s more, this system (with minor modifications) provides insights into what drives high performing teams.

The five factors were originally presented independently (reinforcing one another of course) yet described as if one had little to do with the other. The Five Factors included: 1) Having the right people in the room (people who share common values and a purpose for being in the group, yet who are diverse in their own ways); 2) A Safe and Confidential Environment – a place where one feels safe to be open and vulnerable and where confidentiality is sacrosanct; 3) Valuable interaction – while providing emotional safety is critical, here we talked about the quality of the topics discussed, the discipline of asking great questions, and the tangible outcomes realized by the group members; 4) Accountability – not accountability to the leader of the group, but to the other members – a solemn promise to one another to be present and bring their A games to each and every meeting; 5) Having a smart guide, someone who served as a servant leader of the group and as the steward of the other four factors.

Today, I see the Five Factors not simply as overlapping, but as a system, much like the Learning-Achieving Cycle:

 It starts off with having the right people, who come to know each other and trust one another enough to feel safe.  This feeling of safety inspires and enables deeper conversations about the kind of serious topics that all too often never happen in the context of our daily lives.  As group members grow to care about one another and their respective aspirations, it inspires each of them to bring their A games to every meeting, knowing that their colleagues are prepared to do the same.  Their currency with one another lies in this place where everyone helps each other achieve new heights.  The smart guide’s role as the servant leader is essentially to serve as the steward of the other four factors by driving this reinforcing loop.  He/she makes sure that the group is always populated with people who add value, that the safe environment is never taken for granted, that members come prepared to share their toughest challenges and greatest opportunities, and that a context which allows for a culture of growing group accountability is able to flourish.

So you may be asking the same thing I did:  Do these five group factors, presented as a reinforcing loop, apply to teams and offer guidance to team leaders?   With some minor adjustments, I believe they do.  Here’s how it plays out for teams:

At your company, it’s about more than hiring good people, it’s about securing the right people.  This involves understanding the difference between those who succeed at your company and those who don’t – despite their impressive resume and amazing interviewing skills.  Having the right people is great, but now you have to get them to work together, which involves getting them to know and trust one another.

Once you have that, you can start looking at how you can help this team achieve higher levels of productivity and commitment to excellence.  As a leader, think of tending a garden.  Your job is to provide the right amount of water, sunlight, food, etc. to make your garden flourish.  If you notice a plant not growing to its potential in one part of the garden, you move it to a better spot.  I’ll take the gardener over the command and control leader any day – and so will your employees.

Now that your team is productive and they realize they can achieve a level of excellence that can only be obtained by working together, they drive each other’s level of performance to new heights, making the team as a whole that much stronger.  The team leader plays the same role as the smart guide, serving as the steward of the other four factors, continually driving the reinforcing loop.

The best teams I’ve studied from business and in sports have all of these factors firing on all cylinders. Don’t let this throw you for a reinforcing loop!  Think about how these factors play into your organizational teams and tell us what you find out!

Peer Groups: GYMS for Leaders

In 2017, one of the guests on my Year of the Peer podcast (renamed What Anyone Can Do in 2018) was Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, professor emeritus at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute.  During our conversation, she told me the more that teachers collaborate with one another outside the classroom, the more effective they can be at building collaborative environments among students inside their classrooms.  Countless leaders of CEO and key executive peer groups have said the same holds true in business.  Essentially, leaders who do group work are more emotionally and intellectually fit to inspire superior teamwork inside their organizations.  Let’s look at why.

To back up a moment, let’s distinguish between group and team.  A group is one where people come together to help each other realize their individual goals.  A team is a collection of people who collaborate in an effort to achieve a common goal.  CEOs connect with other CEOs in groups because they believe that talking with peers who share their common challenges, yet who may come from very different worlds, will help them be better individual leaders and provide them with ideas and insights to help them grow their companies.  College athletes, on the other hand, who participate in a team sport, may aspire to win a national championship – a single goal that can only be achieved as a high performing team.

Think of groups as the “gyms” for team leaders.  Groups are the perfect training ground for strengthening your leadership muscles, building your business acumen, and fine-tuning your emotional intelligence.  My guess is that you wouldn’t consider entering the IRONMAN, running a marathon, or cycling the Tour de France without training for it; yet too many organizational leaders attempt something equally difficult every day they show up to work without having stepped one foot into the gym.  You can argue that you can train in other ways.  Fair point.  You can read books, hire a coach, go to conferences, etc.  That said, here’s one thing (among many) you won’t get anywhere else except in a group – it’s called the Learning-Achieving cycle.

The Learning-Achieving Cycle, The Power of Peers (2016)

Dr. Darling-Hammond told me that we learn better when we learn together.  When we share our learning with one another and engage in deep conversation about a given concept, it not only helps us understand it more completely, but also provides group members the courage to ACT on that learning.  You might read something in a book that on its face seems like a great idea, but you’re unlikely to walk into the office the next day and implement it.  Within days, that idea joins the pile of other interesting things you learned that you never acted on.  Once you act on your learning (trial and error notwithstanding) and you achieve positive results, it inspires you to want to learn more.  This creates a reinforcing loop of learning, sharing, applying, achieving that becomes a force of nature of its own – a force fueled by a leader’s insatiable desire to leverage the group’s intellectual capital for his/her own personal and organizational ROI.

Regardless of what you’re trying to learn, rather than read about it or have someone tell you about it, when you’re part of a group, you actually do it.  You stick your hands in the clay, if you will, at each and every group meeting.  It’s your practice field for business and personal success.  If you want to lead higher performing teams, get yourself to the gym.  That said, my one disclaimer is this:  You can’t just sign up for a gym membership or even just show up there from time to time to receive any real benefit.  But if you dig deep, invest in yourself, and do the work, then you, your group members, and your organizational team(s) will be the big winners for it.

If you have a story about how your peer group helped you get into better shape to be a stronger team leader, share it in the comments!  Thanks!

What Anyone Can Do – The Movie…

…or maybe just the book trailer! 😉 Enjoy!