If you’re writing and speaking more than you’re reading and listening, it’s time to right the ship! Here are three books you’ll love! When you don’t have immediate access to the right people directly, you can still surround yourself with their ideas! Enjoy!
Will peer advantage gain traction? Can it be as common to the business lexicon someday as Emotional Intelligence is today? The short answer is “yes.” Why? Because CEOs need peer advantage every bit as much as the cavemen needed the wheel. In a recent conversation with Miguel Dias, Founder and CEO of CEO World, he reminded me of the cartoon of the cavemen ignoring their peer’s offer to make their lives easier. While this cartoon is a “slightly altered” version of the original, it illustrates an important point.
It’s what every CEO peer advisory group leader must feel like when he or she reaches out to a CEO with a solution to a problem that too many CEOs don’t realize they have. And if most CEOs took just a minute from being “too busy,” they could be reminded that who you surround yourself with matters and, because it matters, CEOs and business leaders can help each other in ways they just won’t find anywhere else. In this fast-changing, complex world of ours, none of us should try to go it alone.
In the book, The Power of Peers: How the Company You Keep Drives Leadership, Growth & Success, Vistage Chair Bob Dabic said that participating openly in a peer advisory group involves fighting off a caveman mentality and its 10,000 years of human conditioning. Today, too few people avail themselves of the myriad benefits of enlisting the support of their peers. Fortunately, the wheel became an everyday part of our lives. Sooner rather than later, so will peer advantage.
In a recent interview with HBR, Yo-Yo Ma talks about successful collaboration and the power of peers. I’m not suggesting he referenced our book per se, but during the first seven minutes or so of the 18-minute interview, he touched on the concepts from our book that relate to working successfully with peers and how much our peers can challenge us to grow and see the world in different ways – to understand how two truths can co-exist if we are open to learning. I encourage you to listen to the entire interview. Pay close attention as he talks about keeping your ego in check, being vulnerable, learning rather than judging, valuing generosity and mutual respect, and understanding why surrounding yourself with the right people is so important. It’s music to my ears. Enjoy!
One of the great things about writing a book is that it opens doors to meeting interesting people who are willing to share their knowledge and their books with you. This exchange fosters the kind of peer-to-peer learning that serves as the foundation for The Power of Peers: How the Company You Keep Drives Leadership, Success & Growth. Who we surround ourselves with matters – even if it’s just for a few days!
Paul Corona offers powerful lessons for business and life in his book, The Wisdom of Walk-Ons! Let’s face it, most of us are walk-ons, not scholarship athletes. That doesn’t mean, however, that we’re not capable of achieving success beyond measure in our respective fields – if we put our minds to it. Three well-told, true stories reveal seven strategies we can all apply to our own lives! Two of the strategies near and dear to my heart are: appreciate your supporters and help others succeed. (By the way, if you ARE a scholarship athlete, there’s something for you here as well). Enjoy the Foreword by legendary Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden and read a book you won’t be able to put down.
As for Mike Moyer’s, Pitch Ninja, I was privileged not only to read the book, but also I got to see Mike deliver a live presentation about the book, using the incredibly effective pitching and presentation concepts he espouses. Trust me, when I say they really work. I’ve witnessed and participated in numerous presentation training programs in my career, and I’ve never come across anything quite like Mike Moyer’s program. I’m in the process of creating a PowerPoint presentation about the power of peers specific to business leaders, and I can’t wait to implement everything from the Zone Program and my new special Ninja moves, to providing real flow, and of course, using “Magic Hands!” (Now you have to read the book, right?) Great stuff!
It’s one thing to promote really good content, yet it’s especially rewarding to support good people. Paul was kind enough to take me to lunch, and Mike drove me from the University of Chicago campus back to my downtown hotel at the end of the day – proactive acts of kindness that made my week. You can support them too by buying both books. You’ll be glad you did!
Last night, I had the distinct pleasure of serving on a panel at an event co-sponsored by the Chicago Innovation Awards and Vistage at 1871 in Chicago called “The Best Advice I Ever Got.” I can’t remember the last time I felt such electricity at a gathering of CEOs, business owners, and their key executives. The venue, which is described as an entrepreneurial hub for digital startups, just screamed innovation. The Chicago Innovation Awards, which was established in 2002, serves to shine a bright light on the spirit of innovation that lives within the city of Chicago. The event certainly delivered!
During our 45-minute panel discussion, I was asked to comment on the research we conducted for our book The Power of Peers and the role peer advantage can play in driving innovation. So as I’m flying home from the event, I thought I’d share it with you.
Peer advantage is what happens when people engage their peers (preferably outside their company and industry sector) in a group setting that’s highly selective, strategic and purposeful. A CEO Peer Advisory Group is a good example of a group that experiences peer advantage – peer influence of a higher order! If you think about innovation as “creativity realized,” our research showed that groups not only provide its members with news ways of thinking (which is great for the creativity part), but even more importantly, because of their culture of accountability, these groups help members implement these new ideas. Without the implementation part, it’s not an innovation, it’s just a wish!
A big thanks to everyone who made last night’s event possible. I really enjoyed learning from the other panelists and meeting Chicago’s innovators! Very cool!