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

Vested Interest. Positive or Negative?

It’s funny how language can inspire aha moments.  I love Sekou Andrews‘ work for that reason, because for me, he offers much more than clever turns of phrase.  When you unpack his brand of poetry, there’s always such rich meaning to be extracted if you take the time to do so. He has since inspired me to look for that deeper meaning no matter who mouths the words.

So during a workshop I conducted for a Vistage Emerging Leaders Group in San Antonio today, one of the members shared that the group was incredibly effective because the members had grown to develop a “vested interest” in the outcome for each of their member’s actions.  I immediately asked, “What do you mean by that?”

To digress for a moment, I’d like you to consider my frame of reference for asking the question.  When I grew up learning this stuff during my early days with Vistage, part of the value proposition was that CEOs and business leaders could meet with peers who had no “vested interest” in the outcome – meaning they had no financial or professional skin in the game.  The point was that they could receive impartial advice from people who knew exactly what it was like to sit in their chair and who had nothing to gain one way or the other.

The vested interest the member was referring to today was quite different. It was vested interest of a higher order.  It had nothing to do with personal gain.  It had to do with the emotional connection they’ve developed for one another when it comes to wins and losses.  While members may join a group without having a vested interest in their fellow members’ outcomes, one could argue that, over time, acquiring this brand of vested interest makes the group that much better.  If you think about it, this is exactly what every peer group should be shooting for.

Sekou says, “Tapping into the collective intelligence makes our whole greater than the sum of our smarts.”  I learn something new every time I work with a new group.  That’s why I love doing it so much!  A big thanks to Sekou Andrews and to everyone who challenges us to think about the world a little differently.

 

 

 

 

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

Jennifer Vessels On The Big Picture

Meet Jennifer Vessels, CEO of Next Step.  Her latest initiative, called Executive Growth Alliance (EGA), works to assemble and facilitate groups of peers who are part of a common ecosystem (transportation, health, etc.).  Jennifer’s proactive, systems thinking approach to future-readiness is among the topics of our conversation today!

For information about the Executive Growth Alliance Summit in Oslo (late August, 2019), you can contact Jennifer directly at jvessels@nextstepgrowth.com and 1 650 218 0902 or 47 90230982.

For additional  info: check out Leadership: Who You Surround Yourself With Matters at CEOWORLD

The Yin & Yang of Mastermind Groups

In recent weeks, I’ve updated the original presentation of the five factors common to high performing groups (The Power of Peers, 2016) from a list to a reinforcing loop.  Also, after leading workshops for more than 100 mastermind groups over the past few years, it’s become clear that if an individual member wants to drive higher group performance, then that member needs to Show Up, Step Up, and Follow-Up.  I invite you review these two articles.

There’s a third dimension at play here as well, and that’s the yin and yang relationship of factors 2 and 3 – an environment that’s safe/confidential and one that fosters valuable interaction.  One provides emotional safety, while the other supports intellectual dialogue that offers valuable outcomes critical to delivering member value.  You simply can’t have one without the other.  And without one you have neither.  These forces are not opposite so much as interdependent.  Hence the reference to the Daoist concept of Yin & Yang.

The safer people feel in their group meeting and the more they are willing to leverage that safe environment, the more likely the larger, deeper, and more important topics (challenges and opportunities, personal and professional) will come to the forefront.  You can’t have valuable interaction if you don’t have anything valuable to interact about.  Deep conversations, on the other hand, inspire trust and increase emotional safety.

If generally speaking, you believe your group meeting to be a safe and confidential setting, then challenge yourself to leverage that environment more fully.  It’s not unlike being at a spa that has a magnificent pool, full of restorative power.  The thing is, only total immersion will provide the maximum benefit.  Looking at the pool from your lounge chair or sticking your toes in the water isn’t going to cut it.  It won’t work in your group either.  By being one who willingly shares and empathetically listens, you’ll encourage others to do the same through the sheer power of your example. You’ll see the trust grow and the dialogue improve.  Just watch.

The rich dialogue that can take place in a mastermind group is what pushes us to be better, both emotionally and intellectually.  Participating in these conversations by bringing your whole self, is an act of both generosity and courage.  It’s the Dao (or the way) of high performing mastermind groups.

Enjoy!

On Stepping Up

Today, we continue our discussion on the 3 major elements required to have the most effective peer advantage:

  1. Showing Up
  2. Stepping Up
  3. Following Up

Stepping up is exactly what Leo’s Boston Bruins did versus the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, sweeping the Canes 4-0 in a best of 7 series (yes, there’s a reason today’s graphic is sporting Bruins’ black and gold). Leo and Randy discuss the importance of trust and preparation in stepping up.

Some useful links for information mentioned in today’s discussion:

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!

On Showing Up

We’re about to enter round 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Leo’s Boston Bruins have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. Randy’s Dallas Stars are fighting to stay alive in game 7 with the St. Louis Blues to advance to the Western Conference Finals. (A fitting gift as we celebrate Randy’s birthday!) We’re hoping for a Boston vs. Dallas Stanley Cup match-up!

Today, Leo Bottary and Randy Cantrell discuss the first of the three elements necessary for effective group/team performance:

  1. Show Up
  2. Step Up
  3. Follow Up

 

Want Your Peer Advisory Group To Be Higher Performing?

If you’re a peer advisory or mastermind group member and you want your group to perform at an even higher level, understand that it all starts with you! Being a more valuable group member is the first step to building an even higher performing group. As Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner so famously outlined in their five exemplary leadership practices, it’s up to you to “Model the Way.” You may not be the leader of your group, but you can always be a leader in your group.

After facilitating more than 100 workshops aimed at helping new and experienced peer advisory groups squeeze the most value out of their time together, two findings have consistently emerged:  1) The strength of the overall group rests in the hands its individual members; and, 2) there are three things a member can do to immediately up his/her game to everyone’s advantage: Show up. Step up. Follow up.

Show up. If you believe that 80% of life is about showing up, then understand that to be a really good member, it’s that and then some. If you (and your fellow members) don’t attend meetings consistently, the group will never realize its true potential. I use the five factors for high performing peer groups described in The Power of Peers to help groups assess their current performance against what they believe to be ideal. These factors include: 1) Having all the right people in the room; 2) a safe and confidential environment; 3) valuable interactions that provide meaningful and actionable takeaways; 4) a culture of member-to-member accountability; 5) a servant leader who serves as the steward of the first four factors. Every time you don’t attend a meeting, it’s not just a loss for you, you’re sabotaging the group’s ability to perform at its best. Life happens, but being a great member starts with being there.

Step Up. Since you’re at the meeting anyway, you might as well bring your A game. This starts with being prepared. CEOs, small business owners, and key executives alike have admitted to me countless times that they are less prepared for their group meeting than any other meeting on their calendar. For those who do prepare, it’s obvious to the other members, and best of all, it’s easy. I haven’t had one “prepared” member yet tell me that it takes any more than 15 minutes to get ready for a group meeting. The better prepared you are, the more engaged you’ll be. The more engaged everyone is, the better your group will perform.

Follow up. Let’s say you ask for assistance from your group to either assess a potential opportunity or address a tough challenge. With the group’s help, you arrive at a conclusion as to how you will proceed. Be sure to follow up with the group at the next meeting (and after that as necessary). Letting your members know what you’ve done serves as an expression of gratitude for the time they spent helping you, it contributes to a positive culture of member-to-member accountability, and becomes an invaluable learning opportunity for everyone. This is when everyone learns about what worked and what didn’t work – invaluable information that eventually becomes a critical part of a group’s ever-changing DNA.

While I feel fortunate to have captured a great deal of data about the specifics of how to take any group to the next level, consider this: If your group can’t take my workshop, start with these three action items.   You’ll notice an immediate and palpable difference in your group’s performance.   Just remember, it all starts with you.