Today, Leo and Randy discuss working together. This conversation was prompted by Leo’s upcoming trip to Oslo, Norway where he’ll speak, then serve on a panel discussion at the Executive Growth Alliance.
Craig Weber – author of Conversational Capacity: The Secret To Building Successful Teams That Perform When The Pressure Is On (and a new book, Influence In Action: How To Build Your Conversational Capacity, Do Meaningful Work, and Make A Powerful Difference)
Leo’s books – The Power of Peers and What Anyone Can Do
Leo wrote a piece for CEOWORLD Magazine titled, How Great CEOs Maximize Peer Relationships. Today, we talk about the natural progression of business relationships and how we engage with others: we connect, network, optimize and accelerate.
Whether we’re part of a team or a group, we can all learn how to take greater advantage of our opportunities with others. That’s the point of the work we do at Peernovation and it’s the point of this podcast – doing the things anyone can do, but the things most of us never will.
People are training hard for it. There’s a goal with a deadline. Everybody shares the deadline and everyone is setting their own goals. It’s the 2019 Cabo Olympics slated for late October. Watch or listen to today’s show and we’ll explain.
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.
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
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.
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 email@example.com and 1 650 218 0902 or 47 90230982.
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.