Today, on this episode of the What Anyone Can Do podcast, Leo and Randy talk about the right people. LSU just won the NCAA Division 1 football championship. They’re a case study in assembling the right people. From head coach Ed Orgeron to LSU’s passing game coordinator Joe Brady to quarterback Joe Burrow, LSU demonstrated how getting the right people can create magical performances.
The Peer Advantage – Randy’s online/virtual charter peer advisory group for SMB owners (currently accepting applications)
On this episode of the What Anyone Can Do podcast, Leo and Randy talk about preparing for the new year. The conversation begins with a look at a recent article Leo wrote titled, Three Truths of CEO Communication for 2020.
Leo was recently asked to pinch hit as a keynote speaker at a conference in San Diego for a highly specialized audience. Realizing his “power of peers” message had little to do with what the conference was all about, he understood it had everything to do with why they were there – to learn, connect and grow. This inspired him to create a new keynote titled, Maximizing the Value of Your Conference Experience. During our conversation today, we talk about how to tap into the greatest resource at these kind of events – your fellow attendees.
We also touch on the Washington Nationals sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals and the value of the special people who make a difference in our lives.
Today we discuss Leo’s latest CEO WORLD Magazine article entitled, Peer Advantage And Why CEOs Should Care About It. Previous Vistage CEO Rafael Pastor crafted an accountability model for CEOs to illustrate the powerful resource of empathetic accountability found in a peer advisory group. The Power Of Peers, co-authored by Leon Shapiro and Leo Bottary includes that model.
Let’s talk about learning groups. From graduate level classroom experiences, where Leo first gained deeper insights into peer advantage, to groups of CEOs and key executives – group members can leverage the power of collaboration to enhance and increase their learning.
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.
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.
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.
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!