As an entrepreneur who spends the majority of my waking, I mean working hours in a home office at a computer, I don’t have the benefits of daily interactions with colleagues or a board of directors to confer with. Even though my business is a relatively small consultancy, I share some of the same challenges as the CEOs of larger firms:
- Am I making the best decisions for my company?
- How do I keep myself accountable when I don’t have a boss?
- Who do I discuss my business issues with when my significant other and my colleagues can’t possibly understand my point of view?
I’m in a Vistage Trusted Advisor group for consultancies. It’s based on the same Vistage platform as the larger CEO groups, but there are a few differences. We meet once a month for four hours, and there are no one-on-one meetings with a chair (a person who runs the group, usually someone who has been in business for decades and has a great business mind).
I have to thank my Vistage Trusted Advisor group for always making it worthwhile for me to make time for these meetings, because I always get a lot out of them, from new ideas to a good thrashing when needed.
Here are the top six reasons why Vistage is worth it for me:
- I get exposed to eight different perspectives on personal and business issues.
- The other members make me think about where I want my business to be next year, the year after, and five years down the road, and write a plan to reach those goals.
- I learn from my group’s successes and challenges.
- They call me on BS when needed and make me accountable for my actions.
- I’m in a room for four hours each month with eight incredibly smart people who have experience in a variety of businesses from sales to finances.
- Most importantly, I could call any of them any day and say “I need you,” and they would be there for me.
As a marketing professional, I’ve done some work for Vistage chairs and have spoken to dozens of Vistage members. The majority stay in Vistage for many years and benefit greatly from their interaction with other CEOs.
Here’s a quote from an entrepreneur in Vistage that I believe sums up why Vistage is worth it:
It’s lonely at the top. Most people don’t understand what that means: how fast I have to make decisions and if they are the right ones. It’s good to be in a group where I can talk and be real and not feel like I’m being judged.