Wednesday, February 21, 2024

“Oh, That’s My Favorite Member!”

Pretty much every time I am talking about a member of VACEOs, I make that quote, or I think it. Ok, maybe they can’t all be my favorite. It is a bit like asking me to pick a favorite child. I have three children and they are all my favorite. I also have a favorite son-in-law. Granted I only have one, but he is an awesome one.

Yes, saying they are all my favorite is hyperbole. The statement is not a reflection of me and my capacity to adore our members, which I do, but it reflects the caliber of individuals who choose to join VACEOs. To be a successful member of VACEOs requires openness and vulnerability. Those qualities are not easily embraced by everyone, especially CEOs.

When people discover that I work with CEOs, they seem to imagine the high-profile CEOs they hear about in the media. You know who I mean, so I won’t even name names. There is a preconceived notion of the unattainable executive. When I explain the type of CEOs who join VACEOs, I may mention a local company which makes the CEO relatable to them. Mentioning a local favorite ice cream shop or car repair shop takes them out of the jet-setting mindset. However, when I describe how our CEOs engage in the process of our roundtables, that is when they become even more awed.

Our CEO members make time to learn, connect, and grow with other CEOs. They do this mainly by sharing experiences with each other. In other words, they are giving of themselves to help their peers.

The conversations they share in their private roundtable discussions can touch their business life and their personal life. They may discuss tough business topics like best hiring strategies and growing the business. They also discuss tough personal topics such as helping a family member battling cancer or how to find ways to balance their time restraints. The focus is on the CEO as an individual and helping them wherever they need help.

I am not privy to those roundtable discussions, but I am fortunate to be surrounded by these amazing individuals who are willing to share in such conversations. The openness involved spills over into our larger events. Walking into one of our events, such as a quarterly luncheon or Spring Retreat, you can feel the energy. Sitting at a table of our CEO members you get a sense of friendship, even if they are just meeting one another for the first time. It is like a warm embrace. Yes, they are there to learn and grow. but their main priority is connecting and being open with their fellow members.

When I have had the honor of spending time with one of our supportive CEO members, I am reminded why I do this job.

Come and meet some of our members. You might understand why each one is my favorite.

Posted by Connie Bruce at 2:32 pm

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