Follow the Leaders
CEO advisory groups and/or peer roundtables are often a lifeline for small and mid-sized business owners who want to quickly grow their business or avoid a common pitfall. For many, hearing from seasoned advisors and trusted peers who have “been there, done that” gives them the strategic and emotional edge they need, and helps them to get over that “lonely at the top” feeling that most business owners have.
So, how do CEO peer roundtables work? How often do they meet and for how long? Here are answers to the most common questions.
Roundtable peer groups typically have 8 to 10 people. This allows enough time for each member to meaningfully participate in all elements of the meeting.
The most effective CEO peer roundtable groups are a safe environment built on trust and confidentiality. Therefore they do not include competitors, business partners, relatives, clients, or investors. This helps to build camaraderie and trust among the members who are invested in each other’s success.
VA Council of CEOs Members are immediately eligible for “ad hoc” or one-time CEO roundtable sessions as they are offered. Permanent roundtable/forum placements typically take anywhere from one to six months. Once a permanent roundtable option is available, a new member is given the opportunity to clear the group to rule out any business or personal conflicts.
Roundtable meetings typically occur once a month. Meetings follow a strict protocol and structure and usually last between 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Some organizations, like VA Council of CEOs, train each new member on meeting protocol before he/she is formally placed in a group.
VA Council of CEOs expect members to attend every meeting of their roundtable. This commitment builds camaraderie and trust among the members who are invested in each other’s success. The CEO is the member and it is an intensely personal engagement. Second in commands or “fill in” employees are not permitted for this reason.
In general, the roundtable experience is about addressing the CEO as a whole person. The information that is shared in the meeting is confidential. VACEOs roundtable meetings strictly follow the Gestalt Language protocol where no advice is given. Meetings are highly-structured, timed, and only experiences are shared.
There are two parts to each VACEOs roundtable meeting. Each member gives a general update at the beginning of the meeting. The updates can range from: “I’m thinking about hiring a new CFO,” OR “I’m facing an issue with my health.” Then, the group takes a deep dive into one or two of the members’ challenges.
It’s widely believed that YES, business owners highly value their peer group, in fact, they often express that it gives them the ability to rise above the day to day grind and work on their business instead of in it.
Roundtables are valuable because members can lean on each other to overcome challenges like: