CEO Peer Learning

CEOs share the top 15 REASONS they make time for a CEO Peer group

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"It's lonely at the top. We provide you with a group of experienced, caring CEO peers who will help you to be successful. We have great tools that drive peer accountability. We help you define the right strategic goals for your company and execute against them, leading to great ROI." These are some of the key benefits of our CEO Collective program that I have spent the last 20 years talking about. And it's not a sales pitch. It's all true.

Three years ago, I engaged my brilliant friend and colleague, I Jian Lin, Founder of Brand Intent, to help with The Raffoni Group's branding. He came back with a lot that all boiled down to one piece of feedback: We were underplaying the value of the interconnected network. I was informed that we were missing the boat with respect to where our members got value.

I Jian said, "Melissa, your members don’t talk about your tools as much as they talk about the relationships they’ve made and the support and inspiration they’ve gotten from colleagues that drives them to reach higher ambitions."  

I read the document he wrote for me ten times and as a result, I agreed to promote the new tagline, "Where CEOs realize higher ambitions and exponentially improve the quality of their professional lives."

I made this change, but I wasn't buying into all of the value points that members were getting from the network. I was so focused on driving hard and fast business ROI for our members, I disregarded the rest. Now, as I enter into my twentieth year of running CEO peer group collectives, I'm listening more than ever.

Based on what I've heard, here at the top 15 reasons why CEOs make time in their busy schedules to be a part of a CEO Collective peer group...

  1. Energy: "My one-on-one session energized me."
  2. Insight: "I'm so glad I presented that case at my peer group meeting, because I was heading down the wrong path. My peers set me straight with really insightful feedback. I was looking at it wrong."
  3. Family: "My son got an internship at X member's company."
  4. Self-Care: "I'm glad the group encouraged me to think about myself. I've made better decisions for myself, my business and my family."
  5. Wisdom: “I learn from my peers when they make great decisions and mistakes too.” 
  6. Perspective: "I'm so stuck in the damn day-to-day. It's really helpful that in this group I pull my head up and look around. I'm better for it. An outside perspective is invaluable." 
  7. Validation: "I've always felt like I was the only one worried about my career, my family and money. It's good to see that I am not alone and that I'm doing the right things."
  8. Help Making Tough Decisions: "I really needed to make an organizational change. I’ve been dragging my feet. The group picked up on that immediately. It was hard, but I’m glad I did it. I needed the push."
  9. Peer Support: "I really appreciate one of the CEO's from the Collective getting on the phone with me to discuss my term sheet. His feedback was just in time and dead on." 
  10. Access to a Trusted Expert Network: "It's good to know that when I need a recruiter, an attorney, or any other professional services provider, my CEO network can quickly tell me who is good and who is not."
  11. Time Savings: "When I have a quick question or an immediate need, the Collective is the first place I go. I trust the advice and it helps me to get to the root cause quicker and find help faster. It saves me time."
  12. Accountability: "I need to be held accountable. If somebody doesn't keep me on the straight and narrow and help me to see the truth, I could stray."
  13. Curated Networking: "I always feel guilty taking a day and half out to go to the CEO Summit, but I learn so much from networking with all the other CEOs. It's worth the time."
  14. Facilitation/Frameworks/Tools: "The one-on-ones are really beneficial in helping me to frame my thoughts. They help me to quickly get what's in my head into a framework that drives action."
  15. Leadership Team Alignment/Effectiveness Tools: "I'm using the Strategic Scorecard with my leadership team and our alignment and effectiveness is better than it has ever been."

Am I bragging here? No. Just listening and repeating the facts. 

When I read through this list, does it make me feel proud to be a part of something that is making this broad of an impact on the lives of CEOs? Absolutely.

Contact us to learn more about the CEO Collective.

At the Heart of The Matter: 6 CEOs Share What They Love Most About Their Jobs

I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with CEOs for the past two decades and I am a CEO myself. I have a front row seat to the challenges and joys that come with this exciting and demanding position. At the Raffoni Group’s last Annual CEO Summit, I asked the participating members to share what they love most about being a CEO. Here are some of their candid responses...

Ted Nelson, CEO, Mechanica

I love being a CEO because it allows me to creatively shape an environment, capability and team. I love motivating and inspiring our employees. Even though I work extremely hard, I am empowered by an unbeatable level of control over the destiny and reality of myself and others. I love making the most of the opportunities that reside at the intersection of business and personal life. I love having a focus area capable of constructively absorbing all my energy.

Ken Lazarus, CEO, Scout

I love being a CEO because it is a challenging job with many rewards. The challenges are fun in that, with the start-ups, I’m driving the creation of a new business. Most everything needs to be figured out: The product offering, go-to-market strategy, business model, etc. Also, you need to build a team, create a culture, and set goals to execute. The knowledge and sense of accomplishment that comes with meeting these challenges, fixing problems and achieving goals is very rewarding. It also is rewarding to provide meaningful fun jobs, and end up with big communities of employees who have become friends and benefited from what you’ve built. 

Peter Tallas, CEO, Charm Medical

I love being a CEO because I enjoy impacting the lives of my customers and employees. This is my first CEO position and while stressful, it has been more rewarding than I imagined. I love the challenge, as well as the freedom that goes with the job. Watching the company grow and building a team has been great. Offering products that are key to the well-being of our customers is very satisfying.

Gordie Spader, CEO, Kurgo

I love being a CEO because I enjoy touching all aspects of the business. I like to understand the levers that can be pulled to create a successful company. I also enjoy getting out to sell what we have developed. I enjoy the idea that I have created an entity out of nothing through hard work, great ideas and good decisions (as well as some bad ones). As a CEO I feel passionate about what we do because I have had the opportunity to decide what we will become and to control my destiny. I like the idea that success lies within my hands. And I love getting a new customer and hearing testimonials from consumers who love our product. 

Dave MacKeen, CEO, Eliassen Group

I love being a CEO because I have the ability to positively impact the lives of our clients, employees, and the communities we operate in. I can influence the direction of the company and create a legacy for those I work with. My desire is that people look back at their experience with Eliassen Group, and me, as one in which they were successful, where they felt they could make a difference and they developed, both personally and professionally. I also have the ability to learn and meet people that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. I love being a CEO because I can realize my passions for the business and industry and have the ability to control my happiness and success, to an extent. For me, CEO is just a title and is meaningless. It’s more about being part of a high-performing team and building an environment and culture of high performance. 

Mike Dreese, CEO, Newbury Comics

I love being CEO because I have great freedom to visualize the future and act on that vision. I can choose who I allow to surround me. I meet thoughtful, brilliant folks all the time. I have an impact on the community around me as mentor and teacher, but I’m ever learning, ever risking. I love the thrill of the chase, the adrenaline of both failure and gained successes. I have a puzzle to solve every day, month, year, and decade. Moments of frustrations, buried by vivid adventures of every kind. Optimism realized! Gate keeping the hours of life to the exit ramp. Unsafe at any speed, but usually in control. Being a change agent and supporter of others. What a life to live!