Why you need CEO peers to challenge your assumptions.
Years ago, as a CEO and business owner, I needed more perspective. I was stale. I felt lonely at the top.
Even worse, no one was challenging my assumptions. Advice was everywhere — and always had an agenda attached.
I knew this: what I was doing was not producing the growth I wanted.
Something had to change.
I needed someone to question my answers.
So I gathered a dozen business owners — a CEO peer group here in Columbus, Ohio. We met confidentially to share experiences and insights. At monthly meetings, we described our challenges and opportunities — and greatly benefited from each other’s agenda-free recommendations. We learned, as Daniel Joseph Boorstin said: “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance. It is the illusion of knowledge.”
The result of my participation was substantial: my company became more professionally managed, process driven and — when I was ready — sellable.
This experience also improved my life beyond business. Held accountable by my peers, I allocated my time better. I was able to be home more. Life got better.
Want to grow — personally as well as professionally? Feeling “lonely at the top?”
I convene monthly meetings of business leaders, meet individually with members, and bring in speakers (on topics of management and beyond). Four groups are for business owners, CEOs and executive directors; two groups are for key executives (who report to CEOs); and a seventh group is for trusted advisors (whose clients are CEOs).
To amplify my coaching and facilitation, I am affiliated with Vistage International. My Vistage groups have access to the resources and knowledge of the world’s leading chief executive organization with 21,000 members around the world and enough alumni to crowd Ohio Stadium.
Are you right for my groups?
Here are the minimum qualifications.
Three of my Vistage CEO peer groups are for leaders who run companies with annual revenues of $1M+, are facing the challenges and opportunities that come with growth and success, and want to share experiences and be held accountable by peers. A fourth CEO peer group is for CEOs of not-for-profit enterprises.
My two Key Executive peer groups are for executives who report directly to a CEO, are being groomed for the CEO position at companies with annual revenues of $1M+, and want to share experiences and be held accountable by peers.
My Trusted Advisor peer group is for client-based professionals, such as attorneys, accountants and consultants, who serve CEOs and senior executives, and want to share experiences and be held accountable by peers. This group does not have a minimum revenue requirement.
Qualitatively, I admit people who: are smart, ambitious, and successful, are trusting and trustworthy, are earnest, but don’t take themselves too seriously, are kind-hearted (no jerks), play the big game — are willing to bring their biggest challenges, can engage — show up on time, focus (no cell phones), lean in, will confront their peers kindly, and are experienced enough to know they need to change — and energetic enough to do it.
My groups are for “A” Players. If you are an “A” Player, here is a message for you.
Who is a good candidate for Vistage?
What happens at a Vistage group meeting?
What is a Vistage 121?
Here’s what members say.
“Artie Isaac masterfully harnesses our group’s talent, insight, wisdom, and expertise through organized and perceptive facilitation. I benefit greatly from my investment in the group. It’s helpful to get away from the business for a day each month to gain a unique perspective, and in times of great need, processing issues with my peers has been immeasurably valuable. Artie leads with his head, his heart, and some (very dry) humor. I feel as though I have a room full of consultants who are there — all in — to support me. Sometimes it’s tough to break away from my rigorous schedule, but every time I do, I am grateful for the learning. I recommend Vistage and Artie Isaac to any smart, ambitious, open-minded leaders of growing businesses.”
“As a six-year Vistage member with Artie Isaac, I have experienced the development of a supportive, challenging CEO peer group that has held me accountable for personal and business growth. As a result, I have developed lifetime relationships with terrific people, achieved 300% growth over five years, and gained insights about all aspects of running a business I might otherwise never had. That’s ROI. That’s Artie.”
“Vistage has been completely transformative for my business during my four years with Artie Isaac in a CEO group. Every month I come away with new insights, actionable tools, and invaluable peer review. Artie’s leadership in a room of leaders is thoughtful and passionate. I’m looking forward to year five!”
“Artie Isaac is an extraordinary human being. He is intelligent, open-minded, creative, intuitive, hilarious, candid, interesting, interested, and of very high integrity. I have only the highest praise for Artie. As a member of one of Artie’s Vistage groups, I have grown as a person and as a business owner. He is a key reason our group is so functional, productive, and connected. I highly recommend Artie as a speaker, facilitator, Vistage chair, and friend.”
“I’ve known and admired Artie for nearly ten years, as a mentor to me through several start-ups. When he launched his first Vistage group, I committed to building a business large enough to justify joining his practice. I’ve been in Vistage under his leadership for nearly two years now. The organization and infrastructure from which our business is growing is directly attributed to Artie and his ability to thoughtfully curate development opportunities. Artie leans in during hard conversations with enthusiasm and grace. I strongly recommend Artie and his leadership as a Vistage Chair.”
“Leadership can be lonely. My business partner and I had recently parted ways. I felt lost, angry at the events, and alone. I struggled with direction. A good friend pointed me to Artie Isaac, saying, “If he cannot help you, he will point you to someone who can.” Artie chairs several Vistage peer groups where, once a month, about 15 of us solve our most pressing business challenges. We meet one-on-one outside of the group as well. I value the confidentiality. It allows us to share issues which are deep and personal. We often laugh. We sometimes cry. We always grow. Their honesty and friendship have taken the loneliness out of leadership, and they have helped me build a better more profitable business. I also value the leadership artistry Artie Isaac demonstrates as our Chair. If you don’t know him, I encourage you to introduce yourself. If you’ve found leadership to be lonely, make community your priority this week. You cannot afford to wait any longer.”
“Sincere, compassionate, warm, wickedly smart and wonderfully funny. You can trust that he will be clear, direct, honest and helpful. Wonderfully creative; open to discourse; takes his business seriously – but not himself (or life) too seriously.”
“I have had the pleasure and benefit of being a member of one of Artie’s Vistage groups for three years. The members of our group truly care about each other’s success, which leads to extremely focused and engaging meetings. I always come away with actionable items. I highly recommend meeting with Artie. Within five minutes, you will understand why Artie has become one of the most well-known and well-respected Vistage chairs in the country.”
If you are right for my Vistage groups, I will apply my best efforts and energies to improving your life — and the lives of your families and employees — substantially.
If this sounds like you — or a friend you want to introduce to me — please contact me. I’m here for you. I care.
You don’t have time?
If your answer is “I don’t have time,” then I am here to question your answer. (Members say, “I come to Vistage to have my answers questioned.”)
Here are the Top 10 Reasons People Do NOT Join Vistage: