A banker, lawyer and CPA walk into a bar. No, this isn’t the start of a joke (although it could be). Rather this edition of my newsletter is dedicated to advisory and peer groups. Over the years, I’ve developed a small group of trusted colleagues who I can turn to when I need a sounding board to discuss a particular issue. The individuals that I turn to have become friends over the years, but they didn’t start out as buddies from high school or the golf course. Rather, they became friends as I worked with each over the years and witnessed their judgement and ability to solve business problems.
In addition to an informal peer group, from time to time I’ve sought guidance from people who make their living coaching. Every top athlete has a coach in order to continually improve their game. Why not adopt the same approach for your own professional development as well as your business?
Who do you turn to when you have a challenging issue to discuss? It’s fine to turn to your employees and senior management team. At the same time, you should recognize that this group may have their own bias and even agenda. Having an outside group of advisors not only eliminates the bias and agenda but offers a different perspective.
My most successful clients participate in CEO groups and invest in coaching to help develop some of their key leaders. This is different than your board of directors (if you have one) with whom you are likely to meet quarterly for a few hours. While your board can often provide valuable perspective, the purpose of a peer group is to provide an opportunity to spend quality time away from the day-to-day operations of the business with others who are facing or have faced similar issues. To use an old expression, it’s a chance to “work on the business, not in the business”.
Over the years, my clients have used peer groups and coaching to discuss succession planning, acquisitions, leadership challenges, employee issues, competitive situations, financial issues, HR matters, marketing, product challenges, geographic expansion and more.
As we prepare to turn the page from 2023 to 2024, how are you going to make the coming year different from the one just past? Perhaps a peer group or some executive coaching is just what you need to make the most of 2024.
Want to connect with a coach or peer group advisor? Give me a call or send me an email and I’ll be happy to make a recommendation.
If your business could benefit from fractional CFO services, I would welcome the chance to speak with you. Please give me a call at (314) 863-6637 or send an email to [email protected]
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