10 Reasons to Join a Local CEO Peer Group

Whether you call yourself CEO, President, Executive Director, Founder, or simply “business owner,” yours is a rewarding, but difficult job. The fact that you’re at the top of an organization by default means that you’re isolated. Hence the expression, “it’s lonely at the top.”

But it doesn’t have to be.

A great way to grow as a leader, both in terms of confidence and competence, is to join a confidential private peer group of high-performing CEOs.

A Peernacle CEO peer group is comprised of about 12 CEOs who run companies of similar size and that do not compete with each other. These group meetings are highly-structured and professionally facilitated by a former CEO who has been trained to lead CEO peer group meetings.

In our monthly CEO peer group meetings members bring their most pressing challenges or opportunities to the group, where the group provides experienced insight and suggestions following a structured decision framework. Members also learn from world-class speaker presentations in most meetings, thereby staying current on best practices and continually growing as a leader.

If you’re a CEO, President, or business owner, here are 10 reasons why you may benefit from joining a CEO peer group:

  1. You’ll Have a Safe Haven. Confidentiality and trust is the cornerstone of our CEO peer groups. The fact that members commit to this code of conduct and are from non-competing industries provides a trusting environment. One in which you can be totally open about the details of your business and work through critical decisions safely.  Often, members cover issues they’d rather not discuss with their leadership team or board.
  2. Uncover Your Blind Spots. We all have blind spots, but when you’re stuck in the day-to-day weeds, it can be difficult to see what these are. In a CEO peer group, you get honest feedback and tough love that helps you see the areas where you need to improve in your business AND as a leader.
  3. Ability to See the Future. A great benefit of joining a peer group is that by listening to your peers, you get to learn from other leaders as they deal with opportunities and challenges that your company has yet to face. When your business later faces similar issues, you’ll already know how to deal with them.
  4. Learning From Other’s Mistakes. We all know that it is good to learn from your mistakes, but it is much easier to learn from other’s mistakes. By using your CEO Peer Group as a sounding board, you will learn from your peer’s mistakes they have made in the past. This will help you avoid making the same mistake in the future.
  5. Big Picture Vs. Nuts And Bolts. Many CEOS running small to medium size ($5M-$500M) businesses get stuck in the day-to-day operations of running their company. Investing time to meet monthly with your CEO peers is a great way to get out of the weeds and work strategically ON your business rather than being tactically trapped IN your business.
  6. Accountability. Being accountable is correlated with being successful. Within CEO peer groups, members act as accountability partners. They not only offer advice and support, but they also check up and call each other out on how they are doing with their proposed plans.
  7. Personal Support. We normally focus on the professional benefits of belonging to a CEO peer group, and those are very real. But guess what? When you invite a group of CEOs to a meeting a group of humans show up. Humans who deal with personal issues ranging from divorce and death of a family member to parenting and personal issues. As CEO, you can’t bring these types of issues to the office, so a trusting CEO peer group often provides the outlet and support needed to help members through difficult times.
  8. Scaling Your Business. One of the biggest challenges of running a business is scaling it. A CEO peer group can give you 12-16 other points of view on the best way to scale your business. Within the peer group, there are others who have been through that process and who can guide you on what to do, and more importantly, what not to do.
  9. You Become Who You Surround Yourself With. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn has famously stated we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. By investing your time in a group of high-performing CEO peers, you’ll develop better communication, decision-making, strategic, and overall leadership skills.
  10. Continual Learning. An ongoing challenge for CEOs is to stay abreast of best practices and new information. Not only can the experiences of other CEOs continually expand your horizons, but you’ll also learn tips, strategies, and techniques to address your most pressing issues by implementing what you learn from expert speakers.

As CEOs, we confront critical choices – growth strategies, succession planning, employee engagement, leadership development…the list seems endless. The weight of these decisions can feel exhilarating, yet also stressful. And lonely.

Even though I started an INC. 500 company, I spent too many years trying to navigate it all solo. I’ve learned every CEO needs a community of peers who understand the unique challenges we face.

Peernacle is a private peer advisory group where leaders in southern Virginia come together and help one another to make better decisions and grow as leaders. If you’re looking for a community where you can gain insight from others who have sat in your seat, explore Peernacle group membership.