When I joined my CEO peer group, I knew I needed deeper connections and people to challenge and improve me. I got that and much more.
A Harvard Business Review study shows half of CEOs express loneliness and 61% believe loneliness hinders their job. The biggest issue is needing someone to confide in. You carry the weight of your company, clients, and team, but there’s no one to share how it is.
In my CEO group, I got this, with a group of trusted fellow CEOs and business owners, and absolute confidentiality. Then I got so much more. A peer asked me to lunch. He was brave and said he could use a close friend. I admitted I could as well. Seven years later, we sold our companies and still meet weekly. It was incredible having a close friend at the same stage of life go through similar events.
The second thing I got was an operating system. I was re-exposed to EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System™. EOS truly transformed our business. It gave us great metrics, forced us to hone our core values, and dialed in our processes.
The third thing my CEO group gave me was an integrator. In most organizations, this is the COO or Vice President. My peers could see it faster than I could. I was the visionary, but executing wasn’t my strength, even with the EOS tools. I was missing one crucial key player. I didn't even know he was sitting in the group. When I expressed my need, one of my peers said, “What about Leland?” I said, “What about him? He has a job.” It turns out he was looking for a career change, and I was looking for the right person to come alongside me and help me shoulder-to-shoulder in the company.
Fast forward seven years later. We grew the topline by 280%, increased the bottom line by over 100%, were recognized as one of the best places to work, and built the company to have great value to an outside investor, enabling us to exit under our terms.
My story is pretty typical as I’ve spent more time in the Acumen community. As we say, “We’ll help you grow your topline. You’ll increase your depth of friends, your business will run better, and you’ll recruit better people into critical positions, all while your company grows. Optimize your bottom line and enrich your storyline.” It’s the best investment you can make for yourself and your company this year.