Maximizing Your Impact & Potential as Leader: The Power of Peer NetworksJan 29, 2024
I am just starting a coaching session with a C-Suite leader. We are a few weeks post-holiday season, and I playfully joke, “Are you still in post-holiday bliss?”
She immediately opens up about a number of challenges she and her executive team are facing at her company, ranging from key hires to transformational issues, and office management.
“There is so much going on, and…” She pauses.
I hear the stress in her voice and see it in her face
I add, “Heavy is the head that wears the crown.”
And, she offered, “Yes, leadership can be lonely.”
These universally accepted truths are often tossed aside with unsympathetic responses like, “ But that’s why you get paid the “big bucks!”
Yet, according to a recent study from Deloitte, “89% of the C-suite feel that improving their well-being is a top priority, even more important than career advancement.”
No matter what size of business you are running, having a safe haven to share and speak about all things personal, professional, and familial is vital to your mental health and well-being, not just as a leader but as a person. According to Microsoft’s most recent Work Trend Index — a global survey of workers across multiple industries and companies published in September 2022 — more than half of managers (53%) report feeling burned out at work. This statistic is staggering and slightly higher than employees in general.
I’ve been a member of EO - Entrepreneurs Organization for the last five years, and every month, I have the opportunity to meet with my Forum, an informal board of directors. Once a month, we dive into the “five percent,” the highs and lows that you would never share at a cocktail party. These are people who do not have a vested interest in my business, but they do have an interest in my well-being, just as I do in theirs.
Not only have these people supported me in some of the toughest times of challenge we have also celebrated in moments of victory. On top of that, huge opportunities have come from my involvement in the organization.
Aside from emotional support, accountability and diverse perspectives, being part of a peer group has given me the chance to:
- Explore the pyramids outside of Mexico City
- Speak to countless groups throughout North America and in Guatemala!
- Develop long-lasting partnerships with clients and suppliers
- Make better business decisions
And so much more…Ultimately, I have learned to be a better leader, husband, father, and friend.
As I shared with my client, it became clear that not all C-Suite leaders have access to a peer group like this. EO is just one example. If you’re an entrepreneur, emerging leader, or heading up a large enterprise organization, finding a peer network that meets your needs can be a game-changer. It can feel lonely at the top. The business decisions you need to make every day are hard and taxing, but the truth is, you’re not alone in feeling that way.
Take a look at the power of peer networks in the HBR article shared in the comments below.
Being part of a business network has been transformational for me, and countless others. If you’re interested in learning more or know someone who could potentially use this kind of support, I made a short list of well-respected peer group organizations and their links.
Just message me on LinkedIn, and I will be happy to share them with you.
Cited Studies - HBR