Three Things I learned from Vistage Chairworld in 2020

Picture this:  Three or more days in San Diego, California.  Add to this the fact that those days are in late January and that is a great starting point for Vistage Chairworld.  This event is typically  held during the last week of January, often in San Diego, and it bring together Vistage chairs from all over the world.  During my breakout sessions I learned from Chairs who reside in such far away places such as England, Australia, Canada and even Buffalo.  This only scratched the surface.

Here are three key things I learned this year at my second Chairworld:

  1. Group formation is a process and it never ends.  When I first started my Vistage journey in June 2018 the major emphasis was forming a group.  I accomplished this by December 2018.  What happens after this point is different for every chair, but much like any process there are ups and downs.  My group has had ups and downs, but we have a very strong core and are now heading into our second year.  While in San Diego I learned that what we have experienced is quite normal and that there are ways to accentuate the high points and also ways to mitigate and lessen the low points.  I took copious notes while at Chairworld.  We also enjoyed dinner on our last night on top of the USS Midway, one of the most decorated carriers in the Navy fleet.
  2. The Vistage community is open to helping one another.  While I am one of four chairs in the greater Nashville area, I don’t see my colleagues as competitors, but rather as collaborators.  Our goal is to raise the tide for all leaders in this area.  The biggest obstacle to being involved in a CEO peer group is not another peer group.  Far from this, the biggest obstacle to participation is doing nothing.  My mission as a chair is to help firm leaders understand how we can aid them in growing their business and also growing personally and professionally.  This requires investments of time and effort.  This is not a journey for those who are not growth minded or who are happy with the status quo.
  3. Relationships are valuable and essential.  When I attended my first Chairworld in 2019, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.  We call this unconscious incompetence.  This year I know more of what I don’t know or what I need to know, better known as conscious incompetence.  Walking around the room I saw many familiar faces, people I have known since June 2018 and many I have gotten to know since that time.  One common denominator is that I have never asked anyone in this community for help and been denied.  The Vistage world is one of abundance, not of scarcity.  There is so much to do and so many who can benefit that we collectively see the value of aiding and supporting one another.

I could add more, but these three points are sufficient for today.

If you are a firm leader and you find it to be lonely at the top, drop me a note at this link and let’s talk.

None of us is as strong or smart as all of us working together.