Peer Groups: What's In It For Me?
By Laurie Sorensen, Director of Communications, Heartland Leadership Group, RSPA INSPIRE Group Facilitator
The concept of business owners sharing confidential business information with one another and openly disclosing their ideas to others within the same industry may at first sound foreign. It’s something that can take getting used to, but for the majority of those who have experienced a peer group it is something they wish they had discovered sooner. Far from being the risky venture it may sound like on the surface, joining a peer group instead provides members with a great deal of security.
Each HTG Peer Group is made up of six to twelve members who meet quarterly to serve as one another’s virtual board of directors. The groups engage in goal setting, business and personal planning, and staying current on industry trends.
Reducing the sense of isolation and loneliness that is felt by many who sit atop an org chart is one of the most appreciated benefits of peer group membership. All of a sudden a company CEO or President realizes that they are part of a community with others who share their same frustrations and joys. They have a group of like-minded businesspeople with whom to celebrate successes, learn from failures, and navigate dilemmas. Finally, they are able to talk to another business owner who understands. IT-companies do not come with a How-To manual but often in a meeting someone will find others who have already “been there, done that” and can provide insight or questions to prompt further thought. It saves people from re-inventing the wheel and from needing to personally experience every mistake in order to learn. They learn from one another’s victories and bad decisions.
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