By Dan Valdez, Founder, The Owners Alliance
As a business owner, or the leader of a dynamic corporation, or perhaps a thriving Sales professional there are times when we are at a loss to know exactly what to do next. So indeed it can be lonely when you are in charge or have prime responsibility for productivity and growth. So what can be done to solve this issue? Well, let me answer the question with a series of questions which I will answer and explain.
- Who can you call for help?
- Why would anyone help with MY problems?
- How often can I rely on expert advice?
- How do I know I can trust the advice or the advisor?
- And, Am I expressing weakness if I ask for help?
Well, before we answer the questions, we should offer our definition of just what a “Peer Advisory Group” is. In the business world it is “an assemblage of peer business owners, corporate leaders or sales professionals, who are willing to collaborate with each other in order to share best practices, serve as each other’s advisory board, offer workable ideas, provide support, connections and innovation, and create an atmosphere of accountability.” And so within the Peer Advisory environment, there is a trust building that allows the ten to twelve members of a group to find the answers to the most serious questions and challenges. We must point out that each group must contain members who are all within the same level of leadership, ownership or sales status and they must also be active at the same approximate revenue level. Sort of a “we are all in this together” situation.
And now, the first question; Who can I call? There are a number of advisors, consultants and coaches who are available. The most important issue here is what qualifies one of these to be the expert that one needs to accomplish a set of goals most effectively. If an entrepreneur, you would want to be sure your advisor has been a successful entrepreneur. If in a corporate setting, be sure the advisor is experienced in the corporate world. And if in sales, the advisor should have a proven sales record that is above average. So you may agree that you would never hire a plumber to solve an electrical problem. But why not join a Peer Advisory Group and acquire the advantage of many experienced minds who are currently walking or have walked in your shoes? Sort of makes better sense, right?
So, Why would anyone help with your set of problems? Here is the best reason for the formation of a Peer Advisory Group. Everyone who enrolls in the group is willing to offer great advice because they want to gain the best advice from the other members as well. And the best part is that the experienced facilitator is the orchestrator of the flow of effective advice. The facilitator is the key person who can insure that all the right subject matter experts arrive at the group meetings at all the right times.
It is important to point out that when the group is formed, the members seek to know each other and create relationships that open the door for confidential conversations about business issues and even the most serious of personal issues. The group members stay together as long as the group members are growing and the trust among the membership is the driving force that moves each member way beyond their expectations.
Most Peer Advisory Groups meet at least once a month in a closed setting and they are prompted by their facilitator before the meeting to develop the most comprehensive and applicable information on issues that will affect their world. Real issues no matter how serious always create the best atmosphere for quality advice. So that’s what we say about How often can I rely on expert advice?
How do I know I can trust the advice or the advisor? Every leader has their own limit on how well they lead, instruct, make decisions, face challenges or solve problems. The organization can only grow to the point that is limited by the leader’s knowledge and expertise. This is why the experience of the facilitator as a former practitioner of the group’s business arena is so vital to the success of the group. And if really experienced, the facilitator will have a set of colleagues who supplement the facilitator’s knowledge base. No one can ever be expert at everything. This is why the facilitator’s connection to lots of experts is so important to the group.
It is easy to understand why a leader could think, Am I expressing weakness if I ask for help? Everyone in a place of leadership in business has enough ego to protect because in the business world, reputation is so important. The fact is that a leader who is courageous enough to ask for help is considered a great leader because they are not ashamed to admit that they do not know it all. Failure is not a bad thing but can be one of the greatest learning experiences of anyone’s career. I support the theory that there is no failure, only feedback!
Great achievements can be accomplished in shorter time and to a greater extent due to the Peer environment. The collection of focused committed and collaborative minds can take any idea beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Why not think about how ready you are to join your own Peer Advisory and see your dreams come true? Houston Business Executives is ready to help you now.
Dan Valdez is the Founder of The Owners Alliance, a business owner’s Peer Advisory Group that is a part of Houston Business Executives, where there is now a place to call for the business advice that will accelerate business growth beyond limits.