You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Submitted by Brad Lantz, Inner Circle Twin Cities

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As a volatile marketplace continues to impact businesses in numerous ways, actionable knowledge can be crucial for business executives looking for key insights and tools to keep their company moving forward.

Where does a business owner turn to for help in making critical business decisions? The choices are many with the boom in services. Help may come from many directions including: the web, a book, your accountant, a mentor or you might want to consider the power of a peer advisory group.

The Inner Circle is a peer advisory group where business owners/CEOs from diverse industries who get together on a monthly basis to solve problems, share best practices and offer each other peer support.

Here is a partial list of benefits– from the mouths of our members:

  • Grow my business
  • Other members hold my feet to the fire
  • Introduced me to the “right” resources
  • Make bold, smart decisions
  • Vision Quest – allows you to work on all areas of your life, spiritual, family, personal and business, shows consistency year after year
  •  Decision making process is being stretched – focused long term
  • Working on your business not in your business – allows you to live it
  • Understand what my unique role in the company, what are the things I should be doing – wear the hat of the company
  • Focus on the things that only I can do for the company
  • Preparation for the meeting, I bring something I want to ask and by the time I am asking my question, it changes because of the questions and suggestions that someone else has stated.
  • It has impacted my confidence
  • I realize that I don’t know what I don’t know.
  • You get all sorts of opinions and suggestions about how others have reacted in much the same situation you are in, some are diametrically opposed to each other, then I have to figure out what is best for my situation.
  • You get the support that you need as an owner, networking, proven consultants – you will find the right people at the Inner Circle.

Joining a Peer Business Advisor Group

Inner Circle’s peer groups are gatherings where leaders from non-competing industries meet on a regular basis to discuss their business and personal struggles, share and receive practical advice, network, and generally socialize among equals.

Tapping into Outside Knowledge

In the excerpt from a Harvard Business Review report, “a key point attracting CEOs to peer groups is to tap into expertise outside their experience. If everyone were from the same industry, with similar education, expertise, and experience, there would be little added value to joining an owner/CEO group.”

High trust is developed in our open environment and, of course, we do not allow suppliers, competitors, or vendors to be members in the same group.

Boards of directors can be biased due to investor needs, a lack of complete information, and other things that create an alignment issue with the owner/CEO. With a peer group, you can go to a place where you can hear the truth and have the confidentiality from peers with no vested interest. And most would not want to share their information with their management or executive team because they have a vested interest in protecting their jobs, their paychecks, and their staff.

At Inner Circle we focus on improving the effectiveness of our members and the performance of their companies it includes as a basic premise that members will hear what they need to hear, not what they want to hear from others like themselves.

Surveys have shown that many executives feel a sense of social and relational isolation due their prominent positions. At Inner Circle your Associate will also be your coach, advisor, confidant and mentor as well as ensure that every member stays focused and committed to the results they are driving toward.

When considering potential confidants, it’s important for a leader to seek honest opinions and perspectives and to avoid constant reassurance, information isolation, and undermining intentions.

Our circles often act as the place to go to be held accountable. Owners/CEOs are often the least open to and the least likely to receive open and honest feedback on themselves as leaders. They are the ones who also most need this feedback, since they set the tone, the direction, and the pace and have ultimate responsibility for the results of the business. They get this from their Inner Circle peers.

Be honest where else can you go to get all of this? Come visit an Inner Circle group to see if this is right for you. Contact blantz@theinnercircle.com or call Brad at 612-805-7440.