Knowledge Exchange

Daniel A. Guglielmo: Review of This Morning’s Event – XPX Boston Roundtable: The Power of Peer Groups to Support Growth and Change


Laura Kevghas and Larry Girouard put on another great Roundtable. The panel was a terrific blend of owners and facilitators of CEO Peer Groups. Following the panel discussions, we took the courageous step of breaking off into groups to simulate the peer group experience. This was fun, especially because Bill Mueller, having an ax to grind, put me on the hot seat in my role as Chairman of the Boston XPX chapter. More on that in a second. 

I most appreciated the comments from the panel in connection with how the CEO peer groups impact the participants. Bill Reed, a Vistage Chair for many years said “It takes great courage to join these groups. It’s not therapy, it is a safe place, where it takes time in a setting with people who are willing to confront each other to make a difference.”

Mike McMahon, panelist and owner of HIll & Partners, said that he realized that the biggest issue in the business was “me.” He went on to say something profound: “The biggest problem in the business is the owner,” suggesting that this knowledge is the starting place for positive change. He went on to say that he is in a peer group “for leadership, which is about values and self-trust.” To build self-trust, he went on to say “you have to put the time in,” meaning time exposing yourself to situations where self-knowledge can be built, such as in peer groups.

So back to the group exercise. Bill Mueller thought the session would be good opportunity to focus on XPX, and whether it was meeting its promise. Laurie Kirk, the moderator quickly focused the conversation by suggesting that someone had to own the issue, as she was staring at me, the only XPX board member at the table. I swallowed and smiled, and said bring it on. I felt like I was riding a bull. It was fun, but tough. Rapid fire, I had challenging questions launched at me. One that comes to mind came at the tail end of the drill, and was directed at the core issue of integrity, as it had to do with our own succession plan. In the question was the presumption that we had not gone there. I took my time to answer this one, feeling as if I was putting my pistol back in the holster after blowing the smoke from the guns’ barrel. Indeed, just two weeks ago we named a chairman elect, Stan Davis, to take my place. In the past year we have added two new board members and our written succession plan calls for four more new board members in the next 6 month. 

Of course there were questions asked for which I need better answers. The most salient of which is what our core constituents are thinking and feeling about XPX. So, I will work with the board to figure out how to find out, with more than shallow surveys, which we do all the time. 

See you at our next event.  

Originally posted by on Daniel A. Guglielmo, J.D. on September 27, 2012 at 1:34pm.

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