Originally published on Vistage.com

Vistage Worldwide – the international affiliate of TEC Canada – is the world’s largest executive coaching/leadership development organization for small and midsize businesses. They have operations in 22 countries and have over 24,000 members globally.


The job of a CEO is never easy, but it’s even harder when uncertainty is high. That may explain why CEOs are increasingly turning to the same source of support: the leadership development organization.

Leadership development organizations are intended for CEOs with big ambitions — whether that means scaling their business, inspiring their employees or outperforming their toughest competitors. These organizations can help CEOs deepen their competencies in strategy, culture, communication and alignment. They also help leaders work through specific business problems, such as how to manage employee turnover or strengthen culture.

Ideally, a leadership development organization offers some combination of coaching, peer-to-peer advising, networking events, educational content and access to experts. The best organizations put less emphasis on training leaders and more emphasis on transforming them for long-term impact.

So, is it worth it to join a leadership development organization? Consider these five benefits.

1. They give you access to peers who understand the unique challenges of the C-suite

When you’re trying to tackle a business problem, context is everything. A solution that works in one environment won’t necessarily work in another, whether that’s due to cultural differences, customer preferences or even industry regulations. Because of this, it’s important to listen to and learn from leaders who truly know your context.

A leadership development organization can connect you to CEOs just like this — not just for the sake of networking, but for the sake of advising. You can receive constructive feedback from people who understand the nuances of your environment.

C-suite leaders make the most critical decisions facing the company, and that’s why meeting regularly with executive peers who simply “get it” is important, especially if you’re feeling lonely at the top, as many leaders do.

With so much riding on your decisions, a non-competitive and confidential advisory group of peers from various industries can help you make more effective decisions that lead to powerful results. Often, CEOs are surrounded by stakeholders with competing agendas — in a peer group, leaders are able to explore their pressing challenges and move toward their final decisions with honest and unbiased advice from the members of the group. CEOs who belong to different industries provide the dual advantage of familiarity with similar issues they face at their businesses and a fresh perspective on the variables surrounding your particular challenge.

2. They offer coaching — often from experienced CEOs

If you’re isolated to the corner office, you’re going to lose perspective on your business or your leadership. That’s why executive coaching is so important for CEOs, including top performers.

A coach can help you reach a deeper level of leadership development. By asking pointed questions, listening carefully and offering an objective point of view, a coach can help you improve your self-awareness, work through issues and plan for the future. At a high level, a good coach will know how to push you to think and act differently.

Many coaches are also former CEOs who have direct experience with the problems you’re wrestling with. A coach won’t fix all your problems, but they will help you identify the root causes of them and coax you towards potential solutions. Like a good partner, a coach will also keep you accountable for continually making progress toward your goals.

3. Leadership development organizations have a built-in network of peers to support you

Leadership development organizations with built-in networks are especially valuable for CEOs. They allow you to have open, candid conversations with a trusted group of peers in a confidential setting. In these groups, you won’t just reflect on a problem; you’ll get practical ideas that you can immediately put to work.

Group-based leadership development can also accelerate your personal and professional growth, such as by building your emotional intelligence and your interpersonal skills. Many CEOs find it easier to look inward or self-critique their management style when they’re working with other leaders doing the same exercise.

4. They offer events that motivate and inspire you

If continuous learning is one of your goals, a leadership development organization can pave the way. These organizations routinely offer high-quality conferences, meetings, webinars and other types of events that delve into emerging trends, management issues, leadership competencies and more.

These offerings are useful for CEOs in many respects. Feeling stuck at work? A conference can inspire you to see things from a different angle. Looking to build your network? An event can help you connect with top professionals from diverse fields. Interested in building new capabilities? A webinar can enhance your learning in just an hour.


5. They provide speakers who challenge your thinking and help you grow

Joining a leadership development organization often provides exclusive access to renowned speakers. In many cases, these speakers specialize in leadership development, so they know exactly how to support CEOs who want to build their confidence or capabilities. It’s often surprising how attending a talk by an expert can immediately shift your perspective or change your thinking. You never know when a speaker is going to plant an idea that will grow into something significant — for you or your business.

There are many types of organizations you can explore. A leadership development organization like Vistage — which connects CEOs across industries and around the world — provides the benefits outlined above and may be the right fit for you to gain a fresh perspective on how to supercharge your business.


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