Need a peer advisory group for business leaders? Avoid these mistakes

If you want to go fast, go alone.

If you want to go far, go together.

African proverb

A study conducted by Stanford Graduate School of Business found that many CEOs struggle with isolation. It also revealed that while almost two-thirds of CEOs don’t receive outside leadership advice, 100 percent of respondents said they’d be open to making changes based on advice and feedback if they did.

This isolation issue is real and can be detrimental to both the CEO’s effectiveness and the company’s performance.

This is no time to go it alone. Executive isolation is a fever, and the best prescription is an executive peer group. Let’s explore the common mistakes that business owners, CEOs, and senior executives make when selecting a peer advisory group.

Kurt Greene

Mistake No. 1: selecting the wrong peers

Most CEOs belong to industry and trade associations. Let’s not confuse these important affiliations with peer groups. The highest-performing peer groups are defined by how diverse they are, in terms of industry, section, background, function, education, and life experience.

Certain industries are actually bellwethers for the economy. Others bring an expertise or perspective that’s simply hard to come by in everyday circles. The best peer groups are also very selective. They put a premium on fit, chemistry, and confidentiality, and they share sets of values that really matter – namely, vulnerability, transparency, trust, learning, and growth.