By Jason Thompson

As CEO, you receive no shortage of advice. Senior staff, paid advisors, spouses – they all have opinions about your next move. But how much of that advice comes from people who fully understand your situation and who have no agenda? Who can you turn to when you have decisions that directly affect your leadership team or the future of your business?

When you’re facing the big decisions, it can feel lonely. In fact, many CEOs struggle with isolation, according to a study by Stanford University and The Miles Group. More importantly, the study revealed that nearly two-thirds of CEOs do not receive outside leadership advice.

This is risky when you consider the impact isolation can have on your business decisions and the success of your company. CEOs who don’t have access to outside perspectives from the right people can make uninformed decisions that imperil the success of their companies.

The consequences can be dramatic. A pivotal study from The Ohio State University showed that 50% of companies fail due to management’s flawed business decisions.

Steven Miles, CEO of The Miles Group, stated, “Even the best-ofthe-best CEOs have their blind spots and can dramatically improve their performance with an outside perspective weighing in”.

That outside perspective can help you, as a CEO, avert disaster and substantially grow your company, optimally positioning you as you scale and for your eventual exit. And one of the best ways to gain perspective is to understand how you can leverage a peer advisory group to improve decision-making.

What is a peer advisory group?
In a nutshell, a peer advisory group is a forum for fellow executives to come together and tap into each other’s insights and experiences to solve their challenges, learn and grow.

That’s a broad definition, however. Peer advisory groups can vary greatly, from how often they meet and who moderates them to who participates and how confidential they are, for example.

Consider, then, the advantage you gain when you’re more selective, more strategic and more structured in how you engage your peers. That’s the benefit that top CEOs and business owners experience when they engage a diverse group of their peers strategically, on an ongoing basis. In these group settings, CEOs help one another grapple with their toughest challenges and identify and pursue their most promising opportunities.

Seek out a peer advisory board that:

  • respectfully questions your longstanding beliefs
  • holds you accountable
  • provides a safe and confidential environment
  • leverages diversity – maximizing additional perspective
  • gets you out of the weeds to focus on strategic matters

Senior leaders from all levels can benefit from peer advisory groups – they’re not only for CEOs. Gaining outside perspective and accountability is as invaluable to the senior executive managing an international organization as it is to entrepreneur leading a startup. Peer advisory groups enable you to more effectively reach your fullest potential – fueling growth that would otherwise be unattainable.

About Jason Thompson
Jason Thompson, Vistage Chair – Utah, along with four others; Dwayne Nielson, Denny Thurman and Taylor Flake, chair private CEO advisory boards along the Wasatch Front for Vistage – the world’s most trusted executive coaching company.  They focus on improving CEO insights, leadership, decisions and results, enabling them to outperform their competition through boom markets and recession.