Being at the top can be lonely.
If you are a decision maker in your company, you would most likely be carrying the weight of those decisions on your shoulders.
As a leader, where do you go when you need to discuss a problem?
Where do you find inspiration or a creative solution to complex challenges?
How do you stay on top of innovations and new technology?
How do you find the best talent for your organisation?
“Often dismissed and rarely discussed, many CEOs are plagued by feelings of isolation once they take on the top job.”
Tom's story proceeds to presents findings from their inaugural CEO Snapshot Survey™, which reveals that half of CEOs surveyed report experiencing feelings of loneliness in their role, and of this group, 61 percent believe it hinders their performance.
Also form the article:
"First-time CEOs are particularly susceptible to this isolation. Nearly 70 percent of first-time CEOs who experience loneliness report that the feelings negatively affect their performance."
That’s a significant proportion of business leaders reporting that feeling a sense of loneliness is holding them back from delivering their best at work.
"These feelings are not limited to CEOs. In fact, loneliness and its repercussions can affect any individual with newfound authority. Leaders owe it to themselves — and more importantly, their organizations — to make sure this isolation does not impact their effectiveness."
The problem is particularly acute in Singapore due to the varying work cultures.
For CEOs, business leaders and business managers, particulalry those operating in different cultures and countries, peer groups are an effective and rewarding embodiment of professional networking that encompasses a wide range of industry viewpoints and backgrounds.
Professional peer groups have long been attributed to addressing feelings of isolation and loneliness.
One such research paper by Richard Franzi at Partner Renaissance Executive Forums (advisor, board chair, author and speaker), entitled "The Lonely Island: The Effect of Peer Isolation on Top Executive Peformance" (2012); citing from the chaper entitled 'How (CEO) Peer Groups Counteract Peer Isolation and Loneliness':
"A major solution for combating peer isolation and loneliness in CEOs lies in their respective peer groups. As opposed to turning to direct reports, advisors or friends for support, a top executive can turn to a peer group where members can wholly appreciate the situation and offer informed and balanced empathy."
Peer groups provide insights, inspiration, synergies, community and purpose that enable personal and professional development that goes beyond your business.
Peer groups enable leaders to learn how to spot problems, obtain unbiased solutions and views, and make decisions.
The best peer group for business leaders is based on transparency, mutual support, learning and collective intelligence in global organisations.
Peer groups bring together a group of business leaders, whether executives or entrepreneurs, and meet in a structured and organised manner.
Each structure of peer groups is unique to its members, but most of them share similar characteristics and benefits.
A high-quality peer group attracts like-minded people with different backgrounds, resources, strategies and advice.
Effective groups are built on a foundation of mutual trust, respect, confidentiality and transparency, and if members come from uncompetitive companies, they have no hidden plans or qualms about sharing their expertise.
What distinguishes and all-so-rand peer group from a good one is that you pay a fee to join a group, and it's facilitated by experienced professionals whose sole purpose is to get the best out of the group for its members.
With a high-performing peer group, business leaders are no longer on their own, which is important, as they are now able to draw on the experience of others in their group.
Being a part of a professionally organized peer group allows you to learn from peers of a similar level who work for similar sized companies with similar scale, challenges and problems.
Uniquely, joining a peer group can give you the boost you need to make a difference, offer unique value, serve others and have a greater impact on your organization.
Peer groups offer leaders like you the opportunity to connect with other market and industry leaders, learn outside your normal working environment and strengthen your leadership system.
A good group provides opportunities to develop and maintain your leadership systems and prove to you that there is a safe space for learning, collaboration and accountability.
Collaboration can be challenging for business leaders, but being exposed in the different perspectives of a good peer group can pay off enormously in the quality of discussion and depth of exploration undertaken.
These challenges can include, but not limited to, personal issues that affect how individuals manage their careers, the business’ financial and operational affairs, and how one learns to set priorities that you, your business, and your career need to succeed.
Sharing and ‘socializing’ these challenges and experiences can help speed up the pace of your own understanding of how to achieve your personal and business goals.
Peer groups are built around the challenges of executives and business owners who spend a large part of their time leading and supporting each other.
In short, a group of leaders in similar roles in different organizations that agree to meet several times a year to have authentic conversations that they would not have had otherwise.
Peer group members cite simply being part of a group has helped them find the best talent, keep them accountable and focused on their core business, while achieving more of a work-life balance and feeling less isolated and lonely.
A good, strong, healthy leadership group meets 11 to 12 times a year, either in person or online (or a combination of both), and consist of owners of established manufacturers, dealers, and service providers in the region, none of which compete directly with your business.
A good group is one in which the members trust each other, let thoughts bounce off each other and seek advice without fear of being judged or having their ideas stolen.