Leon Goren, president of Presidents of Enterprising Organizations (PEO), believes in building a community of business leaders committed to enhancing each other's personal and professional success. Mr. Goren was a PEO member before he became president, and his experience was so profound that he sold his previous business, Justwhiteshirts.com, to devote himself to advancing the peer environment full time.
Three things on Mr. Goren's mind about the significance of peer networking:
1. Connect: It doesn't have to feel lonely at the top or near it, the answers are out there, you just need to connect. Build a network of peers who will tell you the truth. Don't assume that those in leadership roles have all the answers. Presidents and CEOs are not omnipotent. They also wonder what the right decisions might be. But where do you go when you don't have all the answers? Building connections with a community is one important path. It opens the door to priceless insight and counsel from other knowledgeable, respected leaders. When I first came across the peer environment's benefits, I was stunned. Later, I invested in the company and became its president, just like the guy in the shaving ad who liked the razor so much he bought the company. I experienced the power of connecting and decided to devote my career to spreading the word about its importance in business.
2. Think: Brainstorming is an essential step in the success of an idea or innovation. An organization must consider all variables and possible situations before putting its plan into action. I have always been the most successful when sitting down and really discussing ideas with those who can offer constructive insights and worthwhile propositions, especially if they are not in my own organization. I strongly advocate meetings in which our members can sit down with other leaders and truly think about their ideas and brainstorm ways to make them happen. Next time you have a great idea that seems too overwhelming to make reality. sit down with a peer and have a think.
3. Grow: Standing in the same place for a long time makes your feet sore. A stagnant career can have even worse side effects. Grow with your company, build on your skills and expand your knowledge base. You can be successful in both your personal life and your career after you connect and think first. The next time a position or project looks far too intimidating, remember to grow. Your community of support will expect no less.
Special to The Globe and Mail