Updated: Jan 14
This past year has brought us plenty of new buzzwords--“new normal” and “unprecedented” are stated in every email blast and zoom meeting--telling us how we must “pivot” to remain competitive. While these words explain how to deal with the current situation, perhaps it also makes sense to address how focusing on connections with “human capital” can be improved. Leaders and CEOs need to consider how they are investing in their teams and themselves. This investment can be made by seeking out connections with others who are in similar situations. These connections in a confidential and trusting environment can provide comfort as leaders tackle stressful challenges.
Leaders will tell you, there was already a sense of isolation B.C. (before covid); and now, more than ever there is an even greater desire to connect with others. Peer advantage groups are built intentionally so leaders can surround themselves with others who have been through it and can offer advice based on experiences. But no one has been through a pandemic before-so how can connections with peers help?
There are three reasons that peer advantage groups promote success, especially during a crisis:
Different Perspectives. Leaders can gain exposure to different perspectives by connecting with peers to discuss challenges and decisions. As humans, we tend to flock to those who are just like us, which can narrow our thought process. There is a huge opportunity to positively disrupt current practices by thinking out-of-the-box. Embracing differences of others who can offer creative ideas and unique problem-solving techniques is key to sustainability in today’s challenging environment.
Accountability. The further away we are from others, the less likely we are to hold ourselves accountable to deadlines. The heavier the workload, the more likely we are to accept mediocre work. Teams have become more lenient as working from home allows employees to roll out of bed five minutes before the workday begins. Increased distractions, a decreased need to wear pants, and a mountain of other factors can contribute to the importance of accountability-especially for leaders. Teams still look for leaders to set the example of what is acceptable, and leaders who have an accountability tribe in place are more likely to apply deadlines and promote productivity.
Community. Let’s face it, openly talking to others about tough issues creates a sense of community with those who are privy to the information. Connecting with peers who do not judge and provide feedback and support can make it easier to take deliberate action when facing tough decisions. Surrounding ourselves with others who share a unifying purpose, such as trust and confidentiality, are more likely to promote success in an environment where open discussion and bonds are established.
Leaders are craving advice from others who have been in similar situations and can provide some insight for tough decisions related to practices that must undergo significant change to address the current environment and standard business practices. Within a peer advisory group, individuals share experiences in a confidential environment that promotes mutual respect, support, and trust. These components allow leaders an opportunity to develop faster than average and accomplish more than they ever thought possible.
For more information on the Value of Peer Groups, check out this Maximize Business Value Podcast episode:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Jill Olmsted, Founder of The Coterie Project, is a CEO Coach and Peer Advisory Board Chair. Through her research, she has witnessed firsthand that Peer Advisory Groups work. Leaders and their businesses are more successful when they have support from others in similar situations. 100% of members credited their peer advisory groups for personal and professional growth, noting that they could not have achieved it alone. For more information about joining a peer advantage group, contact Dr. Jill Olmsted, founder of The Coterie Project, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 314-677-4892.