Publication

Using an Executive Peer Advisory Group to Your Advantage

The Business Monthly, March 2007

Many senior executives and business owners love to preach the mantra, “The Buck Stops Here.” But that can also make them wonder: who they can turn to when they have questions, problems and concerns about their own issues?

The answer can be peer advisory groups. These groups, composed of business owners and senior level executives from a diverse group of industries, provide a forum to discuss problems, share best practices and offer support to other leaders.

There are a variety of groups in the metropolitan area. Which group an executive should join depends upon such factors as the size of the business, cost of the membership, resources offered by the group and the amount of time the entrepreneur/CEO is willing to commit.

Why do owners ultimately join these peer advisory groups?

  • Overcoming Isolation: The old adage is true— it can be lonely at the top. This isolation for those in a leadership position can be the number one factor in joining an executive dialogue group. There is a need to discuss issues with others in the business community who can empathize with their situation and can offer unbiased advice.
  • Sounding Board: Being the leader of an organization comes with tremendous responsibility and pressure. Meeting with a peer group can provide the opportunity to speak confidentially with other senior level managers who face the same issue. The result is that the group acts as an informal advisory board and a support group for business owners.
  • Access to Experts and People of Influence: Peer groups offer knowledge and resources that might be difficult to access outside of these groups. This includes having well-respected guest speakers appear at meetings that can provide one-on-one advice and direction for businesses.
  • Networking: Networking is key to growing and thriving in the business world. Members of executive peer networking groups usually end up doing business with fellow members and their referrals.
  • Improving the Odds of Success: Entrepreneurs and CEOs join peer groups for the most obvious of reasons — the need is there. These executives generally derive noticeable results on both a personal and professional level.

Marvin (Buddy) Potler is a partner with the law firm of Offit Kurman. He can be reached at 443-738-1582 or bpotler@offitkurman.com

Reprinted with permission from The Business Monthly.