The Search Engine People Blog is all about sharing Digital Marketing best practices and knowledge to help Grow Businesses. I’m writing this post because one of the most important elements of growing your businesses is growing yourself.
When you run a business there is a lot of pressure. New challenges mean that you need to develop new skills. Business growth puts pressure on you to have personal growth. As CEOs, we must continuously evolve our skillset to meet the needs of our industry and inspire change within our organizations.
We all know that mentorship is incredibly important. But knowing that you would benefit from a mentor and finding a good mentor are two entirely different things. And the bigger your business, the harder it is to find someone who has successfully come out the other side.
I thought that I’d never have a mentor myself. Like many, I learned from past bosses what not to do. I never wanted to rest on my accolades or to stop learning so, I read a book a week and called my books my mentors.
Then five years ago, I found TEC Canada.
TEC Canada is the largest and most comprehensive executive and leadership development program in North America. Using a combination of peer advisory groups supported by one-to-one executive coaching, expert speakers, and a global network of 24,000+ members through its affiliation with Vistage Worldwide – TEC has helped thousands of Canadian executives and business owners become better leaders.
As a leader, it’s natural to get caught up in the whirlwinds of working in our business. The TEC model provides a disciplined approach to carve out time every month to work on your business.
Here is how I’ve benefited from being a TEC member:
- Hindsight is 20/20 – One of the things I love about TEC is learning from other people’s experiences. Learning from your own mistakes makes you good. Hearing first-hand about other people’s mistakes and steering clear of those bumps in the road is priceless. I learn incredible lessons from my peers at every single meeting.
- Diverse viewpoints and perspectives - If you only network with people in your industry, then you’ll have a myopic view of the world. In a CEO group, you can get learnings from those who have unique strengths that differ from your own. The approaches and outcomes are diverse, and it’s inspiring to learn from perspectives that challenge your own way of thinking.
- Accountability - Being a CEO is unique, we don’t have the same opportunities as employees for coaching and development. Where do CEOs get their career coaching? Who gives them performance reviews? Who holds you accountable? Everybody needs someone in their lives to call bullshit. I’ve got 15 people who care enough to do this on a regular basis. That’s accountability.
- Resilience – Resilience is the ability to recover from difficulties. It’s mental toughness. In March the world turned upside down, businesses needed to make important decisions - fast in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For most leaders, it was akin to steering a ship through a fog. A lot was uncertain and as a small business owner – I know I wouldn’t have wanted to go through COVID alone.
As leaders, there were several challenges to overcome. In our CEO group, we were able to share knowledge and approaches to issues including:
- What were the best practices for business continuity?
- How do you lead from afar?
- How do you keep a team feeling like a team during work from home?
In response to COVID, TEC ramped up their membership services to help business owners and CEOs make strategic decisions and win during challenging times. By frequently sharing content, TEC made leaders proactive to circumstances as opposed to reactive.
Moving forward into the future, we have aggressive growth plans for SEP. We plan to acquire a few digital agencies and the truth is this is uncharted territory for our business - we haven't completed an acquisition before.
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants”. Isaac Newton
I don’t think we can end a year like this without taking a moment to reflect and give thanks. I want to thank my chair David who holds me accountable even when I don’t’ want him to – thanks for your brilliance and candor. I want to thank my TEC Group – you started as peers and have become friends and I’m grateful to have you in my life.
TEC Canada is the most comprehensive executive and leadership development program in North America. For over 35 years, TEC’s proven process of peer groups, one-to-one executive coaching, expert speakers, and global network, has helped thousands of Canadian executives and owners become better leaders.