Whenever I meet with a prospective client about becoming a Vistage member, one of the first things the person wants to know more about is how much time is involved and whether or not it’s worth the investment. Believe it or not, questions about time come up much more often than questions about money. I understand this. For most of us, we associate our productivity with being at the office and our time is therefore precious.
Having been a CEO myself for over 20 years, I am well aware that today’s business owners and CEOs are pulled in many different directions. Time is a huge issue. Since I was also a Vistage member for 17 of those CEO years (and still am today), I think I’m qualified to answer the question in a frank, unbiased way. So let’s have a look at what’s involved.
How Much Time is Involved With Vistage?
Vistage groups meet once a month for a full day. Usually we start around 7:45 in the morning and we go until around 4:30 in the afternoon. On meeting day, we usually start with an expert guest speaker. The guest speaker will present for up to 3 hours with a break for lunch and then we go into a confidential, closed door executive session. The executive session is members only and runs throughout the afternoon. During the executive session we process issues, challenges or opportunities that our members are dealing with. You may have heard it described as “The Vistage Experience” and there’s nothing else like it.
In addition to the monthly group meeting, there is also a one-to-one meeting between the member and the Vistage Chair every month. These meetings last up to 2 hours. The purpose of the coaching during the one-to-one sessions is to bring up new perspectives and insights to help you become a better leader for your business. You’d be amazed at how quickly we can get to the root of some of your most pressing issues. We also work on identifying issues that would be beneficial for you to receive group input on.
Who is Vistage NOT a Good Fit For?
As beneficial and as powerful as Vistage is, I must say that there are some individuals who will not receive the greatest impact from Vistage membership. For example, people who are not prepared with business issues or topics for discussion during group meetings or monthly coaching sessions are simply not going to receive the full benefits of Vistage. Some people are not very open to new ideas or perspectives and are not willing to consider challenges to their ideas. Others really do not put a high priority on individual learning. These are examples of people who would NOT be a good fit for Vistage membership.
Return on Investment: What Will Vistage Do For Me?
When you join Vistage you’re making the decision to take one day a month for your own professional development. Based on my own experience as a Vistage member, as well as comments from other members, here are some of the many benefits of Vistage membership:
- Vistage member companies grow 2.2X faster than non Vistage companies according to Dun & Bradstreet
- During the Great Recession in 2008, Vistage member companies showed an average compounded annual growth rate of 5.8% compared to non Vistage companies who declined by 9.2%
- Members hold each other accountable which results in faster and better decision making
- Exposure to new ideas and different perspectives through expert guest speakers
- Individualized executive coaching
- Members present and practice concepts and strategies with peers prior to taking them back to their businesses
- Peers speaking from experience, not logic or opinion in an agenda-free, safe and non-judgmental environment
- Professionally facilitated meetings ensure high value and a challenging experience that forces members to question answers
- Professional development as a leader – learn how to ask better questions and get to the root of issues surrounding your employees
- One day Vistage Executive Summits with superior keynote speakers and opportunities to meet hundreds of other local Vistage members
- Vistage conferences, webinars and network groups
- Access to 24,000 Vistage members worldwide
Are You Ready to be Challenged?
Vistage is unlike any other organization out there and it is absolutely worth your time. I guarantee it will make you a better leader and will improve your business in more ways than you can imagine. There’s a reason why over 24,000 very intelligent, very successful Vistage members worldwide continue to pay their dues every month. It’s because they’re getting value. It’s just that simple.