For those of you who are considering either a peer advisory group or private business coaching, you may be wondering what a typical day is like at a monthly Vistage meeting. I remember feeling the same way when I first joined as a member many years ago. Now, as a Vistage chair, I want to make sure my new prospects understand what they are signing up for. I say this not to scare anyone off but it does take a special kind of person to flourish in this organization. Meetings include lots of sharing, vulnerability, accountability and challenge – sometimes, even discomfort. But these are all necessary for professional development, growth and learning. Vistage meetings are structured and we work on business issues. It’s not about networking.
As you are reading this, please keep in mind that my intention here is only to describe a typical day as far as the agenda is concerned. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to adequately describe how powerful the experience can be when you have a group of people who truly care for each other (and who want to be held accountable), working towards both personal and professional goals. Also, please remember that group meetings will vary according to the chair and agreed-upon group norms. So, with those thoughts in mind, here’s a sample agenda of a monthly Vistage meeting:
7:30 AM – Meeting begins. Introductions and significant events. Members share two significant events that have occurred during the past 30 days, one personal and one business-related.
8:30 AM – Key performance indicator review.
8:50 AM – Break
9:00 AM – Speaker presentation*
10:20 AM – Break
10:40 AM – Speaker presentation (continued)
12:00 PM – Lunch
12:45 PM – Host presentation
1:30 PM – Executive Session – Issue/challenge/opportunity processing
2:30 PM – Break
2:45 PM – Executive Session (continued)
4:15 PM – Calendar of future events
4:25 PM – Group business, biggest take-away, Plus/Delta to group norms
4:30 PM – Close
* Vistage provides 7 speakers per year as well as one All-City event which is open to all Vistage groups within a particular area. So for the average group, that means there are 4 meetings without a speaker. During the meetings without a speaker, members focus on all day business reviews. Again, this is for the average group. Depending on preferences, individual groups may choose to have fewer speakers and more full day business review meetings.
Hopefully this gives you a better idea of what you can expect in a monthly meeting. As always, I’m available if you’d like to know more.