As a Vistage Chair of two groups in the Los Angeles area, I frequently come across business owners and CEOs who have heard of Vistage and would like to know more about it. They are curious about the organization, the benefits of peer advisory boards and personal executive coaching.
Naturally, they also want to know how much time is involved and, of course, how much does Vistage cost? I’ve already discussed the ROI for Vistage here. In this post I’ll describe the primary peer group membership opportunities within Vistage as well as the range of membership costs.
Vistage Peer Groups
Established in 1957 and originally known as TEC (The Executive Committee), Vistage Worldwide provides professionally facilitated peer advisory groups that are structured according to individual needs and the size of the company. All are professionally facilitated by an executive coach who most likely was a business owner and/or CEO themselves.
What all Vistage groups have in common is the Vistage experience: Working with a professionally trained facilitator (the Vistage Chair), Vistage members from non-competing industries meet in small groups on a monthly basis to become better leaders and make better decisions – so they can grow their businesses faster and more profitably. Vistage member companies have grown their businesses more than 2.2X faster than non-Vistage members according to Dun & Bradstreet.
Members form meaningful relationships and share their knowledge and experiences to help and challenge one another to come up with better solutions for their businesses. In addition, they receive one-on-one coaching from their Chair every month and also have access to resources such as an online best practices library, expert subject matter speakers, webinars, 36 different networking groups, online and in-person local and national conferences. It’s a growing network of over 24,000 business leaders worldwide.
The primary Vistage groups for your personal leadership needs:
Chief Executives – This group is open to CEOs, presidents and business owners. Companies generally do at least $3 million in revenue with most members in the $10m to $125m range. Members meet once a month for a full day for both personal and professional growth, working on the difficult challenges and wonderful opportunities faced by leaders of companies both large and small. In addition to the full day meeting, this membership includes monthly, 90 minute 1:1 executive coaching sessions.
Small Business Owners – These are smaller companies with under $3 million in revenue. Business owners in this category share common challenges related to building and growing healthy companies. Members meet once a month for a full day. Includes monthly, personal coaching sessions.
Key Executives – Top executives from a variety of industries meet once a month for a full day to discuss challenges faced by senior management. A key executive in a Vistage group develops skills that frees up the chief executive to work on the opportunities, issues and challenges facing the enterprise.
There are a number of additional Vistage groups such as Vistage Inside, Trusted Advisors, and Emerging Leaders,
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, especially in terms of revenue requirements. For example, a CEO or business owner of a successful, fast growing company with less than $3 million in revenue may join a Chief Executive group upon the approval of the group Chair. As part of the membership interview, the Chair will determine which program is appropriate.
Enrollment Fees and Membership Dues
Monthly membership dues in the groups listed above start around $720/month and go up from there to about $1,500/month, depending on the type of group and the size of the company, comparable to other well-established organizations and executive roundtables that are made up of CEOs. Again, membership is not solely based on sales numbers; there are other factors that go into the decision such as previous experience, how fast a company is growing, etc. More than anything else, we’re most interested in our members receiving the highest value for their membership dues.
So is it worth it?
Well, it depends. I’ve been a member and Chair of Vistage for almost 30 years. Over those years I’ve seen many individuals come and go in this organization. Like most anything else, when it comes to Vistage, you get out of it what you put into it. For those who reach out and form relationships, who are prepared for and participate in meetings and who truly give value to other members, I’ve never met anyone who said it wasn’t worth it – especially in terms of making better decisions and gaining insight into situations you might not have experience in. If you will be open, vulnerable, play all out and commit to being there for others as much as they’re there for you, yes, it’s worth it and it will show up in your leadership skills and financial performance.
For me, it’s been worth every penny and then some. As first a Los Angeles Vistage member and now Chair, it’s been a critical part of my personal and professional development.
Have additional questions? I’d be happy to elaborate on anything you’ve read here and answer any questions you have. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Or, call me at (310) 466-2804.