Some high-potential candidates raise obstacles, rather than applying for membership in Vistage. Here are some of their reasons.
10. “I can’t make the time to join Vistage.”
You think your time is precious? No one Vistage member has any more time than any other member. We all have 168 hours each week. That’s it. The question: how do we choose to spend our time?
Vistage members don’t participate in Vistage because they are bored or because they are trying to find some way to spend time. They are among the most productive business people anywhere. They are very conscious of how they invest their time. Vistage doesn’t take time. Vistage nets time. Vistage members report — within 45 or 90 days — that they stop doing other people’s work, start getting home earlier, and devote more time to the most important relationships in their lives.
9. “I need to wait until I get over this hump (or project or initiative or fiscal quarter).”
Anyone who thinks, “I’ll have more time after I get over this hump,” isn’t accurately predicting the future. There are always more humps to follow this current hump.
Was it different 24 months ago? Twelve months ago? Six months ago? If so, more of the same is not the cure for getting over the hump. Vistage lets you escape that groundhog day scenario. Generally, Vistage members wished they had joined six or 12 or 18 months earlier.
8. “I’m too busy in my business.”
Vistage members report that spending time on their business (rather than in their business) with a group of peers makes them more effective leaders. Within months of joining Vistage, members are doing more in less time.
7. “I can’t afford Vistage.”
What is your budget for your own professional development? Surely, it’s not zero. You must be willing to invest in your own growth as a leader. If your budget allows, Vistage might be your very best alternative. Vistage members don’t belong because they need to find some way to spend money. They do it for the ROI.
4. “I already have an executive coach.”
Executive coaching is an excellent resource. In Vistage, each one-to-one session with a Vistage Chair is put to the test of the peer group. Peers hold one another accountable more powerfully than a single coach can.
The coaching and peer group combination at Vistage amplifies the call for leadership, maximizing growth of each member.
3. “I already have an advisory board.”
You have friends, trusted advisors, a spouse, and buddies. They all give you advice. But none of them gives you agenda-free advice. Their advice always has an agenda: their love and affection for you, their desire to impress, their ax to grind. Their advice might be good, but it isn’t free of some agenda. Vistage groups offer agenda-free advice. Members give each other their best thinking: take it or leave it. The highest performing members listen hard to what they’re told at Vistage.
If you want an eleventh:
11. “Vistage is a pyramid scheme.”
No, it isn’t. And there aren’t multi-levels of marketing with upstream and downstream.
Vistage Chairs are compensated as 1099 subcontractors for their own work with the members of the groups they chair. Vistage is an appropriately funded vehicle for professionally led and resourced leadership development peer groups.
6. “No, really: I have no cash. We’re on the verge of bankruptcy.”
Oh, that’s too bad. We don’t have a persuasive counter-argument for that.
If you want to have a quick brainstorm on ideas for getting out of your cash crunch, call one of the local Vistage chairs. Otherwise, let us know when cash flow exceeds your cost of doing business.
Vistage members need to have the wherewithal to fund productive change.
5. “I already have a peer group.”
Is your current peer group highly functioning? If so, great. If not, what’s going on? Is it a social event calling itself a “peer group”? Does your peer group have a professional, trained chairperson?
Vistage chairs receive hundreds of hours of training each year. Meetings are productive — and members leave with new methods for leading their own meetings back at the office.
2. “I can’t trust others with my secrets.”
Is that your plan: to walk lonely to your grave? Rest in peace.
Some Vistage members arrive ready to learn. Others are reluctant to learn. But they all learn that they are not the smartest person at the table on every issue. Every Vistage member will tell you: I have learned fundamental lessons from each person in my group.
1. “I can’t possibly learn from other people.”
What’s the deal? Are you a loner? Are you on the lam? Can you even trust yourself?
Vistage members learn how to trust by being trustworthy. Groups immediately study how to maintain confidentiality, because that is the necessary ingredient for true sharing.
Vistage members reach adulthood, marked by a developmental milestone: knowing what stories are ours to tell, and what stories are not ours to tell.