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Lonely Up Top? 15 Excellent Reasons to Join A CEO Peer Group

Expert Panel® Forbes Councils Member

Forbes Coaches Council COUNCIL POST, a 6-minute read

The role of a CEO can be an isolating one, filled with unique challenges and daily pressures

that may be difficult to share with others, whether it’s to vent or to receive feedback. To help

them navigate this demanding job most effectively, executive coaching clients often find

tremendous value in joining CEO peer groups. These exclusive communities offer a range of

benefits, from invaluable insights to personal growth opportunities.

Below, Forbes Coaches Council members share the top reasons why they would

recommend an executive client participate in a CEO peer group. From gaining diverse

perspectives to expanding their network and accessing a wealth of knowledge, the

advantages of joining a peer group can be game-changing for CEOs who want to thrive in

their leadership and find lasting success.

1. To Supercharge Leadership Development

I’ve chaired CEO peer groups for 10 years. They supercharge leadership development. Why

is this? Well, we know that it is lonely at the top, and peer groups are a fabulous antidote to

that loneliness. As they say, your mind is a dangerous neighbourhood to wander into alone,

so better to do so in the company of like-minded, proven leaders who can support and

challenge you every step of the way. - Dr. John Blakey, The Trusted Executive

2. To Discover Blind Spots

One great advantage executive clients have when being coached is that it helps them

discover some of the blind spots that they may have in their lives. This is also one of the top

reasons I advise my clients to join CEO peer or masterclass groups. Being around people

who can advise, mentor and challenge and question the thinking of my clients helps them

succeed. - Dr. Rakish Rana, The Clear Coach

3. To Promote Shared Values

Joining a CEO peer group is important in promoting shared values. It can be lonely at the top

for CEOs, and joining a peer group can serve as a support system to help with collaboration,

sharing best practices and networking. With the incessant pressure to meet organizational

goals, having a peer group can be a healthy way for CEOs to manage the demands of their

roles. - Fred Gatty, Gatts Consulting

4. To Feel Humbled and Inspired

Being in a community with leaders in similar positions across industries and geographies

opens one’s mind and heart in a way nothing else can. It’s humbling to see that our peers

have the same challenges, and it’s inspiring to hear new visions of what’s possible when we

use novel ways to approach these challenges. - Patrice Ford Lyn, Catapult Change

5. To Be Exposed to Innovative Ideas

Being in such a high-level position can be isolating, and a peer group provides a supportive

community of like-minded individuals facing similar challenges. Additionally, it expands your

ability to think outside of your comfort zone by exposing you to diverse perspectives and

innovative ideas, ultimately leading to more informed and strategic decision-making. - Lara

Augusta, Embracing Potentiality

6. To Fuel Objective Brainpower

Too often, CEOs are around people in the same industry who are committed to their

success. This can reduce candour, creativity and objectivity. Leaders need to be able to

share ideas with others who are not invested in their success and leverage all the different

ideas and feedback that come from the collective brainpower of a CEO peer group. - Justin

Patton, The Trust Architect Group

7. To Gain Diverse Perspectives and Insights

One compelling reason to join a CEO peer group is the invaluable opportunity to gain

diverse perspectives and insights with respect to personal growth and development.

Engaging with peers fosters innovative thinking, problem-solving and networking in an

empathic forum that enables CEOs to share from the heart, foster authentic connections with

other C-suite executives and grow both personally and professionally. - Anna Yusim,

MD, Yusim Psychiatry, Consulting & Executive Coaching

8. To Have an External Support Structure

The biggest reason to advise an executive client to join a CEO peer group is to have a

support structure outside of their current organization. The demands at the top of the

organizational chart are intense and unique; no one understands this better than their peers.

A client should have support from their executive team inside the organization, so

supplementing that support externally is a recipe for success. - Jill Helmer, Jill Helmer


9. To Create a Strong Peer Network

The leadership journey has no terminal point. The truth is that people do business with

people they know and like. The members of a strong peer network look out for each other,

share ideas and, more importantly, connect people to opportunities. - Erica

McCurdy, McCurdy Solutions Group LLC

10. To Foster Peer-To-Peer Learning

Peer-to-peer learning has been proven to enhance authentic growth and development. It

inspires CEOs to look at a mirror image of themselves and reflect and share candidly with a

thought partner what matters most to them. This intentional learning community is a heart-and-head approach to growing leadership competencies organically with trusted, collegial

advisors. - Michellea Millis Rucker, Transforming Our Practice, LLC.

11. To Enjoy a Candid Collaborative Learning Environment

A peer group allows CEOs to receive feedback and advice from peers who understand the

unique pressures and responsibilities of the role. CEOs often aren’t able to engage in open

and candid discussions. Having a CEO peer group can provide a collaborative learning

environment and a source of inspiration, ultimately benefiting both the CEO and the

organization. - Sandy Schwan, Evolving Strategies LLC

12. To Support Business Growth

Regular meetings among CEOs create synergy, fostering new business opportunities, rapid

growth, obstacle removal, access to funding and breakthrough ideas. These interactions can

lead to direct sales and enhance company culture and profits, as CEOs learn from one

another. People learn from each other faster this way, sharing ideas and multiplying benefits.

- Dominik Szot, MIA

13. To Establish a Sounding Board

The most important reason to join a CEO peer group is to establish a sounding board of

people just like you! Outside of a COO, the chief of human resources and an executive

coach, CEOs have few people they can fully confide in. Many don’t even like bringing their

work home. A CEO peer group provides an outlet for like-minded business leaders who

understand what the CEO deals with on a daily basis. - John Knotts, Crosscutter Enterprises

14. To Experience The ‘Star Trek’ Effect

I would recommend joining a CEO peer group to an executive client because it provides the

“Star Trek” effect of encouraging thinking outside the box. Interacting with peers from diverse

industries fosters innovative thinking and allows for better self-reflection. Exposure to

different contexts can inspire fresh approaches and insights, ultimately enhancing leadership

skills and decision-making. - Stephan Lendi, Newbury Media & Communications GmbH

15. To Focus on Self-Development

Joining a CEO peer group helps CEOs develop themselves. Learning from and exchanging

knowledge and experiences with other CEOs helps them develop business skills and

knowledge. CEOs can create business connections between people in the group, which may

affect business expansion and create future opportunities. - Dr. Wasit Prombutr, 10X


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