Category Archives: Get Help

Build a board. Retain experts. Get a coach.

Board Power!

CEOs often fall into the trap of orchestrating meetings with their Board of Directors to:

  • Show how great they are and how well things are going (whether they really are or not!).
  • Avoid leaving the meeting with more to do than when it started.

A great deal more value can be derived from working with a board but it takes concerted effort to build, cultivate, prepare for, and work with individual board members and the board as a whole for that potential to be realized. Efforts to build a high-performing board are well-spent.

Boards are not all the same

There are three distinctly different kinds of boards.  Leaders often mix-up the three kinds which leads to confusion and poor performance. It is critical for a leader to be clear about what kind of board s/he is working with and to manage it accordingly. Continue reading Board Power!

Six reasons every leader should join a peer group.

Peer group iconEvery leader stands to benefit from the opportunity to meet monthly in a professionally facilitated session with about a dozen non-competitive peers who are in similar roles, in similar organizations, and at a similar stage of evolution.

Leaders who make the one decision to join, as long as they show up, get six distinct benefits that are hard to achieve any other way:

  • Leaders can be genuinely open to input and be vulnerable, even wrong, in front of each other; no need to put on airs or skirt around the hard stuff.
  • Peers really know and understand each other, personally and professionally, and the challenges each faces in meeting associated goals; feelings of loneliness and depression are less common among participants.

Continue reading Six reasons every leader should join a peer group.

How CEO’s should use Accountability Boards and Subject Matter Experts to help their organization perform and grow.

How to set up and use accountability boards.

Every leader stands to benefit from the opportunity to regularly review with outsiders what s/he seeks to do, what has been done to do it, what has happened and what has been learned so far, and what s/he plans to do next.

It is harder to set up, operate, and benefit from outside help than it may first appear. Click the featured image above for a slide presentation of lessons learned and best practices that, if followed, will lead to improved performance and growth thanks to help from Accountability Board Members and Subject Matter Experts.

How to think about and work with outsiders to systematically get help in a way that increases the odds of success.

Get HelpLearning to Get Help or to work with outsiders is one of the top two factors that account for success in maturing a start-up into a credible organization on track to long term growth and performance according to a plan.

Early stage CEO’s at first often think it is a sign of weakness to need help and when they finally do experiment with getting help they often find it frustrating ultimately because they misuse those they enlist.

It helps to think in terms of five types of outside support:

  • Celebrities to draw attention
  • Advisers to provide best practices and perspective based on experience
  • Peers to provide mutual support and community
  • Coaches to provide advice and counsel  to increase personal effectiveness
  • Governors to provide a consistent point of accountability and help with strategy, focus, and access to resources

Continue reading How to think about and work with outsiders to systematically get help in a way that increases the odds of success.

What a PE-owned CEO has to do when things go awry.

This post is based on remarks IntelliVen CEO, Peter DiGiammarino made about what Private Equity Operations partners do for portfolio CEOs at a National Private Equity International Operating Partners Forum Panel Discussion in Sentry Center, New York City.

Panel Topic

A view from the portfolio company CEO on:

  • Management autonomy and sponsor inclusion; striking the right balance.
  • Engaging with the General Partner over the life of the transaction.


Beyond getting deals done and setting up financing, there are three things an operations professional counts on from his/her private equity investor:

  • Governance– i.e., provide a consistent point of accountability to report on: what we said we would do, what we did, what happened, what we learned, and what we plan to do next; we count on you to ask good questions to push up our thinking and give us your best advice.
  • Access– i.e., help secure the money, people, partners, clients, best practices, knowledge, etc. needed to be successful.

A team is a group of people working together to achieve a common goal.  If everyone sinks or swims together the investor team and the operating team aggregate to form the deal team.

The CEO’s job is to get the most out of all available resources to achieve the best possible result in the shortest possible time. Those on the investor team are there for the CEO to draw-in and leverage as best s/he can just like any other resource. Why then does it often seem that the investor team and the operating team are competing rather than working together? Continue reading What a PE-owned CEO has to do when things go awry.