Like anything else in life, with peer groups, you get out of it what you put into it.
With a high quality peer group and solid facilitation, you will benefit from other people walking a similar path as you, but with different experiences. Being vulnerable based on a foundation of trust, and having the right peers in the group is essential to get the most value.
The things that have been most valuable for me (in a peer group) is when you are willing to be the most vulnerable. It could be something in your personal life. I’ve been divorced. I’ve had personal lawsuits that I’ve been involved in. I’ve had ups and downs in my companies. At the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 at Entropic, we were going through the worst global recession since the Great Depression.
I found out from my board that I was personally responsible for the meltdown of the global economy. When things are good, relationships are easy. When things get difficult, relationships get tense. Everyone has their own egos and pressures. Being able to get together with a small group of people that you know, like and trust, you can relate what’s going on with you. They can ask you questions. Sometimes the initial problem that you bring up isn’t the real problem. It’s the tip of the iceberg. They can probe through that and speak from their experience.
If someone has been married for 30 years and they’ve never gone through a divorce, even those people have probably had rocky moments in their relationship and they can talk from their experience. At a minimum, you can walk away feeling like you’ve been heard. Many times, you walk away with some tips that could be incredibly valuable in how you proceed down the path.
This is Patrick Henry, CEO of QuestFusion, with The Real Deal…What Matters.