Growth Connection for Leading CEOs

One of the areas I’ve been interested in for many years is how to help CEOs/presidents of the fastest growing companies. Organizations like YPO and EO are amazing for peer learning and personal development, but don’t have a component for high growth companies. Inc magazine has the excellent Inc. 500/5000, and a corresponding conference focused on these fast growing companies, but it’s an annual thing, not a local, on-going program.

Cities have programs like Leadership Atlanta that connect high potential people across all types of organizations from non-profit to business to government to religious in an effort to build community, and train the leaders of tomorrow. These are important programs, but not focused on CEOs during the most crucial period of exceptional business growth.

Over the years, I’ve hosted a number of dinners for CEOs of the fastest growing local companies in order to build relationships, share learnings, and help grow our community. These are worthwhile, and very fun, but sporadic in nature. There’s an opportunity for deeper peer learning, connecting with more experienced leaders that have already gone through hyper growth, and more structured events.

My brother, CEO of SpanishDict, went through the MindShare program in D.C. and felt it was valuable. MindShare bills itself as “an exclusive forum of CEOs from high growth technology companies designed to foster collaboration and innovation among its Alumni Network.” MindShare has been around for nearly 20 years and has had over 1,000 CEOs in the program.

Some questions:

  • Are there programs like this in other cities? Are they worthwhile?
  • What would be the ideal Growth Connection program? Class size? Meeting frequency and format?
  • Should it be limited to just technology companies or is it better to have CEOs from all types of fast growing companies?
  • How do you define fast growing? Minimum revenue in the millions and trailing three year growth rate over certain amount?

Growth Connection is simply a non-profit idea to help the CEOs and presidents in the community connect, grow, and learn while in the crucible of hyper growth. All feedback and ideas are much appreciated.

4 thoughts on “Growth Connection for Leading CEOs

  1. David- last year I started a program in Boulder called G2, which stands for “Give-to-Get”, with three other CEOs. Each quarter we invite 14 business owners/CEOs for an evening of shared experiences and guidance. Each CEO shares a “Need” they are have, then their peers share ideas, thoughts, connections and mentor ship… each quarter we have a new crew, as well as get all G2 participants together for a happy hour. It’s working!

  2. Sir we startups here in India envy you all. Had we had any one person like you of Jason Lemkin here in India , accessible to us , Indian economy would have been rocking. For years I am following Kyle Poter of salesloft. He got accessible to people like you all. we here try to follow you all, through your blogs and comments. Those are our bible. if something like a web session for us will be great. however, why would you do such? and how do we motivate to do such is something I don’t have answer to.

  3. David – there is an organization in Virginia of which I’m an alum called the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. While it isn’t focused on entrepreneurship, the format is exceptional and may be exactly what you’re looking for.

    The program is 10 months long and consists of one weekend away each month. Going away together was the critical component. It allowed for lots of “classroom” or experiential learning during the day (site visits, etc), and a real since of camaraderie to be built at night (dinner, hotel bar, etc.). Not only did we learn from each other’s differences, but we made life long friends and colleagues around the state.

    If you’re interested in learning more, I’m happy to discuss with you, or make an intro to the executive team. Just let me know.

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