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Recently, 14 Brookside consultants gathered for 2 days in Tampa, Florida for our first ever peer group meeting. Peer groups are formed of people who have similar businesses that regularly get together to discuss business, personal life, family life, how to find work/life balance, and so on. Anything and everything is on the table during the two days spent together. However, the key component behind these groups is that you are not done at just two days. There is homework, a 90 day "check in" period, second face to face meeting 6 months later, another 90 day "check in" and so on. It never ends and attendance is mandatory. You commit to the group. The only way the peer group ends is if everyone is voted off, kind of like Survivor. You must show up and you must participate. If you skip for any reason that is not approved by your peers you can be voted out of the group. If you don't do the work you can be voted off, you don't participate and you can be voted off. They key is to hold everyone accountable. Do you need something like this in your life or your business? If you get the chance talk to any consultant who attended the first peer group meeting, lead by Arlin Sorensen, you will quickly find out just how fantastic it was for everyone invovled.
Think about it...an island can be a lonely place and a peer group is a place where individuals can come together to bring challenges and get feedback so that changes can be made. Interestingly, in the 2 days spent together many consultants learned that they have the same struggles as every other consultant in the organization (or at least similar challenges).
- Aging founder needing to transition the business
- Limited business value
- They are not sales/marketing organizations
- Generational changes in the workforce
- Managing people
- Lack of financial and operation discipline/systems
- No strategic plan
- Rewarding employees or recruiting new ones
We spent quite a bit of time on all of these topics. Transition was a topic that we actually spent a little bit more time on because so few people have this locked down. It is never too early to start to think about it (in fact, the earlier the better). Does your business have value? Or are you the business? Peer groups can help you answer these questions and come up with solutions. When we left the meeting we each had to set two goals (one personal and one business) that we have to have accomplished by the summer conference in August. In 90 days we will be checking in on one another. In addition, I have broken the larger group from 14 down into groups of 5 to connect every 45 days. Are you tired of feeling alone and want to reach out more with your fellow consultants? Feel free to call and ask me about the peer group program. I would love to start another group this year. However, we need 10 to 14 participants to make another peer group happen. If you have questions, please reach out. If you are not a Brookside consultant, but woul d like to become one to gain access to such a program please feel free to contact that lab. Remember, you don't have to be on an island alone.
Also while in Florida, a Brookside Board Meeting was held. It was Mark's final board meeting with the organization. Below is a picture of the "last supper." Well Mark's last supper following a Brookside board meeting. A big thanks to Mark for all of his years of dedication to Brookside and leadership provided to the organization. Mark is going to be missed in so many ways. If you get the opportunity send Mark a quick note and give him a call to thank him for all that he has done.
Come join us next year at sunny Clearwater Beach for our Winter Conference (formerly our summer conference). It will be held at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort (http://sheratonsandkey.com/). Come join us for fun in the sun, friendship, family, learning, and a celebration of the Brookside organization!! You won't want to miss this!!!