About Forum

Many highly motivated leaders report a sense of isolation once they have moved into a principal leadership role. They are consumed with their daily challenges, concerned about setting the right tone, and unsure whether they are implementing best practices. They have a desire to connect in a place of safety and respect with others in similar roles to air out the issues they face.  While the formal structure in which leaders work often provides some support for the tactical issues of their jobs, there is little opportunity to explore their unique situation at a whole life level and to reconcile the idealism with which they entered their chosen profession to the harsh climate they often face on a daily basis. Forum provides a solution to these needs.

Call it a “circle”, a “kitchen cabinet”, or even a “tribe” and you’ll get to about the same place… a small group of professional peers, committed to engaging together through the rough and tumble realities of life. Forum is a perfect expression of community used by leaders and business professionals throughout the world. A number of international organizations use forum as a tool for strengthening the membership experience, including the Young Presidents’ Organization, World Presidents’ Organization, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and others.

Forums are composed of 7-9 individuals with an affinity to one another but no conflict of interest. Members in each forum are typically “level-alike” ranging in tenure and diversity as to the enterprises they lead. What they have in common is that they are all talented, educated and have an intense desire to rise as leaders.

Forums meet monthly in a prescribed format (virtual or live) and give members an opportunity to share in a confidential and safe environment their frustrations, challenges, and successes.  In doing so they learn from the similar experiences of other members and regain focus towards the lessons of leadership and personal growth that they have learned throughout their careers.  Most virtual forums meet up once or twice per year for experiential learning, connection, and fun, while most live forums typically plan an annual retreat.

All people belong to multiple communities and groups: extended families, work teams, faith congregations, sports teams, neighborhoods, towns, cities, and countries. And, while most people have professional support networks that include peers, supervisors, subordinates and many others, as a principal leader there is often no peer, supervisor, or subordinate to turn to. Forum then becomes a unique and special place to bring the issues in the workplace and in life that do not have a home elsewhere… the highest highs and the lowest lows.

The Benefits

Belonging to a forum of highly motivated peers calls each member to an even higher level of performance. Forum members report a sense of community and connection as a result of their participation, as well as growth in their professional leadership and communication skills. In addition, forum provides members a valued venue for gaining clarity and often solving business and personal life issues. As leaders engage at a high level of authenticity within their forum, the skills and benefits transfer into other areas of their lives as evidenced by a more fun and fulfilling environment at work and at home.

My Work With Forums

I have trained, launched, coached and facilitated several hundred peer forums through YPO, EO, YPO Gold, Executive RoundTable, The Principals' Forum as well as independent groups.  I also work with social sector and rising leader forums in my role as CEO of Redwood Leadership Recreation Laboratory.  More about that at www.reclab.org.

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