Leadership is a challenging journey for someone at any size organization. At a high-growth tech company, there are unique challenges facing each leader. One helpful resource that often goes underutilized is tapping into an executive network or peer group.
Joining an executive network or peer group is more than just expanding your professional circle. It can give you access to a safe space to share challenges you’re facing, and also learn from people in similar roles. This can unlock a wealth of knowledge, experience, and support which can ultimately help you become a more effective and insightful leader.
We talked to leaders in the Powderkeg community and beyond who shared their experience participating in an executive peer network has helped them grow as a leader.
Learn About New Solutions
I credit a lot of my growth and success to what I learned from peers in various networking groups. Listening to your peers discuss problems and solutions is like tossing Lego after Lego into this big box you carry around. Then one day, as you’re butting up against a big problem, you’ll look down in the box and see a solution. The more Legos, the more solutions you have. But this only works if you put yourself out there and interact!
Learn From Others’ Experience
By listening to their experiences – what they did and what they learned from it, I’ve learned so much. Not always to copy them, but maybe to be creative and figure out how to do it more effectively and go in a completely different direction. You need to be a lifelong learner and sometimes trust your instinct to go against the flow.
Build Trusted Relationships
I belong to a networking group of fellow CFO’s. We meet regularly and have developed trusted relationships that span multiple career changes, company sizes and industries. We call each other for advice, act as references and ask for best practices. This community of like minded professionals challenges me to be a better leader and supports me when I feel stuck. I highly recommend curated networking groups based on my experience.
Safe Space to Share Challenges and Get Advice
My executive peer groups have been invaluable for my growth as a tech leader. They provide a safe space to share challenges, gain insights from diverse perspectives, and learn about best practices. The candid feedback and shared experiences from peers facing similar challenges have sharpened my decision-making and leadership skills. Moreover, the sense of camaraderie fosters continuous learning and reinforces the importance of adaptability in the ever-evolving tech landscape.
Learn from Diverse Perspectives
I try my best to interact with tech leaders from different companies, industries, and backgrounds, as it exposes me to diverse perspectives. This diversity can stimulate creativity, help me see challenges from different angles, and encourage innovative thinking. It helps me to be able to bring back new ideas and strategies to my team, which fosters more creative thinking and simply thinking outside the box.
Strengthen Decision-Making and Strategic Thinking
As an EO Fort Worth member, I’ve found great value in connecting with fellow executives who, like me, are business owners. While I have a strong tech background, my peers at EO Fort Worth offer diverse insights into how technology is used across different industries. This exposure broadens my perspective, helping me see beyond the tech itself and explore its many applications in various sectors. This enhances my decision-making and strategic thinking.
Learn About Different Leadership Styles
Our social network has been a vital source for learning about leadership techniques. Different entrepreneurs approach their positions in various ways. It has been easier to learn the pros and cons when we can see the effects on their businesses. This has helped inform us about the way we want to run our own company. Our peers share their insights on the best management techniques. This is very valuable because their techniques adapt to shifting attitudes and conditions.
Get Feedback From Diverse Viewpoints and Experiences
It’s probably good for peer groups of all kinds to contain viewpoint and experience diversity. At the executive level, this is incredibly obvious. My partner and I shared a growth strategy with our peer group recently at a Friday meetup. One of the other people, whom we have a lot of respect for, told us why he thought it was a bad idea and a poor use of our growth funds. That kind of candor is critical for our success. Whether we pursue the strategy or not, we now have to refine our ideas and process for measurement.
Learn From Leaders in Other Industries
As a tech leader, my growth benefits greatly from executive peer groups and networks. I engage in Zoom calls two to three times per month with business owners across industries, including hotel proprietors and RV campground software developers. These interactions offer fresh perspectives. I learn strategies from other sectors and think about applying them in my domain.
Adopting a location-based customization feature from RV campground software is one example. For crypto tax software, this could mean tailoring the user experience and tax calculations to the specific tax regulations and financial environments of different countries or regions.
This keeps me updated with broad business trends. Sharing our successes at CoinLedger with others fosters a beneficial exchange of ideas and experiences.
Powderkeg Executive Councils:
Where Top Tech Executives Thrive Beyond Silicon Valley
Powderkeg Executive Councils is the only private membership network designed exclusively for tech companies and executives looking to grow and connect beyond the confines of Silicon Valley.
Curated Peer Groups: Join a peer group tailored to your stage of growth, expertly facilitated by experienced executives.
Diverse Topics: Dive into groups based on industry, role, and identity to discuss pressing business topics and trends.
Local Impact, Global Reach: With both virtual and in-person groups, executives can cultivate a powerful network of peers helping them achieve even higher levels of success.
If you are interested in exploring jobs at fast-growing tech companies in the Powderkeg community, be sure to check out our real-time job board for Tech Jobs in areas beyond Silicon Valley.
You can browse all of Powderkeg’s Best Tech Companies to Work for, follow them for insights, or request an introduction to plug into your next big opportunity.