Leadership is a team sport. It is not about what one person does, but instead the cumulative actions of everyone in an organization. The best leaders surround themselves with intrinsically motivated individuals who will not only perform at a high level with little oversight but will also push the leader to reflect and continually grow. Steve Jobs famously said, “It does not make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people, so they can tell us what to do”. Great leaders always try to surround themselves with intelligent people.
Once you have hired these smart executives, it is imperative that you provide them with support that facilitates their personal growth, and often this needs to happen outside of your organization. At Peerscale, our member-based community serves as a peer-to-peer network and advisory board. We provide ongoing opportunities for our CEO, COO & executive members to accelerate their personal & professional growth.
We sat down with members Noah Waisberg (CEO & Co-Founder of Kira Systems), Rob McDougall (President & CEO of Upstream Works) & Peter Duff (President & CEO of Adlib) to discuss why they sought out a peer network and why they support their executives in doing the same.
Why did you decide to join Peerscale?
Noah: As the business grows, my position as CEO transitions with it. This is my first company and I have a lot to learn. I thought that one good way to learn was to connect with other tech leaders who are going through similar challenges that I am. After continually hearing positive feedback about Peerscale membership from some very sharp people, I thought it was the perfect time to get involved.
Rob: I wanted to get together with like-minded tech CEOs. I knew there were people out there who were experiencing the same problems, who have resolved issues that I am trying to resolve, and are looking for resolution on things that I have already resolved. As CEO, you don’t have anybody you can go to with your questions, with Peerscale you now have a network of people you can tap into.
Peter: Your company is always different year after year as it goes through different stages. I think as a leader, you must try to figure out how to stay ahead in order to be effective for the company; which is why 8 years ago I was looking for a group of peers. The experience that you can get from a network of leaders is enormous. People are extremely willing to share the mistakes that they have made and help you not make them.
Why have you supported your executives in getting a Peerscale membership?
Noah: We attract and support people who are enticed by challenges and personal growth. One way for our executives to grow is for them to surround themselves with peers who are dealing with the same issues that they are. Peerscale was a natural fit for many of our executives.
Rob: I realized the same reason that I joined Peerscale is also a great reason for my executives to join as well. There is nobody that they can learn from or exchange information with. With Peerscale, they have access to fresh viewpoints and fresh information from people who are doing the same job as them at other companies.
Peter: I describe the peer groups like Vegas – what happens in your peer group, stays in your peer group. There are not many places where my executives can go and say, “I have no idea what to do – I need some help”. Peerscale provides them with a safe place to do that. In addition, the companies within Peerscale have had their own successes in different parts of their world. Tapping into that and sharing best practices helps us be much more effective.
What value has your company received from having your executives involved in Peerscale?
Noah: First, we want our executives to feel that they are growing and are happy in their role at Kira Systems. Secondly, it helps them do their jobs better, which is a big expander for us. Third, I think being around the Toronto tech network is very important. We have been hiring a lot so bettering our network is crucial for us.
Rob: They take problems to their peer group and come back with new ideas and things to try and talk about. They are not always ideas we implement, but they are concepts to discuss, consider and potentially adapt to our organization. Peerscale also exposes them to diverse experiences which opens their eyes to ideas that they would not have even thought of.
Peter: From being a part of Peerscale, they gain references, contacts, best practices and more. Our executives enter discussions with a greater sense of confidence because they know what they are suggesting has worked in other places and feel like they can move ahead with assurance.
Thank you, Noah, Rob & Peter for chatting with us! Peerscale has executive memberships available for senior executives in sales, human resources, technology/product, finance, marketing & customer success. For more information, click here or contact us here.