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Why Every CEO Should Have at Least One Trusted Advisor

Urgent optimism is the singular critical trait I believe all CEOs share. It’s more than glass half full, it’s more than seeing the world in a positive context. There is momentum, a drive to make an impact and to make that impact now.

But there is also a risk that this optimism could inadvertently turn into tunnel vision. It’s like getting caught in a vortex of fast spinning energy. You may steamroll ahead, make quick decisions without considering factors such as determining risks, employing the right metrics, ascertaining whether the market wants what you’re selling, identifying top talent, correctly evaluating the necessary capital, and a host of other potential liabilities.

“Get outside of yourself, no matter how smart, savvy and prescient you think you are.”

So what is the right equation? It’s normal to feel that time is of the essence to get ahead of the competition. Like all sprinters who are racing to the finish line, however, you need to understand what it takes to keep you in peak performance. This means you must get outside of yourself no matter how smart, savvy and prescient you think you are. The best way to do this is to find an investment advisor, coach or mentor—someone you respect, someone who has a great track record of not just success, but enduring tough times. You may want to surround yourself with heroes, but you need heroes who have made mistakes. It’s the only way you will be guided with real wisdom.

When seeking a financial advisor who will provide CEO strategic advisory services, you might want to consider these 4 attributes:

1. Business leaders all have different types of success. Some are great at maintaining the status quo, others increase market cap and achieve profitable growth. Be clear on your goals for your organization and ensure your advisor’s expertise is aligned with your objectives.

2. Don’t be dazzled by a high profile business leader. Does your potential advisor have expertise in your business’s core competencies? Do your homework. An advisor must have knowledge and direct experience with your industry. They must also understand the market, potential threats and possess a strategic mindset to help get you to where you want to go with your business.

3. Is your advisor well networked? Obtaining outside opinion, counsel and most importantly  a network that can help leverage your business is paramount.

4. Trust is critical. Can you share your anxieties, fears in an open manner and rather than feel judged have constructive dialogue that allows you to move forward with traction.

Having a trusted advisor eliminates the risks associated with working in isolation or at warp speed. To accept the advice of your advisor, however, you must have a sense of humility. You must accept that you could be wrong, you might require course correction or you might even have to start all over again. So being open to feedback from those who care and have domain expertise is invaluable. If you regard yourself as an eternal student along with being an innovator, then you will attract the right resources.

I strongly believe in surrounding myself with benevolent experts and sage advisors. They’ve got the right mojo and have worked hard to set me straight. They could do the same for you.


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    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
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    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

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    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

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