RSS A Sense of Purpose

For over a year now, I have initiated CEO exchanges with local business leaders in order to seek a better understanding of their unique leadership concerns and issues. While these types of exchanges are not new, and in fact have been hosted by our local Chamber of Commerce for years, I have been honored by the willingness of local business owners and managers to actively explore and challenge their business paradigms. The candidness of these individuals, clients and non-clients alike, to share their pain points and explore best practices together, has been enriching from both a human and business perspective. An unintended yet positive result of this initiative has been to give these leaders a new sense of purpose. From the very beginning, most leaders appeared eager to receive fresh thoughts and new ideas. To me, it’s as if they had read all the best business management and leadership books available in the bookstores and libraries; yet, they yearned for more information. They have an insatiable appetite for knowledge and are willing to explore different ways, even “group thinks,” in order to uncover even one new gem of leadership skill. It is a testament to the power of entrepreneurs today; they are willing to learn and challenge traditional business concepts that could be limiting their upside potential.

While I have learned several new things from these meetings, the truth is that these interactions have crystallized for me that a significant business shift is afoot: In order for businesses to be successful in the future, they must identify ways to be significant outside of their normal business practices!

Recently, I was struck by a comment one of the participants made regarding the value of the CEO exchange she had just participated in; additionally, she made a comparison to a meeting with her competitors as part of an industry “user group.”  She said that the industry meeting was beneficial because they felt comfortable sharing best practices that all participants could benefit from; then she stated that “your meetings provide a much deeper context to the value of my company, and challenge me to think bigger.”  Now, while I appreciate her compliment, the point I want to make is that she benefitted from both groups, and they afforded her not only different contexts, but different business considerations. The importance of her message shouldn’t be lost on any of us. It is a perfect example of working together for the greater good, that there could be enough business and opportunity for us all if we simply understood how best to consistently deliver better value. And while I believe this can be an effective way for business leaders to understand best practices, it is only a piece of the puzzle to long-term business success. It needs to be complemented by the seamless execution of a defined mission, as well as a willingness to understand the unique missions of your customers and employees.

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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