A YPO Regional Forum Officer once asked me a series of questions to help him and his region's members get a sense of who I am and how I work:
Is there anything unique about the way you approach Forum kickoffs as well as retreats?
I bring a background that may be different from other CFFs. I am a YPO member, former fourth-generation family business CEO, and earned an MBA, so I understand the territory you navigate as CEOs. Besides 20+ years being immersed in YPO Forum “technology,” and being the author of some of it, I have academic and training backgrounds in psychology and group dynamics. I believe this creates a unique mix that flavors the work I do.
Although we do serious work on retreats and at trainings, I think I bring a sense of humor to the process.
One element I may emphasize more than other CFFs is building one-on-one relationships within the Forum.
Can you tell me about your personal interest and passions around Forum and business/family/personal growth?
Forum has been a passion of mine ever since I joined YPO, and Forum has been one of the key components of my personal journey.
When I joined YPO I was shy, terrified of groups, not particularly comfortable in my own skin, and uncomfortable with strong emotions whether my own or others’. Work as a Forum member, Forum Moderator, Forum Officer, and Forum trainer, along with intense work outside of YPO has lead me to where I practice regularly what I was fearful of doing before.
The process continues. Every training I do, each retreat I lead, adds to my personal growth. I get to spend time intimately connected to 7-10 intelligent, engaging, and thoughtful co-travelers on life’s journey who have invited me into their circle.
What are your personal dreams and aspirations (in the work you do and outside of work if you are comfortable)?
I expect to continue development of my Forum work, but also believe I have something yet to give to other family businesses, or to business owners who are considering creating a multi-generation business. I have co-taught several YPO family business programs and have found the work highly rewarding to me and to the participants.
My overarching goals are to become wise, to give back to others to accelerate them on their paths to becoming wiser than I am, and to have safe, supportive, intimate relationships.
What types of struggles and challenges are you most skilled and excited about helping Forums transform or transcend?
What’s next for me, and where does my Forum support my next chapter?
Groups that want more depth at the retreat and meetings
Family business issues
Life balance (I cannot promise transcendence, but I would expect progress).
Getting back on track with Forum structure and protocol
Becoming proficient at the Four Step Forum Exploration Process
How would Forums describe your personal style in leading/facilitating their retreat?
Forums frequently say they liked my style. Often they just say I was a good fit. One moderator who described further said I led in a supportive, cooperative manner that was non-threatening to the members, and that had I taken a command-and-control approach to the group our time together would have gone badly.
I don’t see myself as having all the answers. I believe I am pretty good at framing thought-provoking and supportive questions that can help members come up with their own answers. That is, after all, the spirit of Forum.