Small Business Leaders Need a Peer Group More Than Anyone Else
Jun 3, 2024
Lori Dann, Founder, PLC

Small business leaders often start by having an idea that they believe will create value — entrepreneurs who demonstrate creativity and resilience in the face of challenges. They are driven to persist, while adapting and taking risks to meet new opportunities. 

The businesses are usually in an area where the leader has experience or interest. Over time, challenges erupt in areas outside of that expertise, but there aren’t specialists on the payroll in those other areas of business. For example, the president of a small IT company may lack expertise in marketing, human resources or finance.

These leadership roles include long hours, multiple hats, enormous responsibility, difficult decision-making, and they feel the need to maintain an impenetrable façade. Here’s what happens:

  • They doubt themselves and become afraid of being exposed as a fraud, despite their success.
  • Over time, the pressure can cause them to doubt their abilities.
  • Physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.

Scarce resources and too few personnel stifle growth, strain operations and compromise quality. Lower economies of scale diminish profit margins making it difficult to compete with larger organizations. It’s hard to keep up with changing technology. Lack of training and inadequate planning make money management a struggle.

Leaders can get mired in the day-to-day operations, limiting focus on strategic planning and growth opportunities. Pressure can blur boundaries between work and home, resulting in business stagnation and personal burnout.

Professionally run peer groups can be transformational for small business leaders. They offer the following and much more:

  • Honest and open conversation about the challenges with others who intimately understand.
  • Experience and resources shared with trusted advisors.
  • Guidance on how to work on the business instead of in it.
  • Idea sharing, which provides broad perspective enabling conversant decision-making.
  • Education that builds stronger and more capable leaders.

It’s a daunting job, but entrepreneurs do it because they’re driven, passionate, strong-willed and can tolerate risk. In a well-run peer group, they get reality-based advice because the members also live it. The pressure and fear can be mitigated by working colleagues who understand the fatigue, failures and, most of all, the triumphs that come along with small business leadership.  

Presidents' Leadership Council

Owner(s): Lori Dann

Phone: (847) 287-4523


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