The Pulse of Small Business: Videos Offer a Member Microcosm

Pulse of Small Business

The great Maya Angelou once said, “we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”

That quote strikes me as particularly impactful for our Vistage members, as the more business leaders in our community I interact with, the more I realize we all share very similar triumphs and challenges.

With the introduction of the Pulse of Small Business videos nearly a year ago, I have had the honor of hearing from nearly a dozen leaders from across the country—and starting next week—around the world.

Initially intended for reporting the results of our two core surveys, the quarterly Vistage CEO Confidence Index and monthly WSJ/Vistage Small Business CEO Survey, the videos have given us the opportunity to shine a spotlight on our incredible members.

Over the last 12 months I’ve had the privilege of covering a number of topics, including succession planning, global expansion, reverse mentoring, and the impact of delayed payments. You can see all of those videos on our Press Center page.

Along the way, a few recurring themes:

  • The power of culture to transform a company. Members like Jessica Hawthorne-Castro echoed the same sentiment: that they stay competitive by focusing on a quality culture. And above all else, values are key. For Jessica and her LA ad agency, Hawthorne Direct, that means “accountability, hard work, a culture of respect not only to your fellow employees but to yourself, your family, your environment.”
  • Our members use their peer groups to work past their blind spots. As Pamela Wasley of Cerius Executives puts it, “I can’t see past the blinders that I have so having a Vistage group or a board of directors or a board of advisors absolutely important for outside perspective and out-of-the-box thinking.”
  • Though the economy may be unpredictable, our members show strong resolve. As Carl Schanstra of Automation Systems says, “we have to have the grit and the determination to continue moving forward no matter what comes our way. Hindsight’s always 20-20. When you look back, most often the mountains you see in front of you today are just pebbles in the road behind you. “

I look forward to another insightful video next week, this time featuring our international members from the United Kingdom. Stay tuned to this space for that new video.

Category: Leadership

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About the Author: Leon Shapiro

Leon was named CEO of Vistage effective March 31, 2013. He is also a Director at The Advisory Board Company (NASDAQ: ABCO) and eTouches Inc. Between 2007 and 2011, Leon served as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Operations, at Warner Musi…

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