Community Leadership Roundtable

In 2010, we started a Leadership Roundtable with 5 local entrepreneurs. Ranging from high tech business to construction, this group has now met monthly for two and a half years. Using an Action Learning Model, with periodic reading assignments to provoke thinking and challenge assumptions, the Roundtable works together to help each other develop strategies, skills, practices, and compelling stories for and about their organizations.

Learning to ask for help was a big challenge for all of these spirited entrepreneurs. It has been the most important “lesson learned” from the on-going experience, and participants now regularly bring issues to the table for group input. They refine each other’s business models, and advise one another on next steps in growth, job transitions, and hiring lessons learned while they continue to grow their various businesses.

As facilitator and “holder of the container,” SmartWork points out leadership challenges - both missed and stepped up to, suggests articles and books, and uses “teachable moments” to share information on neuroscience, interpersonal effectiveness, team and group dynamics, 21st century strategic planning and the art of building compelling stories that others want to join.

While our local community was protected from the worst of the downturn in '08 and '09 due to a large university presence, the Great Recession arrived with a bang in 2010. Each of these diverse businesses has managed to thrive in a very difficult environment; several alliances and referrals have resulted as trust has built and participants became eager to work together. The leadership coaching, refining of business models, development of stories and streamlining of processes has unquestionably contributed to their ongoing success.

Are You Fit to Thrive in Any Economy?