Question: My business is very unique. How will people from other industries be able to understand my business and help me with challenges and opportunities?

Answer:It is true that your business, just like everyone else’s business is unique in some way or another. Yet we still all face the same major issues with respect to personnel, the economy, managing change and initiating change in our organizations. It is amazing how similar our challenges are regardless of industry and often times, regardless of size!

Q: I find it very difficult to make time for anything extra in my life. How will I possibly find the time to take a full day off to attend a Vistage meeting?

A: Yes, we are all busy. Yet 14,000 members world wide make time to attend meetings where the work ON their business instead of IN their business. This is not a “day off.” We are focused on business issues, continuous personal growth, and assisting one another. Many members find that the biggest investment is their time and that the biggest return on their investment is more time because they become more effective leaders.

Q: My company is a public entity with a board of directors and requirements of a public company. I’m not sure I can belong to a Vistage Group.

A. Many Vistage groups are composed of public, private, for-profit and not-for-profit companies and combinations of each of those categories. Each members signs a confidentiality agreement and the Chairperson makes sure that confidentiality is not breached. Most issues and opportunities discussed will not have any implication of violation of SEC regulations. Should such an instance come up, many groups simply agree to sign any additional NDA’s which may be required and make sure that no information leaves the meeting room.

Members of public companies report to the Board of Directors. That board is their “employer.” The Vistage group becomes the advocate for the chief executive and is there to support her or him. Often, presentations or project or strategic plans are worked in the Vistage group prior to submitting or presenting to the BOD. This ensures that a thorough shakedown is done in a supportive, confidential and encouraging environment.

Q: Besides my time, what are the other investments to be a member of Vistage?

A: Time is the most significant contribution you make to your peers. The will come to expect you to be at the meetings, as you will expect them to be as well. In addition to the time spent at your meeting, you will spend an additional 1 to 2 hours each month with your Chair in 1-2-1 meetings. If you allow for some additional preparation for meetings, then the average may well be between 10 and 12 hours per month invested in growing yourself and your business.

The financial commitment depends on the type of group you join (Vistage CE, SB, KE, TA). You can speak with your Chair to determine that investment. You will also be required to host a meeting in turn with your colleagues. The cost varies depending on the size of your group and the venue (usually a member’s facility but at times a hotel or other venue is chosen).

Q: One of my challenges is that I have no one to turn to when I have questions or concerns about a decision I might want to make. My executive team and employees have a vested interest and I think they usually tell me what they think I want to hear. My spouse doesn’t really understand my business issues. How will this group help me with that issue?

A: Your Vistage group is your personal board of advisors. We create a safe, confidential environment where we are all able to hold each other accountable for action, question our assumptions, and brainstorm new ideas without any significant business ties to “fog” our insights.

Q: You mentioned that Vistage is a “by invitation only membership group.” How did you find me and how will you determine if I will be invited?

A: Yes, Vistage is a by invitation only organization. Chairs are responsible for building and maintaining their groups. Each Chair may use different ways of determining who sits at the table including, allowing the present members to have a say in the selection of new members. First and foremost, Chairs will make sure there are no conflicts between members – meaning no significant business ties such as supplier/customer relationships, significant financial investment between companies or one person sitting on another’s board of advisors or board of directors. In addition, a Chair may try and determine the personality fit, the level of management maturity and the size of the company as criteria for sitting at the table.

If, for some reason, your Chair determines that you do not fit into one of his or her groups, there are many other groups with excellent Chairs where you will certainly fit.
As to how we find you, it is the same as how you find your best customers or clients. You were likely referred by a member of one of our groups. It is also possible that your company and you were selected from a search of likely companies in your area.

Q: Are there many Vistage members in Orange County?

A: Yes! We are growing very well in Orange County. At last count, we have:

  • More than 500 members total
  • More than 40 groups
  • Our members represent more than USD 25.1 Billion in combined annual revenue
  • Our members employ more than 65,800 people