NORTHERN VIRGINIA (NOVA)
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Conor Nicholson, Founder/CEO, NSS RPO
"Lee is my primary mentor and joining her Executive Forum group has lead to exponential professional and personal growth."
"Lee Self is a revelation. She's selfless beyond word and has an incredibly powerful presence. Being around her makes you want to lead with compassion and do the right thing. I have met many, many people in my career but very few approach her ability to connect with, understand and guide leaders through the many issues they face.
It can get lonely when leading an organization as you don't have any peers so Lee's group was exactly what I needed to get my company (and myself) to the next level. I get the opportunity to ask fellow CEO's for advice on a myriad of issues and more often than not, a member has gone through the exact same thing and is able to offer a sound solution. Lee's Executive Forum group serves as my informal Executive Board and as long as I run NSS RPO, I'll be a part of her group."
Ruth Eisenhauer, President, Legend Management Group
Executive Forum Member for 10 years
“I knew our company was going to be going through some growth when I joined Renaissance Executive Forums, but I didn’t know how much. I just wanted to make sure that we managed the growth properly.”
“We had 34 employees when I joined 10 years ago, and now we have 90 employees. I don’t think I could have helped the company grow so much without being a member because it helped me think through what we needed to grow. We used to have so much turnover that I marked the days someone resigned on my calendar. Now that we’ve gotten our employees involved and learned more about effective management systems to communicate and plan, our turnover is really low. Our turnover rate now is only 7% compared to the industry the average turnover is 60% annually, but our voluntary turnover rate now is only 7%.”
“I’m a charter member of my forum group – I’ve been a member for 10 years. I joined when I was promoted to President of the company because I knew I would be getting into much broader people management issues. I reported to two business owners who didn't get into the daily management of the business and they recommended finding a group like this. I feel like if I didn’t belong to a forum group then I wouldn’t be able to stay up on what’s going on in business from a management perspective.”
“One of the most important lessons that I learned was to get the right people on the bus in the right seats. I couldn’t believe how much better my life was after I made some personnel changes. My peers in the forum group helped me to see that I needed to make those changes. They know me and can give me advice on how to approach whatever fix I need to make.”
“I love learning so I just love the educational component of the program. It exposes us to a lot of important management techniques that we wouldn’t learn about as small companies. When my team goes to conferences and hears that big companies aren’t doing what we’re doing at Legend, we’re shocked.”
“Being in the group has brought me out more. I’m very much of an introvert. I feel lucky to have the position that I have and sometimes don’t feel worthy of it. The group has made me feel more confident now about running the company.”
“The REF Performance Insights employee survey tool has really helped our company. We scored better on the first one that I really expected, but we still came up with action plans and got everyone involved. We noticed that some people weren’t happy at the company, but they didn’t care to leave. It made us more aware that some people may not be a good fit for our company or the industry and now we tell them that it’s okay to move on because we want you to be happy. On our second survey, we could see clear results from our efforts to improve.”
Robert Acosta, President & CEO, Ventera Corporation
"I just feel like a more seasoned executive because of Executive Forums and that impacts what I do every day."
I was a bit skeptical, but it’s been great. When I went into the Executive Forum I thought, “Now that sounds pretty interesting. It’s almost like a mini board meeting. It’s a bunch of brand new people that don’t know us well. I’ll bet there’s a lot of value there.”
There are other similar programs and if you’re around long enough you’re going to get approached to join these other groups. What’s unique about the Executive Forums is the facilitator is so great. Truly, there’s nobody you can talk to who doesn’t love Lee Self. I cannot say enough good things about her. She does a great job getting good guests and she makes it all about us. She’s just good. She’s just a great person. And she does a great job. Of course the education is great.
Combined with the people that Lee has been able to attract — some of these people have become some of my best business friends. The Executive Forum's an environment of trust where you can talk about anything. And if you stick with it over time, you just can’t beat it. It’s very valuable. Taking a break to think once a month is something that most CEOs don’t do.
I really look forward to it. I like these people. I consider them all very good friends.
The real value has been in looking at other people’s businesses. You’re not so close to it and you can see their issues plain as day.
The best learning I’ve had is looking at other people’s businesses, distilling down to the core issues and then bringing that back to mine. It’s real life, too. It’s not just a case study out of a book.
One of the things the Executive Forum emphasizes is the very blurry line between your personal life and your business life. You don't hear, “Well let’s not talk about personal.” This really gets into your entire life. That line of thinking is not typical for a lot business people, especially the hard chargers. They tend to compartmentalize. This program really helps you think about, “What do you really want out of life and how does it all fit together?” I have seen people go through a transformation of thinking that way and fitting it together. And it’s extraordinary. That’s another really, really important factor. Lee does a great job with it.
I’ve participated in the Executive Forums for several years. There’s no question that we’re a more mature business. I just feel like a more seasoned executive because of Executive Forums and that impacts what I do every day.