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What Makes a Great Vistage Chair?

by Clark Vitulli | Posted on March 18, 2016

Great leaders transform ideas into viable businesses and vision into reality. They steer start-ups through the upheaval of growth and catapult existing companies to new levels of success. They oversee successful acquisitions, mergers, and sales. They work their way to the top levels of their organizations and their industries.

But this isn’t what makes great Vistage Chairs. It’s their ability to leverage their vast experience, keen business acumen, and profound insight to help leaders achieve their own definitions of success.

Experience You Can Trust

Walking into a Vistage group is like walking into a cross-section of the business world. Members are family business owners, who learned everything from previous generations. They are solepreneurs, who had to figure it out on the ground. They are CEOs who have climbed the ranks in different companies. They are local owners with deep ties to the community. They are international executives with a global perspective.

Vistage members need leaders with all-encompassing experiences to ensure they have a firm guide through their challenges, trials, and triumphs. Effective Chairs offer first-hand knowledge and hard-won skills in a variety of verticals, in various stages of the business cycle, in economic prosperity – and in failure. Their experience becomes the members’ most critical learning tool.

The deeper the well of experience that Chairs can offer, the better they can serve their diverse members.

Great chairs are as adept at guiding 30-year old entrepreneurs on their way up the career ladder as they are helping 70-year old owners transition to a new stage of life. As Baby Boomers grow closer to retirement, more of today’s Vistage members seek assistance exiting their businesses. Strategic leaders can work with them and ensure they take the next steps with a clear plan – and with confidence.

A Return on Your Development Investment

Every minute a leader invests in personal and professional development needs to pay a generous return. To this end, effective Vistage Chairs run purposeful, powerful, meetings. With bullet-proof agendas, timelines, and visuals, they provide a tight framework so members can get down to business. At the same time, they remain flexible so they can meet their group’s needs. Balance is a hallmark of great Chairs – and great leaders.

Top Chairs are as committed to the makeup of their groups as they are to the flow of their meetings. Instead of adding members on their own haphazardly, they strategize with their current members. Who will add to the group? Who will bring a new mindset or skill set? Who can push him or herself, and others, to new heights? They and their members actively seek new candidates from across age, gender, education, and ethnic lines, from all industries and sectors, from companies of all sizes and shapes. This wealth of experiences and perspectives enriches each member.

All group members are from non-competing companies and have no previous personal, vendor, or customer relationships. This enables them to speak freely, share ideas, and seek advice without trepidation or entanglement.

The Clark Vitulli Difference

Vistage members rely on their Chairs for advice, guidance, and support. Clark Vitulli’s members know that he understands where they are coming from – and where they want to go. He gets it. He:

  • Started a business and grew it from zero to $200 million.
  • Led companies to national acclaim.
  • Oversaw the seamless acquisition, merging, and sale of dozens of organizations.
  • Worked from a trainee washing cars to executive for a major international corporation.
  • Helped owners exit happily as a NAVIX Certified Exit and Succession Planning Strategist.

Along with experience, he has accrued great empathy throughout his career. He does get it.

Members respond to his easy-going personality and flexibility. Clark sends the message that not everything has to be formulaic but it does have to fit a tight formula; there is room for flexibility but members don’t have to deviate from their principles. He helps them forge paths that will empower them to reach their goals.

A “carefrontational” leader, Clark is not afraid to handle the tough conversations in a way that is candid, open, and respectful. From meeting one, members understand that he is on their side, that he is a phenomenal resource, and that they can leverage his wisdom to achieve success on their terms.

Think Vistage will help you take your career and leadership to the next level? To ensure it does, Clark invests time with you to determine what the group can contribute to you and you to it. Achieve your goals – and help your peers achieve theirs. It’s what Vistage is all about. Contact Clark to see if you would be a good fit.