All people belong to multiple communities and groups: extended families, work teams, faith congregations, sports teams, neighborhoods, towns, cities, and countries. And, while most people have professional support networks that include peers, supervisors, subordinates and many others, executive leaders often have few peer, supervisors, or subordinates to turn to. Forum then becomes a unique and special place to bring the issues in the workplace and in life that do not have a home elsewhere… the highest highs and the lowest lows.
Belonging to a forum of highly motivated peers calls each member to an even higher level of performance. Forum members report a sense of community and connection as a result of their participation, as well as growth in their professional leadership and communication skills. In addition, forum provides members a valued venue for gaining clarity and often solving business and personal life issues. As leaders engage at a high level of authenticity within their forum, the skills and benefits transfer into other areas of their lives as evidenced by a more fun and fulfilling environment at work and at home.
My Work With Forums
I have trained, launched, coached and facilitated several hundred peer forums through YPO, EO, YPO Gold, Executive RoundTable, The Principals' Forum as well as independent groups. I also work with social sector and rising leader forums in my role as CEO of Redwood Leadership Recreation Laboratory.
Nine Friends is a complete toolkit and training guide for small groups desiring to deepen their level of commitment and authenticity. While it provides a great tool for all members, it is especially useful for peer moderators or group leaders.
Nine Friends will help you create a shared mission, establish norms and guidelines, structure meetings, keep things interesting, and respond well when times get tough.
I first compiled Nine Friends in 2009 with the most recent update in 2020 to include tips on taking forum into virtual space. You may purchase at your favorite online bookseller or directly from LULU PRESS.
Produce your own set of posters for regular meetings to both support your forum and remind you of recommended practices! Take to your local copy center and ask them to blow up to 11x17 inch size and laminate.
Awesome updates make for awesome meetings. This evolving toolkit is especially useful at the beginning of a forum year or when things need a little tune up. Includes a list of reminders, conversation starter questions, an update form specifically designed for the first meeting of the year, and ongoing update forms. Click here!
Maximize your use of virtual space whether for your forum or work team! Click here.
Sometimes things get bumpy. Great Forums get really good at Clearing the Air. Download an instructional narrative for clearing issues between forum members or with the group as a whole. Includes the one-page summary used in training.
Please request any additional information, worksheets, tools, articles, or book references by emailing email@example.com.