Leaders are often reluctant to seek advice and feedback from peers in their own organizations. Even when matters are not overly sensitive, there may be an undercurrent of competition between two executives who are otherwise collaborating effectively. This competitiveness usually remains unspoken, but both parties are aware of it.
So when leaders seek advice, they aren’t always sure they’ll receive truly objective input from internal peers.
It’s reasonable to have these concerns, and, whether or not these concerns are true in any given instance, leaders may be hesitant to take the risk.
What I’ve noticed over several decades of working with senior leaders is that, when they are reluctant to consult internal peers, they seldom think of looking for help from external peers, where they are more likely to get neutral input and fresh perspectives.
When I suggest this option, however, most think it’s a great idea; and it’s led me to match a substantial number of executives with external peers whom I already know, often from different industries.
The feedback I’ve received later indicates that, in the majority of cases, the leader who was seeking advice found it helpful.
A major obstacle to contacting external peers has been the lack of a trustworthy, systematic means for getting in touch. This led me to create a platform called LeaderBridge™ where senior leaders, vetted to be who they say they are, are able to approach each other anonymously and get answers to questions, feedback on ideas they aren’t yet ready to propose internally, and advice on handling challenging or sensitive issues.
They can select other LeaderBridge™ members to approach by filtering with regard to title, gender, industry, country, areas of experience, and interests. Participants in a dialogue can remain anonymous as long as they want or, at some point, if both choose to, disclose their identities to each other.
If you think LeaderBridge™ could be a valuable tool for connecting with external peers, you can learn more about it and sign up for the launch at https://leaderbridge.com/.