20 Years of the Councils?

Oct 18, 2022

Hey everyone,

It’s been 20 years since we began organizing the Councils and meeting via teleconference (remember, that?). And spring 2023 will be 20 years since the first in-person meeting.


Two decades. 

7,305 days.

800 in-person council meetings.

5,000+ asks for help.

15,000+ responses. 

And happier leaders who stay longer in their jobs.

To that last point, I had an interesting conversation with a new member at our recent fall meetings in La Jolla that I wanted to share with you. 

They asked if my new book, Never Search Alone, is meant to encourage members to look for new jobs.

No, *not* at all.

In fact, we find that CG members stay longer in their jobs – 3 to 5 more years on average (see more below photo and sig on that data and why).

Photo collage: Members celebrated 20 years since we began organizing the councils -– with meetings in La Jolla and Santa Barbara. As you can see from above, members asked for help (and gave help) and then played together after a long day of meetings.

Never Search Alone is our Gift to the Broader World

My new book, which many members helped me with, is our community’s *gift* to the broader world.

The Councils help members get happier and stay longer – and the book helps more people learn the art of asking for help to find *better* jobs (where they can stay longer).

And to go a step further, members, alums, and I are building a volunteer-driven movement – a community “with a heart and a home for all those laid off or let go.”

This Never Search Alone community provides a number of free services to job seekers.

These no-cost services include: Job Search Council placement and training, a suite of tools and templates that are free to download, regular job seeker open houses, and a LinkedIn group.

Oh, and one more thing: Positive Politics. 

Positive Politics Keynotes/Workshops

Member companies are also hiring me to come in and give Positive Politics talks.

How does this connect to the conversation above about CG retention and the Never Search Alone community?

First, members are bringing me in primarily because Positive Politics can help them retain their best people.

Second, by flying me in to give a keynote or workshop, they are also making it possible for me to  give *free* talks around the country to those laid-off or looking. 

Supporting retention at member companies *and* supporting the broader world – especially those losing jobs – is a fitting way to start celebrating our 20th year.

And it’s something my mom (who started her first council in 1960) would be deeply proud of. 

So, if you want to bring me in to give a Positive Politics talk, get in touch.

And if you know anyone laid off or let go, send them to Phyl.org — where they will discover a volunteer community of executives who are happy in their jobs ready to help all those out of work.



P.S. More below on how the Councils drive retention.

How the Councils Drive Retention 

Over the years, we’ve analyzed the impact of council membership. 

And one of the most surprising and counter-intuitive results has been this: Councils drive retention. 

In fact, members report that the CG experience leads them to stay 3 to 5 more years on average (than they otherwise would have done).

We’ve learned there are 4 main reasons for these retention benefits. 

1. Grass isn’t greener 
When members  sit together with non-competing peers and talk openly about their challenges, one consequence is the discovery that their company is not the worst. In fact, in many ways they find it’s better than they thought. This makes them happier with their current job and likely to stay longer. The grass is truly not greener.

2. Get help to have a bigger impact
By asking peers for help managing teams, technology, and bosses, members get the support to return and have a bigger impact. This energizes and moralizes and also drives the decision to stay longer. 

3. Best Practices 
Members learn the latest thinking and best practices in a range of relevant areas prompting them to return and improve things. This brings joy, increases chances for promotion, and improves retention.

4. Positive Politics
We also have developed a series of tools I call “positive politics”, which help members navigate their internal environments and build coalitions for positive change. Being able to practice positive politics gives members a reason to stay longer (and makes them happier overall).

The book

– Great news: Never Search Alone continues to be #1 in key categories on Amazon *and* the hardcover is finally available for Prime next day delivery.

Free Services of the Never Search Alone community

  • Free job search council placement and support 
    Volunteers are now donating time to help place job seekers in Job Search Councils. They are also helping to train the job seekers who volunteer to moderate each JSC.
  • Free tools and templates
    We have free tools and templates vetted and used by many job seekers and volunteers donating time and expertise to constantly update and expand this library.
  • LinkedIn support group
    We have started a support group on LinkedIn for all job seekers. Volunteers are helping to welcome new members, moderate the community, and promote participation.
  • Bi-weekly open houses 
    We are running bi-weekly open houses to support job seekers and build community and support. Volunteers are helping to program and promote these sessions.
  • Monitoring layoffs and reaching out to companies/people
    Volunteers are reaching out to companies and individuals who have been laid off — offering our *free* resources and community to help them.

Do you know someone who is looking for a job?

Send them to Phyl.org.

Together let’s help the millions of job seekers who today (and tomorrow) will need our support to never search alone.

About the Author

Phyl Terry

Phyl Terry, Founder and CEO of Collaborative Gain, Inc., launched the company’s flagship leadership program – The Councils – in 2002 with a fellow group of Internet pioneers from Amazon, Google, and others. Thousands of leaders from the Internet world have come together in the last 15 years to learn the art of asking for help and to support each other to build better, more customer-centric products, services, and companies.

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