Dispatch from the Heartland

April 12, 2022

I’m writing this from Chicago where we are meeting in-person for the first time since the pandemic.


The excitement here in the heartland is palpable.

Even though some of us joined during the pandemic…and have never met others in-person;

Even though 30 months have lapsed since our last in-person meeting;

Even though social distancing and remote work have kept many of us apart;

We do not come together here in Chicago as strangers; but as a community that is closer than ever…doing more for each other than ever.

The reason is the explosion of members asking for and giving help to each other.

Here are a few of the ways members have been there for each other during the pandemic:

  • 100s of monthly virtual council calls
  • 400 Peer Coaching Calls on every imaginable topic…including First 90 Days, Career Evolution, and many, any others
  • 100s of cross-council Roundtables like CEO Roundtable, COO Roundtable, CPO, Product in SaaS, UXDesign, High Growth, and many others
  • 100s of personal Roundtables like helping teenage daughters with depression, or managing Aging Parents, or, sadly, children with cancer
  • 100s of 1:1 career coaching sessions and an entirely new career coaching program we’ve launched for all members based on my upcoming book, Never Search Alone

So, this Tuesday morning, as members wake up and go to the meetings, I want to leave them (and you) with one more message about why all this matters.

Research I’ve conducted with hundreds of leaders (and is in my next book) shows that 85% of senior executives report say asking for help is *essential* to making it into (and remaining in) the senior ranks.

Sadly, the inverse is true. 

If  earlier-career people do not ask, they are less likely to get the support they need to get promoted. 

To make matters worse, 85% of those in the junior and middle ranks, think asking for help is a sign of weakness. 

Thus they don’t ask, and can even be critical of others doing the same, which reduces everyone’s willing to ask, *and* reduces everyone’s career potential. 

In other words, *not* asking for help is a leading reason people get stuck.

So, when I ask members to ask for help I do so not only because it helps people ask for help, but also because I want to create a virtuous circle of help: i.e., the more members ask, the more they help others ask for help, who then help others ask for help by modeling it themselves.

That’s right. 

Put in a pandemic age way – asking for help is a positive virus that helps everyone *grow.*

So, whether you are here in Chicago with us, attending via Zoom, or not currently an active member, know this: if you ask for help today, the career you’ll accelerate may not *only* be your own.


P.S. Sunday night a few members of the CG team went out to the Spiegeltent ZaZou, a hard-to-describe evening of drag cabaret, acrobatics, food, and drink located in a Belgian mirror tent on the 14th floor of the newly-opened Cambria Hotel in Chicago’s Theatre District. 

Here’s a shadowy photo.

Mickey's Harvest

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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