Wrap-up of Councils’ week in SF!

What a week!

We had a great Councils’ week in San Francisco earlier this month.

Product Councils, CEO Councils, CX Councils, UX Councils, Strategy, Marketing, Data Science, HR & The Employee Experience: Hundreds of leaders met in small councils to ask for help and give help to one another.

Check out what one Chief Product Officer wrote to their council after the meetings (this was to their council not to me or my team):

I get more value from you in a half a day than I could from a month of other conferences. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from all of you. I continue to think we have collectively done something pretty cool when even new folks recognize the culture of openness and jump right in and make it even better. No BS, just people trying to help and learn from each other. I think that is a pretty rare thing these days.

This email made my day …heck – it made my year!

Notice the humility in relation to fellow members?

Notice the commitment to ongoing learning.

Notice the warmth, the respect, the trust.

Especially the trust.

This is a community of smart business leaders who are really there for each other. No cynicism. No awful ‘networking’ – this is genuine and rare trust in the heart of the business world.

I want to say thank you to all of the members who continue to support each other in growing as leaders – who really open up and ask for help – and share their vulnerabilities and mistakes – and help us build this rare community.

We need more of this in the world – and I’m happy to say my next book is aimed at helping millions more people reengage their ability to learn and ask for help.

We started with a great General Session!

We began the week by bringing all the Councils together for a general session at the Mission Bay Conference Center.

I was excited to welcome two great speakers – Ellen Pao and Chip Conley – as our keynotes.

Ellen Pao

Executive, investor, board member – and now leader of the global movement for inclusion and diversity, Ellen is the Kleiner Perkins partner who sued the firm for gender discrimination and harassment and lost the case in the short-term but has won in the long-run.

Her courage and influence have affected millions of women and men and the recent changes in Hollywood and Silicon Valley can in part be credited to my friend and classmate Ellen Pao.

Ellen was interviewed on stage by Council moderator Kerry Cooper, herself a terrific leader and former CEO of a Kleiner Perkins backed company (Kerry was CEO at the same time Ellen was a partner at Kleiner).  Ellen’s courage and her positive message of change is important for all men and women to hear. I also highly recommend her book – Reset. Get it. Read it. Share it.

Chip Conley

Entrepreneur and business thinker, Chip built one of the most successful chains of boutique hotels in the world – and after selling it became an adviser to the CEO and founders of Airbnb and then Global Head of Hospitality for the company.

Chip has also written and published several New York Times bestselling books. It was wonderful to have Chip talk about his next book, which may be his biggest yet (it will come out in 2018 – we were the first business audience he shared the book with).

He blew away the members with the message. For example, one of the main messages of the book is how Chip became both a mentor and an intern to the founders of Airbnb. Intern? The extremely experienced Chip Conley an intern?

It’s a provocative and powerful idea. Chip recommends that every leader become both a mentor and an intern. He says a lot more – and frames this whole discussion around the very interesting idea of what he calls the ‘modern elder.’ You’ll want to listen to the recording of the session and you’ll hear more from me as we get closer to the publication date of this important book.

* If you would like the links to the audio recordings of either Ellen or Chip’s keynote, please leave a comment and I will send them right out to you.

Then we went into the private Council meetings

It’s hard to imagine until you’ve experienced it but here’s how it works:

  • 10-15 peers on a carefully curated council (no competitors, same peer level)
  • With a highly-trained moderator (typically a former member)
  • Two days in closed session talking about the hard things about hard things leading and growing companies

It’s not a conference.

It’s not a networking event.

It’s boards of advisors with 150 years of wisdom – from companies ranging from Airbnb to Warby Parker – sitting around a small table helping you make better decisions.

And it’s transformative.

It’s something *every* leader needs.

The conversations are confidential – as are the agendas – so I can’t say much more here on LinkedIn.

Learn more about the Councils?

If you want to learn more about the Councils (or get an update if you have not been a member for a few years), then schedule time with us for a quick chat to learn more.

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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