One of the least obvious channels for advice, counsel, and perspective is our peers. Think about it: who do you spend the most time talking to? Your team, your clients, your boss, or your peers. If you’re like me, that’s just about the order, in terms of time spent.
And yet, who has a similar perspective, maybe similar experiences? I suspect others often see their peers as a threat: if I share, I’m making myself vulnerable. This kind of thinking is often a misplace survival mechanism. That famous “lizard” brain operating inside our heads (part of the cerebral cortex, if you want to get technical). I’m not suggesting that you bare your soul and there’s something to be said for a good heart to heart with someone who you don’t naturally interact with.
Organization are generally silos, aren’t they? What better way to bust open a channel in the organization than have a conversation across, rather than up or down.
Savvy executives don’t let constraints get in their way. They apply enough energy to overcome the friction that is impeding their personal and professional development: by creating or seeking out high quality peer networks; by carving out enough time for active participation; and by focusing on the returns they, and their organizations, will realize from a more strategic investment of time and resources.