CEO LEADERSHIP FORUMS AND CEO NEXUS
THE CONTROL TOWER
>> By Meaghan BRANHAM
ou’re piloting a plane, already halfway through a trip thousands of feet above the Earth, when suddenly you’re engulfed by a thick fog. Unable to leave the cockpit, unable to land, and tasked with keeping each of your passengers safe, you might find yourself beginning to panic — but then you hear the voice of a control tower, a lifeline in the dark.
New Coaches Serving as a kind of control tower for the pilots of business, the CEO Leadership Forums have helped their members figure out that the way to clear the right path for themselves and their businesses is to keep learning. With each new member who joins as the forums expand, a new facet of the support network is added or strengthened. “Having the ability to reach out to people who share common issues and have those discussions gives you the perspective to tell you if you are heading down the right path or if you need to correct,” said Roy Richardson, CTO and vice president of Central Florida cybersecurity firm Aurora InfoTech, and a member of one of the forums. “If you’re going to be a coach, you have to be coached,” he said, describing the selfsustaining cycle that starts once these connections are made. Alonzo Williams, president of software consulting firm Zerion360, whose partnership with SAP software has reached more than 65,000 companies globally, joined about a year ago when a colleague recommended him. “What I 38 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com
Dr Nassar see is a lot of CEOs needing something like therapy. Because when you’re the guy or girl sitting in the seat, you need that guidance,” he said. “It’s a delicate balance, to stay focused on your vertical industry, but at the same time to have to develop all these other relationships on the other side of it and develop an understanding of these other industries you interact with.” Richardson agreed that those relationships help sustain not just their own companies, but the connections that are necessary to keep them growing. Richardson joined the forums around the same time as Williams a year ago, and earlier this year he participated as a presenter on cybersecurity with Aurora InfoTech at one of the forum events. The presentation was aimed at educating fellow business owners on the importance of protecting their business assets from cybercriminals. Over the course of the past few months, new members have offered more valuable insight than ever. Lee Zerivitz, managing partner and co-founder of CITY Commercial, a boutique commercial real estate firm in Central Florida, brings his expertise in everything from investments to tenant representation. Jessica Matthews, an account executive for Paylocity, a business-tobusiness software solution company specializing in payroll and human
HAVING THE ABILITY TO REACH OUT TO PEOPLE WHO SHARE COMMON ISSUES AND HAVE THOSE DISCUSSIONS GIVES YOU THE PERSPECTIVE TO TELL YOU IF YOU ARE HEADING DOWN THE RIGHT PATH OR IF YOU NEED TO CORRECT. — Roy Richardson