Let’s go back to the very beginning. In 2006, I read Bo’s book, and it inspired me for two reasons. First, I identified with every single one of the companies that Bo talked about in his book - small to mid-sized privately-held companies doing business differently. I immediately recognized a shared vision in the way that I approach business. These leaders were passionate and purposeful; committed to growing not just for growth’s sake, but to enhance the lives of the people that worked in the company.
Second, I heard echoes of my own experience in the stories he shared. As my company grew, I became a deep believer in the connection between culture and business success. In fact, I had just written my first book on the topic, and found myself working to convince other leaders to consider this transformative style of leadership. After reading Small Giants, I took a shot in the dark and sent a blind email to Bo asking if he would consider writing a foreword for my book. To my surprise, he said yes - and as we got to know one another, a true friendship emerged.
Over the next couple of years, I often told Bo that I suspected there were many more leaders like me out there who would identify with the Small Giants philosophies. Selfishly, I wanted to find a way to meet them. Look - we’re all trying to make our way in business, and there’s no better way to do it than to find like-minded individuals with whom we can learn from and share best practices. And while we can all choose to attend conferences headlined by famous entrepreneurs, I’d rather find practitioners just like me with real stories, a keen sense of vulnerability and heart to connect with one-to-one. That’s when I had the big idea. Why not establish a community of inspired, like-minded leaders - from aspiring Small Giants to seasoned leaders - and engage them with teaching, challenging and learning from one another?
Over dinner one night, Bo challenged me to take the idea from vision to reality. He said that to do this, we would need an entrepreneur to take the idea and run with it. After all, he was a writer by trade who had spent nearly 30 years with Inc. Although he wrote about businesses all the time, he had never run one himself. Meanwhile, I was running my own successful company and pursuing the Small Giants philosophy with my employees on a daily basis. That’s when I committed to bringing the idea to life, and the Small Giants Community was born.
It’s true - there are already a number of CEO peer groups and leadership communities out there. But, we knew we would differentiate ourselves in one key way…our members would share a passion for values-driven leadership, committing to let purpose and people drive our strategies rather than financials. In our new Community, we would develop relationships with each other by designing intimate, unique events, delivering backstage passes to incredible companies and finding ways to impact each other’s businesses and lives in measurable, positive ways.
I’m so proud of our Community and what is has grown to be, but I’m most proud of the common refrain that we hear from new members. They say that in our Community, they’ve found their “family” of the business world. If our ideas, values, and even our origin story resonate with you, we hope you’ll choose to be part of our mission - and a part of our family.
In the end, it’s not what we do, it’s who we are - we’re the Small Giants Community.
Founder & CEO