November 2019 - CEO Clubs Newsletter

Dear members, I hope you are all great.
Being a year of transformation for us as a Club and as a Team, we have gone a long way since the beginning of the year, in order to identify which are the things that we want to keep and which are the ones we want to change on our way to the new decade.
 
Transformation is a glass full of different tastes: First comes the refusal and defensiveness: good people tell you things that could work better (and for which you should be grateful for) and that is the most bitter part, the first sip. Then comes disappointment. You realize that they are right and suddenly everything seems dark and ready to collapse. You are one step from hell, feeling you have betrayed everyone’s trust, time and kindness. Terrible stage and horrible taste too. It lasts for a while :) Then comes the awakening sip. You wake up one morning and you have decided to get started. That sip is the most peculiar one: at first it tastes pretty good but then it quickly gets ugly! That happens when you realize how much you need to change and you just don’t know where to start from. And as soon as you get an idea about it, you need to start disassembling everything and put all the “parts” on the table in front of you. And then you start staring at them with this empty look that is full of one million question marks. It takes a while and its also a pretty dark place. Ideas come and go, one minute they are glorious and the next one they are rubbish! Amazingly creative and chaotic at the same time. And then, after all this period and series of bad-tasting sips, things are starting to look up, the day looks brighter and there is a hope. That’s when the taste gets better and your appetite starts growing. And then it gets better, as the first feedback is kind of encouraging and the day seems even more bright and then you’re suddenly out of the woods. Slowly, but the light and the sweet hope for more great days/times/achievements are there.
Please forgive me for the drama but I’m Greek and that’s part of my DNA. Thrust me though, that’s exactly how I felt these last 8 months. And if it wasn’t for these amazing people I have the pleasure to work with, I wouldn’t be able to write about it today. A big thanks to Sandra, Virgil, Gerry, Manuela, Corina, Ramona, Catalina, Elena, our Next Gen Advisory Board, our CEO Clubs & Owners Club Advisory Board, to many of you who honored us with your precious feedback. We couldn’t have done it without you.
 
One of the many things that we revisited is our “why”. Why are we doing what we are doing? And trust me there is a quite long answer that couldn’t be analyzed in the few lines of a newsletter. However, some of its highlights could. And one of the main highlights for me is that we are here to continuously “redefine importance”. I’m referring to the importance of people. Our Members are the ones we have once pursued. Sometimes people tell me: “perhaps less Members, more important”. It is a fair point and describes a leader who is in charge of a big organization in terms of turnover and who is also a bit visible in the market. It is the first obvious thing to suggest and I’d probably do the same. I listen and respect any point of view but when I think about this particular one I automatically urge them to do an experiment next time they’re in a meeting and they are most probably sitting with a good friend who is obviously a wonderful character and a very successful leader. Take a look at him or her and ask yourself: if we would be following this interpretation of importance, would he or she be sitting here next to me? Would I be here? The answer is we don’t know. No one knows. But if not, it is our job as the Team supporting the Club to discover for the rest, those amazing gems that are next to us and who may be flying under the radar. These incredible people who may not be managing millions but run a successful business, are there 24/7 to support anyone who needs their help, who continuously share learning materials and ideas with everyone, who read 20-30 books a year, who are in for any crazy idea that will benefit the society or the rest of the Members, who are polite and who, who, who… Now, if you add to all that the fact that thankfully good bigger organizations usually have such people leading them, then we get to the ideal mix of characters to make our canvas an interestingly colorful as it is today. Cause that’s what any group of people are: a colorful canvas. Ours has always been playful, full of intriguing geometrical forms and unexpected impressions. It is all those things that have made this community what it is today: its cool people who are here to do the unexpected, who are here because they just want to and not cause they have to, who are here because they embrace unconventional thinking, because they believe there is more good in the world and who know by now that happiness, success and everything else in life is a choice. YOU are the people that we want to move to the next decade with and keep making a change with. Remember: Together we are stronger.
 
Thank you for being you. That’s all we could ask for.
 
Sotiris