In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Dr. Napoleon Hill popularized the “Mastermind Group” concept. Hill regarded these groups as the secret to the success of all great men in both their businesses and personal lives.
When CEOs realize that they don’t have all the answers, they may search for their own Mastermind Group, often called a CEO Peer Group.
Two of the largest CEO Peer Group organizations are Vistage and YPO. [Full disclosure: I lead two Vistage Peer Groups]. I am often asked, “What is the difference between Vistage and YPO?”
I have summarized the main differences in the table below.
|Facilitation of the Peer Group||Dedicated professional called a Chair (short for Chairperson).||Forums are facilitated by members on a rotating basis.||Forums are facilitated by members on a rotating basis.|
|Age Requirements||None||Under 45 when joining.||At age 50, members must exit YPO and may elect to join YPO Gold.|
|Company Size||• At least $5M in annual revenue or more than 25 employees for the CEO Program|
• Under $5M or less than 25 employees for the Small Business Program
|Depends upon type of organization|
• Sales/Services/Manufacturing corporations must have at least $13M in gross annual sales
• Financial institutions must have average annual assets of at least $260M.
• Agency-type businesses must have annual fees or commissions billed of at least $10 M or an enterprise value of $20 M Above must be certified by outside party.
|Same as YPO.|
|Peer Group size||12-18||• Members join a local chapter. Local Chapters vary in size.|
• Members may elect to join a forum composed of 8-12 members.
|Same as YPO.|
|Meeting Frequency||1 day per month||Forums meet ½ day per month.||Forums meet ½ day per month.|
|Speakers||Up to 8 per year per group. Speakers present to each group separately.||At the Chapter level. Speakers present to the whole Chapter.||At the Chapter level. Speakers present to the whole Chapter.|
|Membership Criteria||Top decision maker of the organization is eligible. Membership is by invitation only.||Candidates are typically recommended by two members of a local chapter and approved by a committee of the board of directors.||“Graduate” of YPO|
|Types of feedback that members may give each other.||Shared experiences, recommendations, advice, brainstorming or anything the Chair determines as appropriate.||No advice is permitted. Members may only share their experiences.||No advice is permitted. Members may only share their experiences.|
|Monthly coaching sessions||Up to 2 hours per month||None||None|
|Cost||$1,090-$1,380 per month, plus and enrollment fee.||1. $3,300 per year for international dues. |
2. Initiation fee is determined by local chapter.
3. Monthly fee is determined by a local chapter.
4. Travel costs and additional costs for social events.
|A sliding scale of YPO dues that is reduced as the member ages.|
|Focus/Mission||To Increase the effectiveness and enhance the lives of its members. Vistage addresses both business and personal issues.||A community of peer leaders; committed to lifelong learning and idea exchange; while fostering a safe haven of trust, respect and confidentiality for their community.||To sustain and enrich the education and idea exchange that began in YPO.|
|Who reviews and decides membership?||Chair||YPO Development Manager and then local chapter||Local Chapter|
|Social activities and networking||Members may join networks (at no additional cost) that meet occasionally. Networking is not a priority.||Opportunities for regional and international travel with spouses. Networking is a priority.||Opportunities for regional and international travel with spouses. Networking is a priority.|
If you would like to be more successful, both are great organizations to help you achieve more of what you want.
Ready for more? Browse additional articles in Peer Advisory Groups!