People are Nexstar Network’s biggest asset
It’s the people, man. What’s the point of a group if it isn’t the people in it?
A huge benefit to being a Nexstar member is leveraging the ability to connect and share with other members. Sometimes it’s easy for members, but not always. In the early days of Nexstar – before the creation of training classes and coaching – member connections were our largest learning asset. Today, we have 13 coaches, training classes and world-class online and offline resources to help with every aspect of a member’s business. Even with all the additional resources, it’s important to remember where Nexstar started – it’s about peer connections and learning from other members.
The Nexstar Board of Directors determined that the organization needed a Nexstar employee to foster and promote these important member interactions. This includes one-on-one connections, as well as regional meetings and more. I was asked to lead and grow this new Connections Coach position for Nexstar. I am here to help leverage Nexstar peer connections so Nexstar members get the most from their membership.
The Role of a Connections Coach
Business owners and managers are busy people. Planning and implementing changes and improvements to the business takes time and resources. Initiating time to reach out and connect with peers can be a hit or miss proposition.
The cumulative industry knowledge of Nexstar members is huge! If they have a topic or issue they would like to discuss with a peer, I help find the right person or company to connect with them. These are independent members working together to help each other. My job is to facilitate and promote these peer connections and make it easier for them to happen. Here are a few ways of how I help:
New Member Connections
I introduce new members to existing members in their region.
Personal Board of Directors (PBODs) is a group of Nexstar members who meet regularly regarding their businesses. They hold each other accountable, advise and support one another, share wisdom and ideas, solve challenges and create new opportunities.
The most successful PBODs have been formed from friendships. You should be comfortable sharing personal and business information with those in your PBOD. I help members look for PBODs to join or help with starting one up.
Member Experts and Sub-Groups
In this role, I connect members with other members who are experts in an area in which they want to focus. For example; if there’s a plumbing company that wants to add HVAC, I will help find a Nexstar member that has already accomplished that and connect them.
A regional meeting is an organized group of current Nexstar members from within a set geographical area gathering at a specified location for discussion and sharing. These meetings are an opportunity for incredible peer connections.
The idea of local / regional connections grew organically from members who wanted to expand on the idea of learning through education and sharing, but on a small-group level. The group determines where and how often to meet and what topics will be discussed.
My role is to facilitate the regional meeting event with the host. Planning and organizing the many details for an event like this is a significant task. I make those actions and processes easier. I help with the organization, communication, details and reminders.
The agenda and topics are driven by the group. Members suggest topics to bring to the table and share them for discussion. Some topics are related to geography or trade. The meeting host helps set the agenda based on group-topic ideas.
Currently California, Florida, the Midwest, Michigan, Pennsylvania, the Southeast and Texas are leveraging the power of regional meetings.
Peer Connections and the Benefits of Nexstar Membership
Let’s look at the Nexstar membership as a three-legged stool. Each leg of the stool represents one of three essential benefits you get by being a member. The most successful Nexstar companies know how to leverage all their strengths to achieve high success. Let’s examine the importance of peer connections as a Nexstar member.
Leg 1. Nexstar Resources: These items are self-serve and available for members to use and implement in their business. Nexstar events, Nexstar website, materials, white papers, videos, guides, research, marketing, vendor (Strategic Partner) benefits/rebates and more.
Leg 2. Nexstar Coaching and Live Training: One-on-one mentoring, advice and guidance.
Leg 3. Nexstar Peer Connections: Fellow contractors who support the Nexstar principle of, “Success through education and sharing.”
The Base. Network: At the bottom of the stool connecting each leg is the base. This represents the flow of education and sharing within our organization.
Understanding and Building the Value of Peer Connections
All three legs of the stool work together to build a strong, functional platform for the company. If one leg is missing or weak, the integrity of the whole suffers. Peer connections are that important. They give the company owner a well-rounded perspective on the business and the industry as a whole.
No Nexstar member is an island—beyond one-on-one coaching, training classes, and the self-serve resources, Nexstar peers are an important part of membership. Peers can become more than competition: they can become allies in helping one another’s businesses grow. Within peer connections, commonalities are strengths and differences are learning opportunities, and Nexstar can help you find them.