When I joined my CEO peer group, I knew I needed deeper connections and people to challenge and improve me. I got that and much more.

A Harvard Business Review study shows half of CEOs express loneliness and 61% believe loneliness hinders their job. The biggest issue is needing someone to confide in. You carry the weight of your company, clients, and team, but there’s no one to share how it is.

In my CEO group, I got this, with a group of trusted fellow CEOs and business owners, and absolute confidentiality. Then I got so much more. A peer asked me to lunch. He was brave and said he could use a close friend. I admitted I could as well. Seven years later, we sold our companies and still meet weekly. It was incredible having a close friend at the same stage of life go through similar events.

The second thing I got was an operating system. I was re-exposed to EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System™. EOS truly transformed our business. It gave us great metrics, forced us to hone our core values, and dialed in our processes. 

The third thing my CEO group gave me was an integrator. In most organizations, this is the COO or Vice President. My peers could see it faster than I could. I was the visionary, but executing wasn’t my strength, even with the EOS tools. I was missing one crucial key player. I didn't even know he was sitting in the group. When I expressed my need, one of my peers said, “What about Leland?” I said, “What about him? He has a job.” It turns out he was looking for a career change, and I was looking for the right person to come alongside me and help me shoulder-to-shoulder in the company. 

Fast forward seven years later. We grew the topline by 280%, increased the bottom line by over 100%, were recognized as one of the best places to work, and built the company to have great value to an outside investor, enabling us to exit under our terms.  

My story is pretty typical as I’ve spent more time in the Acumen community. As we say, “We’ll help you grow your topline. You’ll increase your depth of friends, your business will run better, and you’ll recruit better people into critical positions, all while your company grows. Optimize your bottom line and enrich your storyline.” It’s the best investment you can make for yourself and your company this year.

Pete Gazlay
Post by Pete Gazlay
February 23, 2023
Pete Gazlay grew up in an entrepreneur’s family and caught the bug early with his own lawn moving and landscape installation company. The road to business ownership was never a straight path. The “five-year plan” got interrupted with children and Pete had to support his family and launched is career as a police officer. He rose rapidly in the leadership ranks, but saw his future with bureaucrats and politicians and new that he was a square peg in a round hole. He did the unthinkable at retired mid-career to launch his speaking career. He wasn’t quite as successful as he hoped and after three years he found a “real job” again. He worked for an incredible entrepreneur in the Facilities Maintenance industry and was exposed to site operations and Fortune 500 companies and world headquarters in the US, Canada and Costa Rica. In 2009 he left that company and in 2010 he and Linda started Total Facility Care with zero clients and zero employees. A truly bootstrap company Pete did business development in the days and cleaned buildings at night get things off the ground. In 2022 Pete and Linda exited the company with sales in excess of $5M and 145 team members. Pete attributes his ability to exit to two primary decisions. First he joined a Owners Accountability Group in 2015 that grew is network and gave him a place to process business and marketplace issues. In 2018, Pete lead the self-implementation of the EOS® System in Total Facility Care and over the next few years the business became less dependent on Pete and more reliant on a leadership team. This increased the value of TFC and enabled Pete and Linda to make their exit.