Contributed by Kate Holden, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and business leader behind De Luca Fine Wines, a fast growing retail and e-commerce wine business. Kate Eo serves on the Eo Canada Board as President of the Winnipeg Chapter and as Member Product Director of Canada. He also serves as chairman of the board of directors of The Dream Factory, a non-profit organization for life-threatening sick children.
I joined the entrepreneurial company four years ago, not sure what to expect. I attended some learning events and social events and started making connections.
Today, I am part of the EO Regional Council of Canada and chair of the EO Winnipeg chapter, leading 100+ entrepreneurs who are collectively responsible for thousands of jobs across the country and millions of dollars in economic value.
In just four years with EO, I’ve played numerous leadership roles, traveled 20+ cities, and enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience including jumping from a helicopter and wearing a plaid (my RLA cohort will understand!) I like Jim Quick, Peter Diamondis, Brain I have had the opportunity to hear and speak from leading business thinkers, including Brown, Simon Sinek, and Warren Rustand.
Travel, convenience, and fun have been amazing, but being a member leader at EO has given me three main benefits: collaboration, bar growth, and experience sharing.
We are the sum of the five people we are closest to. When you find yourself the most intelligent person in the room, it’s probably time to change rooms. I was fundamentally impressed by the entrepreneurs around me at EO. The experience has influenced who I am: as an entrepreneur, as a leader, and as an individual.
It comes down to exposure, cooperation and accountability. Immersion in a peer-to-peer learning environment provides a space for all aspects of your life to become real.
The more time I spend collaborating with EOers, the stronger my ideas become, which in turn changes the way I think about my business. Some of my best ideas for my initial business, a wine retailer and e-commerce brand, came as a result. I dream bigger – and now I recognize dreams that I didn’t know I had or wanted.
Different industries, different educational backgrounds, different ways of looking at the world – all of these affect my outlook on the business world. Having access to such a diverse perspective in a collaborative environment is a rarity in the value of gold (or wine, in my case).
And when your closest partners also act as accountability partners, the benefits are taken to another level. The EO Leadership Board, whether in our forums, or simply in the context of relationships born across the organization, increases the likelihood of achieving goals by holding each other accountable. At EO, I both hold myself accountable more regularly and be held accountable by others.
Raising the bar
The more time I spend around people who maintain a high standard of excellence in what they do, the more I find myself raising the bar in everything I do.
Maybe it’s a pervasive thing, or maybe it’s just a product of inspiration. Regular exposure Something Will have an impact, so regular exposure to influential leaders, looking at them in their material and hearing how they think, problem-solve, perceive situations and navigate complexities has rubbed off on me.
I’ve always held high standards, but performance and consistency are completely different things. In particular, the privacy of “how” – the way each entrepreneur grows and runs their business – is a game changer for me. From Gino Wichman’s Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to Vern Harnish Scaling up And beyond that, I have learned and exploited different models that some of the best entrepreneurs gain in their business.
I always knew the importance of formal structure and process. But after joining the EO and being part of numerous leadership boards, being “process-driven” remains something that entrepreneurs should take as the key to developing a successful, high-impact business. The processes, systems, and best practices I’ve learned are transformative for my business, and they are directly linked to my experience as an EO member leader.
Entrepreneurs are notoriously obsessive students. I am a lifelong student, but only after entering a leadership role in an organization of peers did I realize how learning became rocket fuel for growth. Suddenly, I tried to do everything faster, smarter, better. But most importantly, I learned how to be an indexed thinker – not just an augmented thinker.
Entrepreneurs have a unique experience: heights are high, lows are low and pressures are intense. Like me, most entrepreneurs tend to reach out to people in their personal circles, but only entrepreneurs can really understand what other entrepreneurs are going through. We know very well that the higher you go, the harder you fall.
Joining an entrepreneurial organization, then growing up in a myriad of leadership roles, has allowed me to share experiences, trust others, embrace weaknesses and feel “normal” in the face of many challenging decisions, situations and problems that have arisen along my entrepreneurial path. .
Every personal or business struggle seems unique, but often, someone else encounters something similar, my experience can understand and support. I’m not alone. Once I realized that other entrepreneurs struggle with the same things I’ve struggled with, it reminds me of a simple but powerful truth: all challenges are temporary.
I’ve seen incredibly successful entrepreneurs break down in tears for trying to balance guardianship and grow a business; Dealing with problems with suppliers, employees and finances; And tackle mental health challenges. A community can be a safe place where our unique experiences find a sense of kinship and understanding – and it’s invaluable to me.
A journey of leadership within EO has transformed who I am, how I grow my business, and how I see the world. I dream bigger than before.
Leading initiatives that reward the community of “return” entrepreneurs who have given me so much. Leading a board of high-powered, bright, type-one entrepreneurs is one of the most challenging things anyone can do. But in the end, leading myself in a new, more advanced way gave me the opportunity to grow as a person, and it showed my 14-year-old daughter that smart women can build, grow and lead with their best.
Explore the EO Path to Leadership to learn about leadership opportunities within EO.
For more insights and inspiration from today’s leading entrepreneurs, check out more articles from Inc.’s EO and EO blogs.