Meet Mark Laufer
Region: New York
Industry: Transportation & Warehousing
Success with Vistage
- Achieved more than 100% growth
- Created a culture of collaboration and open communication
- Expanded business connections
- Increased employee retention and productivity
“My Chair has been one of the most incredible influences on my personal and professional growth.”– Mark Laufer, CEO, Laufer Group International
While 2009 was a year fraught with financial challenges for many business owners, Mark Laufer had a different problem: His business had grown bigger than he knew how to manage. Mark could no longer lead the entire team on his own. He just didn’t know how to go about it without relinquishing control.
He had the sense to know “that you don’t know what you don’t know.” At the coaxing of a friend, he joined Vistage.
Through group and one-to-one coaching sessions, Mark learned about the importance of corporate culture and the value of aligning people through corporate values and goals. His Chair and fellow members pointed out that it wasn’t enough to have a vision, he had to get his team on the same page.
He soon enrolled his key executives in Vistage groups. They benefitted from Vistage speakers, concepts and trainings. They embraced the Vistage group dynamic, in which the group Chair and fellow members challenge one another’s ideas and hold each member accountable.
Mark says this helped him and his management team become better decision-makers. It also brought to light a core company value: a “culture of collaboration.”
Mark has realized numerous business and personal benefits through his Vistage membership. To start, Laufer Group grew by 100 percent during his first five years with Vistage.
He now finds that his team members work together to problem-solve, and his investment in their professional development has improved retention.
Above all, Mark gained an insight many C-level executives fail to grasp: They don’t have all the answers. Vistage members taught Mark to challenge his assumptions, consider alternative viewpoints and bring his executive team into the decision-making process.
“My Chair has been one of the most incredible influences on my personal and professional growth,” he says. “He presents business concepts and ideas in broad-minded and cutting-edge ways, both through his selection of speakers and through his personal coaching. He has helped me, as an individual and a CEO, push the boundaries of our business.”
Mark adds that many of his Vistage group members have become close friends, on whom he still relies for guidance. “We are all here for one reason: to improve our business and to help our Vistage teammates improve theirs.”