Vistage Research Center

Get actionable, data-driven insights and expert perspectives from our global community of CEOs and thought leaders. Led by Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer

Best of Vistage Research Center 2018


lessons in business and leadership

If you want to understand what kept small and midsize CEOs up at night during 2018, look back at these 8 top articles on the Vistage Research Center. They highlight some of the unforeseen plot shifts over the year, unexpected events that pressured-tested the growth strategies and leadership of many CEOs.

From new tax law and tariffs to labor shortages and leadership blind spots, we gathered insights from experts in our community to help executives address some of the biggest challenges of 2018. The lessons learned also provide a foundation for the big decisions and key investments in 2019.

Here we showcase six top Vistage Research posts to consider, as you build a winning strategy for your business in 2019:

1. Five strategies for winning in 2018 

Vistage Research Center veteran Holly Green regularly contributes on topics of strategy and leadership. In this piece, Holly challenges leaders to play to win, rather than play to lose, with her five winning strategies. (Bonus download: Use Holly’s Strategic Values Grid as a tool to keep your organization focused on the right initiatives.)

2. Small business strategic planning: 10 tips to transform your company

Marc Emmer is a Vistage speaker, member and research contributor. His “trends series” is a must read each year, where he highlights the political, economic and technology trends. In this piece, Marc turns his attention to how small businesses can build a strategic planning process in 10 steps. The world may be a volatile place, Marc notes, but small businesses that plan what they can control are in a better position to react to the things that they cannot.

3. Win the war for talent in the year ahead

Talent management has emerged as the top decision for CEOs once again. Historically low unemployment rates are pressuring CEOs not just to aggressively recruit new hires, but to develop and engage existing employees. Kathleen Quinn Votaw, Vistage member, speaker and sponsor, shares her thoughts on winning the talent war.

4. A leader’s guide to being wrong

Our insistence on being right does not serve us well, especially executives who want to grow their businesses and grow as leaders, asserts Michael Malone, a 13-year Vistage Chair and Marine Corps veteran. In this article, Malone challenges the cultural bias against taking blame and learn to acknowledge when we are wrong in the interest of self-improvement.

5. Are you investing in your own leadership?

Based on the Q4 2017 Vistage Economic confidence index CEOs are barely investing in leadership development for themselves and their teams. In this piece, I raise five questions to consider when investing in leadership.

6. Accountability starts at the top

Vistage CEO and 14-year member Sam Reese shares his perspectives on accountability, and why it requires a commitment from the top and adoption throughout the organization. He identifies 5 ways to make accountability part of your business world.

7. Tangling with tariffs: An expert’s perspective

Many U.S. businesses are scrambling to cope with the repercussions of new tariffs, including higher material costs, smaller profit margins and disrupted supply chains. To gain greater insight into these issues, I reached out to Joe Quinlan, Managing Director and Chief Market Strategist for U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management.

8A key benefit of tax reform for small and midsize businesses 

As business leaders, accountants and legal professionals worked to understand the nuances of the new tax code this year, they’ve identified a key opportunity for small firms: the expansion of Section 179, which allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year.

Ready to get a jump on the next year? Look forward to the trends affecting business in 2019: economy, politics, social and ecological, and technology.

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