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Hosting My First Vistage Meeting

“It all happens when the group meets.”

by Adam Muhlenhaupt — Posted on August 25th, 2017

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Isaac Newtown once wrote, 'If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.' As a leader and an entrepreneur, these words are constantly with me. Even the man who discovered gravity could not lead alone.

Earlier in 2017, I was fortunate enough to get invited to a Vistage meeting with 15 other business owners and leaders. The rare opportunity to sit at their table and benefit from their insights, decision-making rationale and leadership tactics was something I’d be a fool to pass up.

Back in 1957, the first meeting of The Executive Committee (what would become Vistage in 2006) was held at the Milwaukee Valve Company. At the time, only four men were bold enough to attend the meeting organized by Robert Nourse. Although it took a bit of coaxing, the company presidents eventually opened up about the problems and concerns they were facing within their organizations, putting themselves out there for suggestions.Vistage is an organization of 21,000 leaders in a global network who come together to discuss topics across the scope of leading a business. It’s an organization that is designed to drive growth. A 2017 analysis of data shows that Vistage member companies grew 2.2 times faster than the average SMB in the United States. And, that is the plan for us here at Muhlenhaupt. With 30% YoY growth over the past three years, we’re well on our way to establishing our position as a leading consultancy in the thriving greater Philadelphia market.

But let’s get back to the reason I’m writing this…

Hosting My First Meeting


Back in 1957, the first meeting of The Executive Committee was held at the Milwaukee Valve Co. At the time, only four men were bold enough to attend. Although it took a bit of coaxing, the company presidents eventually opened up about the problems and concerns they were facing within their organizations, putting themselves out there for suggestions.

In mid-August, I was proud to host my Vistage group at our Manayunk office for a full day executive session. Together, we worked to process complex issues and share our successes with each other. We started bright and early in the morning and worked well into the afternoon, interacting with one another, as well as members of the M+Co team throughout the day. As the host, I was thrilled to share more about the M+Co brand and present the value that our team brings to the businesses we work with.

When the group of us gets together, I’m amazed at the experience and industry knowledge at the table. From mushrooms, aerial lift rentals and turnaround management to telemedicine, energy management materials and funnel optimization, we pretty much have it all covered! Each of these valued peers brings diverse opinions to the table. The conversation sometimes borders on magical.

I look forward to my continued involvement in Vistage as I work to make intelligent decisions for our business, as well as grow as a leader and in my understanding of the profound implications that every action and decision can have. Fortunately, I have this group of my peers to count on for trusted, confidential advice. Each month I get to recharge my thinking on both complex issues, as well as simple problems that need solutions.

A Vistage membership requires both a financial commitment as well as a time commitment, but I know the investment is worth it. One day a month, which flushes out to 5% of my monthly availability (perhaps the larger commitment of the two), is reserved for these enlightening meetings. Jim Lucas leads our group as the Vistage chair in the Brandywine Valley. Admittedly, Jim and I come from two completely different generations, but in a short amount of time, I have grown to greatly respect Jim’s leadership and personality. With Jim’s education at the Naval Academy, time in military service, leadership in a large B2B Marketing department along with his successful development of a sales and marketing consultancy, there is much congruency in our values. Plus, he’s a hell of a guy!

Thank you to my Vistage Group members for welcoming me into this group. I sincerely appreciate the collaboration! It will be a priority focus of mine to elevate the group’s value and contribute creative thinking to discussions. Cheers!