If you find joy in connecting with individuals as smart as or even smarter than you, then the concept of a peer network might pique your interest. Peer networks offer dynamic and insightful experiences, making them highly sought-after for leaders at all levels and across diverse industries. Whether you’re an aspiring CEO or an established leader seeking to elevate your impact, this episode will equip you with the knowledge to embrace the unparalleled benefits of peer networks.

Matt Sitter is a seasoned management consultant and CEO of Advantage Foundry Network, also known as AFN, Matt is an expert in facilitating global peer networks for CEOs. Join us as Matt delves into the world of peer networks, unveiling the transformative value they offer and shedding light on how you can become part of this enriching community. Let’s dive in and discover the boundless potential of collaborative leadership!

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    1. What is the significance of ideation and networking?
    2. What are the top trends that CEOs are currently facing?
    3. How can employees be rewarded with Personalized Rewards?
    4. Why is it important to listen to your audience?
    5. What qualities are required to be a great leader?
    6. What role does stakeholder savvy play in effective leadership?
    7. How can peer networks assist in developing strategic decision-making?

    If you are exposing yourself to a diversity of experience, expertise and perspectives, you are gonna come up with better ideas.”

    Matt Sitter


      [04:19] Navigating Networks: A Journey from Water Polo to AFN

      [09:54] Building Powerful CEO Networks: Insights and Trends from Diverse Perspectives

      [14:01] Navigating CEO Priorities: Top Trends and Challenges in Today’s Business Landscape

      [16:30] Employee Value Proposition: Unveiling the Power of Stakeholder Savvy and Personalized Rewards

      [20:36] Signature Segment:  Matt’s LATTOYG Tactics of Choice

      [22:48] Matt’s entry into the LATTOYG Playbook

      [23:55] Future-Focused Leadership: Embracing Challenges and Transformative Tools in AFN

      [26:14] Inspiring Leadership: A Tribute to a Father’s Impact on Business and Lives

      [28:33] AFN: Empowering CEOs through Global Networks and Collaborative Leadership

      [27:20] Signature Segment: Karan’s Take


      Meet Matt Sitter, a dynamic management consultant, executive coach, and the visionary CEO of Advantage Foundry Network (AFN), a prestigious global CEO network. With an impressive background in leadership roles within renowned consultancies such as The McChrystal Group and CrossLead and the healthcare diagnostics and health tech industries, Matt has amassed a wealth of experience in optimizing organizational and cross-functional collaboration.

      Passionate about harnessing the power of human networks, Matt is dedicated to creating a platform that leverages collective experience, expertise, and diverse perspectives to drive innovation and seize new opportunities. His commitment to facilitating meaningful connections among CEOs and leaders has transformed the professional networking landscape.

      Matt’s academic achievements further bolster his expertise. He earned his AB in Public Policy from Brown University, honing his skills in analyzing complex issues and developing strategic solutions. Additionally, he earned an MBA from the prestigious Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, equipping him with the business acumen to navigate the challenges of various industries.

      With a strong focus on empowering CEOs and executives, Matt continues to profoundly impact the business world. Through AFN, he provides a unique space for leaders to exchange insights, collaborate, and grow, fostering a community that thrives on collective learning and support. Matt’s unwavering dedication to the success of others exemplifies the essence of his leadership philosophy, making him a true beacon of inspiration in the world of executive development.




      Article: How Peer Networks Can Help CEOs Become Better Leaders

      Examples of Peer Networks:

      1. For CEOs: Chief Executive Network, YPO, G100 and Vistage
      2. For Women: CHIEF
      3. For Director+ Leaders: NOTABLE
      4. For the Newly Promoted or in an Expanded Role: Leadership Consigliere

      Overview:  The Lead at the Top of Your Game Leadership Development Experience


      Shockingly Different Leadership Logo

      Episode Sponsor

      This podcast episode is sponsored by Shockingly Different Leadership, the leader in on-demand People, Talent Development & Organizational Effectiveness professional services, all designed to up-level leader capability and optimize workforces to do their best work.

      Click the plus button on the tab to access the written transcript:

      Episode 40 | When Professional Networks Make or Break Your Leadership Potential with Matt Sitter

      Matt Sittter  00:00

      The two things that stood out to me were… one was ideation. So the people who come up with the best ideas within organizations are connected to a bunch of people who are unconnected to each other. And then reach. So the best way to reach a bunch of people isn’t necessarily to have a massive audience yourself. It’s to be connected to people who are connected to a lot of people who are unconnected to each other.


      Voiceover  00:27

      Welcome to the “Lead at the Top of Your Game” podcast, where we equip you to more effectively lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. Each week, we help you sharpen your leadership acumen by cracking open the playbooks of dynamic leaders who are doing big things in their professional endeavors. And now, your host, leadership tactics, and organizational development expert, Karan Ferrell-Rhodes.


      Karan Rhodes  01:02

      Hey there superstars thanks for joining another episode designed to help you better lead at the top of your game. You know, Don’t you just love collaborating and sharing ideas with others who are as smart as or even smarter than you yourself? You know, if so, then you might be interested in the concept of a peer network. The insightful and dynamic experience of peer networks makes them a sought after development and strategic support option for all levels and types of leaders. We even have a few peer networks that we sponsor here at SDL. But it should come to no surprise that CEO level peer networks are in high demand due to the high stakes nature of being a CEO and needing to surface and solve complex challenges that hold the fate of employees, the business, and customers in the palm of their hands. Today’s guest is Matt Sitter, a management consultant and the CEO of Advantage Foundary Network, also called AFN. AFN is a global peer network for CEOs of companies. And that’s going to help us better understand what peer networks are, the value they create, and how to join one yourself if you’re in the market. So after the episode, be sure to stay tuned for just two minutes to listen to my closing segment called Karan’s Take, where I share a tip on how to use insights from today’s episode to further sharpen your leadership acumen. And now enjoy the show. Hey there superstars This is Karan and welcome to another episode of the Lead at the Top of Your Game podcast. I am so pleased to have both colleagues new and seasoned with us and tinker with this. Hopefully you’ve been following the podcast and if you haven’t, and you’ve stumbled across us, please feel free to enjoy this episode and then subscribe so that you don’t miss another one of these. They always have great tidbits about leadership and leadership execution and no two episodes are ever the same. But today on today’s show, I’m really pleased to have a guest who is intimately involved in a lot of CEO level conversations and, and especially around leadership strategies or quagmires that they’re facing. And we have on today’s show, Matt Sitter, Matt is a management consultant and executive coach, but he is also the CEO of Advantage Foundry Network, which is affectionately known as AFN. For short, it is a global peer network for CEOs. And he is going to share a little bit about both his company and what are some of the trends that you know CEOs are facing right now that are really keeping them up at night. So welcome to the podcast, Matt.


      Matt Sittter  04:03

      Thanks, Karan. Good to be here.


      Karan Rhodes  04:05

      Happy to have you. So Matt, I’d love to start it off by helping the audience that a little bit more about to you. So as much as you feel comfortable, would you share just a sneak peek into your personal life and some of the things you’d love to do?


      Matt Sittter  04:19

      Well, one of the things that I love to do probably the thing that helps me reset more than anything else is I play water polo. I grew up playing water polo. And you know, as a high school and college athlete did it I am not a big guy. I’m about five, eight. And so I had to be quick. And now that I’m a little bit older, I am no longer quite as quick. So I have to rely on a little bit of savvy. But you know, the thing that is great for me is I can’t think about anything else. I’m doing it. I’m totally engaged. So it’s, it’s a great way to do that and to get some exercise and really actually probably dictated a lot of the ways that I think about the world is my experience with water polo with athletics and everything that came out of it.


      Karan Rhodes  05:02

      Wow, amazing. And what part of the country are you in?


      Matt Sittter  05:06

      I live in San Francisco Bay Area. Oh, the


      Karan Rhodes  05:08

      Bay Area. Okay, wonderful. Well, my listeners know, I’m based out of Atlanta. So we’re doing the East Coast West Coast thing right on the podcast. But I know water polo is very popular on the west coast. So I do understand that, that love of desire. So let’s dive deep on that. You know, and tell us a little bit more about AFN. And what it does, and you know, how it came to be of exist in existence?


      Matt Sittter  05:36

      Yeah. So AFN, it’s, it’s the culmination of a number of different things for me. In 2012, I went to work at an organization called the McChrystal group, that was founded by General Stanley McChrystal, and number of his aides, and they were taking what they had done with Joint Special Operations Command. So you know, all the folks that you hear about in the movies, Delta Force, Seals, yeah, and they all got to work together, they don’t necessarily communicate that well with each other, nor do they necessarily like each other. They all got to be pointed at the same targets. And, you know, with the advent of the Internet, and cell phones, things had sped up a lot. And while I was there, that actually helped drive me into executive coaching and think about operations within businesses. But also, I was exposed to a number of defense, former Defense Intelligence analysts, who really got me understanding network science and network analytics. And so that really started getting my brain pointed towards this idea of how to networks actually operate. And there was an article I read in the Harvard Business Review that showed what some network signatures look like. So certain things that happen when networks looked a certain way, within organizations. And the two things that stood out to me were one was ideation. So the people who come up with the best ideas within organizations are connected to a bunch of people who are unconnected to each other, and then reach. So the best way to reach a bunch of people isn’t necessarily to have a massive audience yourself, it’s to be connected to people who are connected to a lot of people who are unconnected to each other. Right. So you have this ability to actually spread your message a lot further. And so in thinking about


      Karan Rhodes  07:20

      It’s kind of that compouding effect?


      Matt Sittter  07:22

      Absolutely, yeah. And and you don’t have people just talking to each other, right? They’re actually spreading the message further out. And so I started thinking, if we were to design a network based on that, what would that look like? And then, interestingly, the pandemic was a boon for this, because zoom in, you know, all forms of video teleconferencing, the way that you and I are talking right now, I’d be talking the same way to someone across the street, or across the world. And so we thought about how we could connect people globally, it just became a lot simpler to do. And I really believe one of my fundamental beliefs is there’s no such thing as the smartest person in the room. Everyone’s good at a lot of different things. And so if you are exposing yourself to a diversity of experience, expertise and perspective, you’re going to come up with better ideas, you’re going to be that ideate, or that can actually drive new information out there. And so building up the CEO network around this, you know, you think about leaders there, they gotta be Jack of all trades in some ways, but they came from somewhere, they’ve got expertise on something. And so getting them all together, they can be learning from each other in an environment where they don’t have to feel like someone is worried about how they’re going to get paid or something like that. This is all just like, hey, you’re getting support from folks who understand the problems that you’re in.


      Karan Rhodes  08:46

      And that’s amazing. I do understand that because, you know, SDL does a lot of Human Resources consulting for seat with CHR OHS. And during the pandemic, you know, they were being hit left and right with both COVID having to manage COVID and messaging around that had to, you know, help guide their their organizations through the new hybrid and remote environments, and you name it, you know, go down the list. But this is the time when executives were really heavily leaning either experts or each other to try to figure it out. Because it was one time in history when we were all like, spinning like the Tasmanian devil.


      Matt Sittter  09:28

      Everyone’s in the same boat. And it was just like, Okay, we got to figure out something, what have you tried, and there wasn’t enough time for individuals to try out everything on their own. So if they could leverage the experience of other people, that was a huge help.


      Karan Rhodes  09:39

      So now I’m curious, how did you pull together your first group was see a lot on if it was your first group, but your group of CEOs because how do you know when they are ready to join a peer network?


      Matt Sittter  09:54

      Yeah, so I do you know, there are a number of large peer networks that are out there. that exists. And we, you know, everyone does slightly different stuff, I wanted to make sure that I was not focused on a hyper-local aspect that you weren’t going to be tied specifically to the geography that you are in. And so again, some of the technologies that existed, or tools that existed that we didn’t have before. So LinkedIn is actually a great way to find a number of these CEOs that are out there, particularly in far flung locations that I wouldn’t have come across organically, otherwise. And so being able to meet someone who’s in Haiti, or being able to meet someone who’s in Africa, or in the UK, you know, that was a way to actually create some introductions that I couldn’t have looked at otherwise, in a lot of the value was saying, like, hey, you know, I want to expose you to people who you wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed to, but can do it in a time efficient manner, you can get a good ROI on your time, and ultimately start striving towards you’re getting referrals and things like that. So you really got to get some momentum going. But I would say LinkedIn was a primary tool that I looked at.


      Karan Rhodes  11:04

      Fantastic. So are your peer groups? What what is the target or ideal number of individuals that are in a peer group together? Is it five or 50? You know, what’s ideal?


      Matt Sittter  11:17

      Yeah,I like eight to 10. And you know, when you think about interacting in a zoom environment, I run all mine out of zoom, you do want to make sure that everyone is engaged and has an opportunity to talk. And when you think about two hours, that’s the typical length of our meeting, two hours can go by pretty quick. And that means each person gets an average of like, 10 minutes total that they get to speak. And so being able to make sure that everyone’s ideas get incorporated into it, and they feel good about contributing 10 is good on that. Now, you know, what I like to do as well as I run subject matter expert discussions, usually a couple times a month, where it’s more of the type of format that you and I are doing right now Fireside Chat ish, but then CEOs can ask questions at the end. So they’re not the star of the show. They’re there to just take in information from it. Whereas the environment that I’m trying to create in our peer groups is they’re actually actively discussing things together.


      Karan Rhodes  12:13

      Wonderful. And are these CEOs from smaller size firms or enterprise level or anything in between?


      Matt Sittter  12:22

      So you know, the I’ll answer your question from, from a sideways manner. So two characteristics that are really important for our CEOs are that they don’t feel like they’re the smartest person in the room, they know, they’ve got something to learn, and that they want to scale their business. So typically, we don’t look at folks who are mom and pop shops and want to stay that way, the revenue size that we’ve got more often than not, is from a couple million dollars to hundreds of millions, I would say we don’t get into when companies have billions of dollars in revenue. And, you know, the, the challenges that you can find are the solutions that you find from people, all sorts of different businesses are interesting. And also, when you think about how just employee sets are changing, people are relying on contractors, gig workers, part time workers more and so the number of employees that you have is no longer a good indication of how big you are or how big you can be.


      Karan Rhodes  13:18

      And it’s true, that is spot on. And that’s saying that as well. And I think that’s what, you know, a lot of companies such as you know, mine are supporting that when they do need some, you know, consulting or contract or interim help. And there’s a huge amount, because the way the workforce looks now is nothing how it was five years ago, or even almost three years ago, well, you know, it just it changes so dramatically. So you know, and of course, we want to not name names, because we want to protect the innocent, but can you share with the audience members? Like what are some of the top trends or things that your CEOs are facing right now? Like, what was top of mind for them?


      Matt Sittter  14:01

      I mean, you know, some of the one of the easy ones, which, you know, in the beginning of the pandemic we were talking about, alright, how are you handling working from home? Right now that we’re past the pandemic? It’s like, all right, what should the policy actually be when health and safety is not the only concern that you’re thinking about where someone’s work environment happens? So how are you making sure that people can get the right sort of interaction that they’ve got to optimize what you’re trying to have happen within the organization? The topics that we talked about have a huge range, though. So as an example, compensation is a really interesting one, where there’s all sorts of different theories of compensation, everyone’s doing a little bit differently. How should you actually be using equity compensation? How should you be setting what a base salary is one person who’s, you know, an influence to me, he was talking about how Hey, he only hires people in the 75th percentile and doesn’t pay them any bonuses or anything like that, but is reviewing that on a six month basis so that they’re all always paid at the 75th percentile removes on the negotiation that you want to look at and removes the need to actually, if someone comes to you and say, hey, I can get paid some something somewhere else, a lot more than like, Hey, thank you. Great, be on your way. But also, it removes compensation from the development discussion. So it’s, you know, if you’re having the annual review with someone, or waiting to find out what their raises gonna look like, instead, this actually can focus on how can you get better, and achieve what you want. If that’s a promotion, that’s another way to get paid more


      Karan Rhodes  15:29

      Now that… that makes a lot of sense. And I can actually understand the advantage of the company doing that. And one of the things I’m seeing on the people side is that companies are taking a second look at their benefits packages. Because, you know, during the pandemic, when it was a while, it still kind of is, but when it was the Wild Wild West, and the market is hard to find people for jobs, a lot of companies start offering everything under the sun, you know, to try to entice and attract talent. And it was very pricey for a lot of organizations. And now, now that they want to reel it all the way back in, but they want to prioritize what is best, or what is most desired by their employees, and D invest and things that people aren’t quite using this frequently. It. Have you heard any topics? Or have you noticed any topics where they’re trying to really understand the employee value proposition for their companies?


      Matt Sittter  16:30

      So absolutely. And I think one of the things that’s interesting, you know, if Well, there’s a couple of things that happened during the pandemic, one was, you also had inflation that was kicking off. And I would say this is the case and like the last year or so, some of our CEOs actually looked at just giving a one time, dollar amount to their employees, instead of actually giving them a raise, because it was unclear how persistent inflation was going to be. And if you were increasing your costs, overall, it was going to be difficult to dial back. against that. I would say also, you know, as we’re thinking about what really matters to employees, there’s all sorts of things that matter to matter to different people. So in some cases, it’s flexibility. In some cases, it’s income. In some cases, it’s, you know, the health insurance that you’ve got, some of our CEOs have emphasized that they actually, when they want to reward people, they do it with experiences, instead of just straight dollar amounts. So one of our CEOs, he’s in the UK, he’ll do a dinner, to reward people a couple of times a year. And it’ll be for them. And whoever they choose is their guest at a $1,000 a plate, restaurant, right. So this is something this is an experience that people are not going to spend money on otherwise, right? Choose all sorts of different ways that they want to do it, but you guarantee, they’re going to remember that this is something that they are, you know, some will say, like, I remember I got a bonus, once they’re not gonna remember the dollar value, they’re probably not gonna remember what they spent the money on. You’ll remember that experience. And one of our folks a different person than the who is one that I just mentioned. She also focuses on experiences, but they have what they call, I think I call it a dream bubble. And so people can put in in the beginning here, they’re like, hey, if I am deserving of some sort of reward, here’s the type of thing that I would want to get. Right. And so that actually can be hyper personalized towards the person and something they would never ever want to buy for themselves. But if they got it, they would be over the moon.


      Karan Rhodes  18:34

      Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. You know, so I stole a different version of that. Back when I was in corporate, my last big gig was that Microsoft is my listeners now. But I did the same thing that I would ask those that worked with, you know, if they had their nirvana of every employee reward, what would that be? And so definitely kept those and try to reward the way they’d like or, and or I would listen and pay attention in meetings where they would talk about an activity that they love with them and their family or somewhere they went. And they note so it’s, you know, it’s those little things like that.


      Matt Sittter  19:18

      People will tell you what’s important to him. I think we’ve got to be masters of communication. We’ve got to be students of the human condition, like what’s going on with people what what is what’s happened with them, what really gives them joy?


      Karan Rhodes  19:32

      Absolutely. And even chatterboxes like me, you can learn how to click on those active listening skills to make sure you know, things are… You know, you’re really paying attention to folks. And speaking of listening to others. You know, we had a moment to chat before we started the podcast. And you had shared with me that was the tactic that most stood out for you out of my book were what As a tactic leading with stakeholder savvy, and as my listeners know, stakeholder savvy is the sister tactic to emotional intelligence, you know, it’s all about really listening and understanding others the diversity of perspectives, changing maybe your approaches or what you do based on the environment that you’re in, you know, there might be some way you will perform or act or speak or focus on when you’re in a sales conversation. And then another one when you’re having cocktails, you know, with your office mates. So tell me why having a great acumen stakeholder savvy, is meaningful for you.


      Matt Sittter  20:36

      Well, I would say this, in particular is interesting. So a, another line of effort that I’m working on right now is around chiefs of staff. And so Chiefs of Staff, pretty interesting position was mostly I would say military and government related and has found its way into the private sector a lot more, but is often not so tightly defined. So these people like the expectation is they’re working for the CEO or some major person within the business, and they say, hey, just make things better for me. Right. And so, I have been hosting along with a couple friends, what we call chief of staff office hours on Fridays, where we get to sit staff together, and we can talk about, hey, what do you what should you be doing with in your job, and when you don’t have a lot of direction on exactly what should you should be doing? What should happen around it. And one of the identities that we’ve outlined is this idea of being the chief network officer. So the Chief of Staff understanding what tribes occur within the business, right, so you’ve got these different groups that are associated with each other, that feels some sort of belonging to each other, maybe it’s finance versus sales, something like that, what alliances and rivalries do they have. So as chief network officer, you’ve got to have the savvy to understand that. But also, like we were talking about before, if you’re really listening to folks and understanding what they want, and what gives them some juice, what gets them excited, that can help you moderate how you are having discussions with them. And the chief of staff, a lot of times their job is to help people connect the dots. So if you’re doing a better job connecting the dots speaking the language that is relevant to the person and that those things that appeal to them the most, you’re going to be able to go a lot further.


      Karan Rhodes  22:15

      That’s right.. And I always talk about in our workshops, by having a high degree of an acumen. And in that area, that, in essence, earns you the right to be heard by those you’re trying to target. Right. And once you do that, then you can, you know, kind of take it to the next level from there, but you got to first get that, that buying of interest. So I think we’re talking the same language.


      Matt Sittter  22:38

      Agree 100%? Yeah.


      Karan Rhodes  22:41

      So Matt, as the leader of your firm, what does it take for you to lead at the top of your game?


      Matt Sittter  22:48

      Yeah, I would say I’m, I’m fortunate in a lot of the things that I get to do are things that just appealed to me like I am intellectually curious, right? I want to understand what’s going on in other people’s heads. I don’t have any illusions that I’m the smartest person in the room. I like to hear what the really smart people have to say, in their areas. And I get to be someone who pulls in that information and distributes it. I think that you know, always thinking about what the priorities are within the business. That’s the hard things, what are those things that you have to do versus those things that you want to do? And making sure that those things are getting taken care of the things that you feel like you have to do but don’t want to do you’ll avoid them? So how do you make sure that you’re actually working around those, and I would say the thing that gets me really excited is just being able to introduce people together, who they would not have connected otherwise. And something great happens between him. And that’s something I get to do all the time. So that’s pretty exciting.


      Karan Rhodes  23:43

      That is amazing. What is one thing that good is going on it AFM that you’re very excited for like in the next six to 12 months? What’s on the horizon for you all?


      Matt Sittter  23:55

      You know, I would say there’s, there’s always something exciting going on. So there’s always new challenges that pop up. And I think that that’s always interesting. We have, like I said, we’ve got subject matter experts that we pull in all the time that are helping us learn more about things. One of the things I’m looking at incorporating into Fn, it’s called the Leadership Network diagnostic. And that actually helps people evaluate what their smaller networks look like. And are they sufficiently open? Are they deep? Are they diverse? Are they those things that are going to help you in your career and so being able to take some of these tools that are unusual out there and helping people to reframe how they’re looking at the people that are around them, that are really important.


      Karan Rhodes  24:39

      That is so spot on and so needed, it’s not an area that’s really discussed in depth, I’ll just say in my career experience and in the corporate world is not part of formal training, and less to a lesser extent and smaller Mom and Pop companies. They stay they stay together. as they are viable, so


      Matt Sittter  25:02

      Easy button on assessments that people typically do are things where it’s like either your ability, or what my personality looks like, which those are tremendously valuable, right? But how you actually work with other people? What are the types of people that you’re actually pulling in to be your knowledge net? Yeah, that matters a lot. And that is something that people, like you said, don’t get formal training on, they’ve got to kind of figure it out as they go. And it’s something if you’ve got some concepts in place, you can actually do a better job around it.


      Karan Rhodes  25:32

      Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So and I hope this is not a gotcha question. So I might, you know, take some time if you need to think about it. But I want you to think about a leader, or a brand that you like or admire. It can be a person, it can be a business, it can be an entity or what have you. But some entity or person, business that has just by the way of their operation has earned the right of your followship because they are such a leader in their area, especially is there one that pops for you that you would not mind sharing, and to tell us why.


      Matt Sittter  26:14

      I don’t know if this is 100%, the direction that you wanted to go. But so you know, my dad was a tremendous inspiration for me, he had a business in the technology space, he made cables for the backend networking equipment, right. So the stuff that you get for your internet routers and stuff like that he was making cables for that. So he always call it the low tech end of the high tech business. And I like that and of itself. I don’t know, I don’t think that that business is necessarily inspirational. But how he led made a big difference, you know, the people who are doing a lot of manufacturing, they were a lot of them were not from the United States, originally, they were coming to the United States, English was their second language. And, you know, as immigrants, they didn’t always have all of the opportunities around them, or all the knowledge that was there. And so he actually put in place things like in English as a Second Language class, he had banks come and actually present to the group. So they could actually see the value of having a bank account around what they were doing. And he was consistently providing opportunities to folks within this. So he was like, Hey, how can I actually do something that can be inspirational to my business, or that can make a difference for people. And I just think, the amount that he gave and was willing to put himself out there for other people, I think, shine through in the commitment that they had back to him. And you know, I’d say that one of my aspirations is to make as big a difference in some people’s lives as he made in some of the people that worked with him.


      Karan Rhodes  27:48

      Oh, well, I just want to salute your father and the impact that he made on you. And that was a perfect answer. Mine is my father, as well as people know that. Right on on there. So thank you so much for the gift of that story, and help in tying that into what is making you so great. And what you’re doing at AFN, you and your team, that’s absolutely fantastic. So before we close, Matt, I wanted to give you an opportunity to share if how people number one can get in touch with you. And then number two, when you may be opening up for a new peer class of CEOs at AFN and how they can get on a waitlist for you.


      Matt Sittter  28:34

      Yeah, absolutely. So easiest way to find me probably is through LinkedIn. And we mentioned my name, my last name is Sitter just like babysitter. I once heard that it is a lot easier to remember that someone is a baker than their last name is Baker. So just picture a guy sitting down and you’ll be able to remember my name.


      Karan Rhodes  28:53

      There you go!


      Matt Sittter  28:53

      Our website is AF n dot global or anything like that just AFN n dot global. And we are slotting people in and out of groups all the time. And we’re looking at how people gel together consistently, I would say this is one of the benefits of us being a global organization as well is that we’ve got the capability to bring together groups that it doesn’t rely on us, you know, just looking at a specific geographical area. So if people are interested in joining, they can either contact me directly through LinkedIn or my email addresses Matt at AFN dot global, or they can go to our website and fill out form there. And I’d say also if people are interested in the Chief of Staff, stuff that I mentioned more than happy to talk about that too.


      Karan Rhodes  29:39

      Fantastic. Well, listeners, we will have links to all of this that Matt mentioned how to get in touch with him and everything I can tell you he’s very approachable, extremely helpful. And you might even have if it’s not right for you, you might have colleagues who could definitely use a tremendous peer network out such as the venue and the form format that AFN provides. So Matt, thank you so much for being on today’s podcast. I was busy writing notes so that I can go back and, and re listen that we had so many great tips and continue to do the great work you’re doing at AFM because the CEOs are the ones who are guiding the companies who are impacting our communities every day. And they even they need, you know, the air cover for a network, you know, to kind of have rich conversations and learn new things. And you’re providing that and that’s a true gift to us. So we thank you.


      Matt Sittter  30:41

      Thanks, Karan. It’s awesome to talk to you.


      Karan Rhodes  30:43

      Awesome. All right, listeners. So once again, be sure to share the podcast with your family and friends and colleagues. If you haven’t subscribed yourself, please do so. And we’re going to have another enticing episode next week. So be sure to come back and listen then. You all have a wonderful rest of your evening and we will see you next week. Take care. I hope you enjoyed our conversation today with Matt Sitter, CEO of Advantage foundry network links to his bio his entry into our leadership playbook, and additional resources can be found in the show notes, both on your favorite podcast platform of choice, and on the web at lead your game And now for Karan’s Take on today’s topic of peer network. You should know that peer networks are not just for CEOs. There are many that are focused on your current career stage or profession. Participate in a peer network can help you develop each of the seven leadership tactics that came out of my research. But today, I want to connect how peer networks can help you specifically develop the tactic of leading with strategic decision making. And as you all know, strategic decision making is your ability to make good decisions yourself, or lead a good decision making process with others based on your top strategic goals and priorities. As leaders we face tough decisions every day. Some are more risky than others. However, bouncing ideas off of others and listening to a diversity of perspectives definitely increases the chances that you will not be blindsided by unforeseen obstacles. The data and insights you gained from participating in a great pure network can be invaluable, especially when your job or business goes on the line. Just one word of caution everyone. Not all peer networks are created equal. They vary in design and effectiveness. So be sure to do your research to find a good one for yourself if you’re in the market. The research on leadership effectiveness proves that high achieving individuals such as yourself, develop faster when collaborating with other high achieving individuals. So be sure to evaluate whether the caliber of your potential peer network is where it needs to be. Your time is precious. So be sure to do the due diligence needed to make sure your participation and appear network is a win win. If you’re interested in exploring peer networks further, I will include links to view them in the show notes. And then lastly, be sure to remember to subscribe to the podcast and share the podcast with just one friend. Performing this one selfless act will empower you to help others to also leave at the top of their game. Thanks so much for listening, and see you next week. And that’s our show for today. Thank you for listening to the lead at the top of your game podcast, where we help you lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. You can check out the show notes, additional episodes, and bonus resources, and also submit guest recommendations on our website at You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn by searching for the name Karan Rhodes with Karan being spelled K a r a n. And if you like the show, the greatest gift you can give would be to subscribe and leave a rating on your podcast platform of choice. This podcast has been a production of Shockingly Different Leadership, a global consultancy which helps organizations execute their people, talent development, and organizational effectiveness initiatives on an on-demand, project, or contract basis. Huge thanks to our production and editing team for a job well done. Goodbye for now.

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