By Guy Spier, an EO Switzerland – Zurich member and managing partner of Aquamarine Capital
I’ve been a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) for more than 10 years. In that time, I have learned countless life lessons, and have been able to save myself from numerous misdirections and mistakes.
My Forum, and what I’ve learned while being in it, may well have saved my marriage. It also helped me put my business on a better path. What’s more, through EO, I was able to participate in Verne Harnish’s Gazelles Program, and join with Forum mates in Dan Sullivan’s “Strategic Coach.” The opportunities for growth have been endless.
After many years in EO, I wanted to give something meaningful and lasting back to the organization. And it had always bothered me that Israel, a startup nation, did not have an EO chapter. I had no idea how to get it going. My Hebrew is not that good, and I didn’t even live there. But I got in touch with an EO New York board member, who put me in touch with the staff at EO Global. I mentioned that I wanted to get an Israel chapter going.
Over the following few months, I planted a simple stake in the ground and set a personal goal: One recruitment event per year in Israel until the chapter launches and is viable. Then EO’s staff found other members who had Israeli connections from across the planet, and who also wanted to see EO Israel launched. They set up a monthly call between us.
That group included Ben Marcus of EO Los Angeles, Rachel Hillman of EO Seattle, Eran Lobel of EO Boston, Eyal Ronen (now EO Israel’s Chapter President) and Natallia Matveeva of EO Russia. We all got on the phone monthly and hammered out a date, location and program. In the final weeks leading up to the first event, another member of EO Global joined the team. At the chapter launch recruitment event, we had 80 people attend … and came out with 16 inspiring members.
But here is the best thing of all: I started on the EO Israel journey with the goal of giving back. Instead, I think the journey itself helped me grow the most. I learned so much about servant leadership, working with a geographically dispersed team, about motivating and evaluating people, and so much more.
Here was the biggest lesson of all: We all join EO for personal growth and learning. Little did I know that the best personal growth would happen when I stopped just receiving and started actively giving back.