Carlos Rosales, chair with Convene, talks about peer groups with a Christian perspective.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. Texasbusinessradio.com is the Web site. We’re talking about peer groups this week. If you listen to this show for any length of time, you know that we are big advocates of peer groups. Being the CEO, being the leader of an organization is a very lonely job sometimes. And it is infinitely helpful to be able to get in the same room with your contemporaries that have the same flavor problems that, that you do and be able solve them. Because as unique as we all think we are, we’re not. And other people have solved those problems, other people have solved those problems effectively. So we’re talking about peer groups this week and there are many flavors of them available. We really don’t care which flavor. Jay is a Vistage Master Chair. Vistage is one of them, there are many out there. And we’re bringing you a flavor of them today, some various groups. And I have found it fascinating, Jay, how each one kind of supports a niche. And it’s something that, you know, I think is remarkable. I didn’t even know all these groups existed till we started doing this.
Jay Curry: Yeah, It’s not, it’s not one size fits all. This is, you know, there are several options out there and each one has an advantage and each one is unique and it is a best practice to get in one. You will, you’ll be a better leader if you get in a peer advisory group. And so, today’s discussion, the whole thing has been really good to show the, the various flavors
Matt Register: Yeah, no doubt.
Jay Curry: And another one here, that I really like a lot.
Matt Register: No doubt. I’m your host, Matt Register. That’s Jay Curry over there in the co-host chair. We’re going to jump right into it. Carlos Rosales is a Chair of Convene. Convene is a peer to peer network for CEO’s, for business leaders. With the twist that it has a significant Christian spiritual component to it. Carlos welcome to the show sir.
Carlos Rosales: Well, thank you. I appreciate being on today. Jay, thank you, Matt.
Matt Register: Well, tell me a little bit about Convene. What is, what is Convene? How is it that you were different in the marketplace from your typical peer to peer advisory group?
Carlos Rosales: Well, I think the thing to start off with is it, as Jay just said, it’s a best practice to get into a peer group.
Matt Register: Sure.
Carlos Rosales: Because you can always benefit. And one of the things that I find so amusing sometimes, when you have the business owner is, I know everything. Right? I don’t need any help. I don’t need anybody come along. And so that’s, that’s can be our biggest challenge. But once you’re in a peer group, you start to understand that there is wisdom in godly counsel. Well, that’s what it says in proverbs and that iron sharpens iron. And that’s really what we’re all about. Our unique advantage in the marketplace is we are looking for christian business owners, CEOs that want to take their business to the next level. We offer the same value that some of these other peer to peer groups do. But we have that, that, what I like to call the secret weapon, that supernatural, the power of the Living God is a part of what we do. And it’s very much about business but it, it’s kind of reformatting your thinking to say, where can we find wisdom in the word of God for this particular problem.
Matt Register: Well, it’s interesting, we were talking during the break and talking about your approach to solving problems. One of the unique things that I think Convene brings, that some of these other types of groups do not is, you start with, well, let’s go to the scriptures, see what God says about, about this particular problem. Right?
Carlos Rosales: That’s right. That’s right. For example, this goes back probably over a year ago now, where somebody was having an issue with delegation. Well, the very first story of delegation in the Bible is Moses and Jethro. Moses was trying to judge all of, excuse me, judge all the people in Israel, the whole tribe of Israel, if you will. And Jethro says “Man, you’re wearing yourself out. What you need to do is you need to appoint judges.
Matt Register: Sure.
Carlos Rosales: In groups of ten and that sort of thing. Well that’s a very first story of delegation. So, there’s a lot of wisdom in the Bible. In fact in Ecclesiastes it says that there’s nothing new under the sun. And so we believe that God’s word, the Holy Bible is the very best business book out there. And that’s not to say there aren’t a lot of good wisdom out there apart from that. We believe it starts there.
Matt Register: Well, no doubt about that. Now this organization has been around for about 20 years.
Carlos Rosales: That’s correct.
Matt Register: Talk to me a little bit about the history of it because it has an interesting history and started in an interesting way.
Carlos Rosales: Well, it’s interesting because Brian Thatcher is our founder. He has Convene group one and he’s actually our spiritual adviser now. He’s actually moved on to international. He’s looking at starting Vistage, I mean, excuse me, Convene Chairs.
Jay Curry: Gee, I hope so.
Carlos Rosales: Convene in China. But he wanted to start a Vistage group and this is how the story goes, I wasn’t there. But, he says “You know, I went to Vistage” and he said “I want to do this. I want to have a Vistage group but I want to have a spiritual element”. And according to the story they said “Well, we don’t do it that way”. So he started his own and it started out as BBL and it had that name for a long time. And it started in Southern California and now it’s grown to cross the United States. We’re on both coasts and we have approximately 500 members nationwide.
Matt Register: No. That’s, that’s interesting and it’s and there’s a handful of groups in Texas as well. You are the chair in Houston. There, I know there’s one in Fort Worth. Where else in Texas are they?
Carlos Rosales: We have actually three groups in, in Houston, in the greater, I’m sorry, in Dallas. In the Greater Dallas, Fort Worth area there’s three chairs, two chairs, three groups. We’re here in Houston. We’re looking to expand that into multiple groups. But right now we’re looking at, just adding a few more members to the team.
Matt Register: No, makes a whole lot of sense. So talk to me a little bit, you know, pricing structure is market based, is similar to some of the rest in the market.
Carlos Rosales: That is correct.
Matt Register: How often do you guys meet? What is it, what kind of time commitment are you looking at as a member of this?
Carlos Rosales: Well, we like to describe Convene, similar what Vistage offers, is we’re a three legged stool. The first leg is what we call our form Day. We’ll meet one, for once a month for a full day. We have fellowship together, we eat a meal together or two meals and we look at business topics. And I can go more into detail that. But that’s the first leg. The second leg is one to one coaching, which I offer. I do have certifications, similar to what you have and I’ve been a certified business coach for over 10 years. So that’s the second element. I go to my business locations. We have members from League City to College Station. And then the third leg of the stool is, we have an annual conference. And we bring in big name speakers and they, they share business wisdom with, with the attendees. So this year, coming up in May, in Newport Beach. And it’s a great time to be around other business owners with the same values and get some great business wisdom and some fellowship.
Jay Curry: This is a full day?
Carlos Rosales: Yes sir.
Jay Curry: Okay and then how long are the one on ones?
Carlos Rosales: 90 minutes.
Jay Curry: 90 minutes.
Carlos Rosales: That’s correct.
Jay Curry: Very, very Vistage like.
Carlos Rosales: Right.
Jay Curry: But it has that twist of spiritualism that, that we really don’t play with.
Carlos Rosales: Right. And, you know, it, it, it, we feel it’s significant. For example, all of our one to ones and all of our forum days, we’ll start with prayer. And we believe that asking God into the room or being present with us, can make a difference. And we’ve seen not only business lives transform but family life transformed. And that to me is what it’s all about. You know, we’re not just one dimensional. We have other elements that are our lives. And we believe that, that when you have your life right in your walk with Christ, then it’s going to radiate and transfer to the rest of, the part of your business.
Matt Register: Yeah. Well, no doubt about that. We’re talking to Carlos Rosales, who is an Executive Coach and a Chair for Convene. What is the easiest way Carlos, should somebody want to learn more about Convene? What’s the easiest way to do that?
Carlos Rosales: Well, they can go to convenenow.com, that’s convenenow.com. I’m also on LinkedIn and they can certainly reach out to me by phone.
Matt Register: Well, I’ll tell you what, we’ll have the phone number and convenenow.com is the web site. We’re going to have that linked, right there from Texasbusinessradio.com. If you are driving and don’t want to take notes. Got it. We’ll have it linked right there from the web site. I want to thank you very much for joining us Carlos.
Jay Curry: Yeah, great story.
Carlos Rosales: It’s been delightful.
Jay Curry: Great organization. Doing a good cause around a good spiritual foundation.
Carlos Rosales: Well, thank you. Thanks so much.
Matt Register: Well, no doubt about that. And guys, you know, we preach peer groups quite often on this show. Jay and then you being a master chair. I’m a member of a peer group as well.
Jay Curry: Right.
Matt Register: You know, I’m telling you as the owner of a business, as a CEO of a business, there are people who have face your own problems. These guys, all of a sudden, when they’re in that position, realize that their friends don’t have the same problems they do. Their, you know, it’s a fairly lonely experience. Right?
Jay Curry: Absolutely. And again, as I said earlier, there’s different flavors here. You need to find a group, you need to get into a group that’s relevant. We have groups like TAB, which are for smaller business generally. And it just, you know, the spiritual aspects of Convene. There’s just a lot. And the one thing for sure is, you need to be in a group.
Matt Register: Yeah, no doubt about that. Unfortunately guys, we are completely out of time. We, I enjoyed it. I hope you did too. See the entire thing in high definition video there at Texasbusinessradio.com. We’re going to be back next week with an entire other show. Until then, guys go do your best. We’ll be back with you next week with a whole another show. Take care.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.