Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about the Acumen Community.

What is Acumen?

Acumen is a platform and community for GROWTH. You. Your Company. Your Equity. Your Profit. Your Culture. Your People. Your Leadership. Your Impact.

Acumen exists to create catalytic communities that sharpen, inspire, and challenge CEOs and ignite a higher standard of influence and performance. Acumen is designed for CEOs and owners who want to grow their companies, sharpen leadership and competitive edge, and have a positive impact on the world.

What is the Acumen experience?

Spending meaningful and necessary time working on your business with other aligned CEOs and business owners is invaluable and packed with immense ROI. Having a group of trusted comrades engaged in the unique battle of leading an organization and engaging in the daily challenge of competing in the marketplace is healthy and life-giving.

Here are just a few of the things you can expect from the Acumen experience: Inspiration. New Ideas. Breaking through obstacles. Overcoming people challenges. Growing beyond plateaus. Accelerating growth. Expanding leadership effectiveness. Bigger vision. Being challenged by trusted peers. Executive coaching. Curated best-practice business content. World-class leadership development. Adventure. Becoming a better spouse and parent. New and inspired purpose. ROI beyond measure.

As a Partner, what specific activities will I participate in?

We’ve designed the Acumen experience to challenge you and cultivate personal and company growth with:

  • Council: Your Acumen Council meets once a month, so you’re developing relationships and discussing strategy on an ongoing basis. It’s an intensive council, with roots in strategy, tactics, and real world execution. Growth is a natural outcome.
  • Debrief: Also once a month, Acumen partners receive one-on-one executive coaching: We’ve crafted these sessions to challenge you not just professionally, but personally too.
  • Advance Leadership Workshop: Every quarter, Acumen partners engage in an Advance Leadership Workshop with industry leading experts. This includes the entire Acumen community and can include key leaders from your team.
  • Outbound: Every year, you and your Acumen team will get away overnight for an adventure experience that the team will help design. Tap out of your company and into your community to create deeper relationships and come back refreshed for the battle.
What are the benefits/ROI of joining Acumen?

We’ve written a short blog outlining the benefits and ROI here: The ROI of Acumen’s Peer Advisory Teams

Who participates in Acumen and what are the criteria to join?

Acumen is for CEOs and owners of businesses who are hungry, humble, and smart (think EQ, not IQ), and who are leading healthy and growing companies. Organizations range in the size of $1M in revenue to more than $500M, and from five employees to 5,000.

We also have teams for key executives, including other C-suite level executives, and second-in-command of the companies we serve.

How can I know if I'd be a good fit for Acumen (and if Acumen is a good fit for me) at this point in my leadership journey?

We vet every candidate to ensure there’s a positive fit. Acumen does not serve as a hospice or lifeline for companies that are in trouble or are sinking ships. All companies go through challenges, but prospective partners must have healthy businesses upon acceptance into Acumen.

Acumen is not a networking group. Sure, networks form and business happens, but if you are specifically looking for leads and new business, do not apply.

Acumen is not for the “know it all” or a place to brag about all your success. We all have something to learn no matter how much experience or success we have. If you know it all, don’t have challenges in your business, leadership effectiveness or life in general, or haven’t been humbled somewhere in your journey, do not apply.

What is an "Affinity Team" and why is that important?

Prospective Partners will be placed in teams with similar affinities. This affinity-centric approach creates a community that’s both an advisory board and a peer mastermind. In combining the best of both, Acumen unifies professionals whose businesses are in similar seasons and have similar characteristics, like revenue, employees, locations, competency and demographics. We discovered that greater value is created for all Partners when they are among peers who are dealing with similar complexity and in their respective organizations.

What is the time commitment?

We find most CEOs and owners would like to spend at least 25-50% of their time working on their business. Yet, when they honestly evaluate their time, they realize that they actually spend less than 5-10% of their time working on their business. So there is a 5-10x gap to reach the minimum.

How does this affect your business and ability to grow? You work on the urgent and not the important. Acumen provides an automatic time during your month where you get to work on the important. You get out of the office (catalytic in itself), slow down, get into a helicopter and look at your businesses (along with others).

And as one of our prominent partners put it so eloquently: “If your instinct is, ‘I can’t afford to do it timewise or for the minimal investment,’ then that’s exactly why you need to do it!” Watch more here.

Acumen council, debrief, and Advance Leadership workshops will account for 4-4.5% of your work hours (depending if you work 40-50 hour workweeks). This time is a catalyst for you to increase your important vs. urgent time and work on your business.

Get your fire lit, versus another day in the firefight.

Who will be in my team with me?

Your Acumen team will be a cross section of businesses that range from all industries that are not in competition with yours.

Our affinity-centric approach creates a community that’s both an advisory board and a peer mastermind. In combining the best of both, Acumen unifies professionals whose businesses are in similar seasons and have similar characteristics, like revenue, employees, locations, competency and demographic similarities.

Who will facilitate and lead my team?

Each team is led by a former CEO, owner or president. They have sat in your seat, stared at the ceiling at night worried about their business, hired, fired, built teams, raised money, and eventually exited their company. Real-world experience in the trenches, trained in the Acumen way and executive coaching principles of the International Coach Federation (ICF), our Growth Catalysts come alongside you to help you and your company grow.

What are foundational truths Acumen leans on?

There are many ways to make decisions in and about your business and your life. Whether you think so or not, you have a framework that outlines how you make decisions: a latticework of values, experiences, ideas, and models that create the base of how and where you look, feel, and then act.

Every Acumen team is composed of CEOs and owners who believe that how we live, lead, and serve others has meaning for today — and on the great beyond.

Far from perfect, we are men and women who claim Jesus Christ as our Savior. We aspire to lead a life of purpose in our businesses, our communities, and our families. We share values, virtues and beliefs. We are NOT prideful, judgmental, or denominationally rigid. We also leave all the icky self-righteous religious BS at the door. No do-gooders allowed, just top tier leaders willing to be real and seek the truth.

Community is a powerful thing. You deserve a return on your time, investment, improvement, insight, and integration. Come and see.

What's unique about Acumen?

Hey, look: You have choices when selecting a group of advisors or peers with which to engage in shoulder-to-shoulder real life. Acumen is unique in many ways. Here’s a summary of our top five ways:

  1. Affinity-centric model: Teams assembled by affinity. Grow and move as your company grows. Deep local focus. Intra-community coaching and mentoring relationships.
  2. Highly qualified, competent chairmen and coaches that are Christlike and spirit-led.
  3. Small team + large team. The big community. The small team is your core advisory group. Plus, you get the opportunity to connect and learn from all the other Partners and teams in Acumen.
  4. Advance Leadership Workshop. World-class leadership development for you and your leadership team. Connectivity with the entire CEO community.
  5. Shared values & foundational worldview belief system: Anchored by the Supremacy of JESUS and the timeless wisdom of the ages.
What are the non-negotiables?

It’s important that our leadership and the partners we serve adhere to the Acumen shared values and partnership covenants (not trying to be rigid, just seeking partnership engagement for greatest value exchange for all parties):

  • We develop healthy, growing businesses … NOT a hospice or lifeline for a sinking ship.
  • We work on CEO/business owner issues … NOT a networking group or study.
  • We are humble and teachable … NOT for the “know it all” or the person who has “all the answers.”
  • We share values, virtues and beliefs … NOT for people whose walk and talk lack significant alignment.
  • We are Christ followers … NOT prideful, judgmental, haughty or denominationally rigid.
  • 100% confidentiality, safety and non-disclosure is essential.
How much does Acumen cost?

Acumen is an investment in YOU, the highest leverage leader in your organization. Don’t skimp – get around a tribe of high trust, highly competent, peer entrepreneurs and business owners. Coupled with best-in-class structure and curated content, you’ll experience growth beyond your expectations and in areas of life you could never have anticipated.

If you are serious about growth, you should expect at least a 10X return your first year. We have calculated the immediate value associated with the advisory team at 4X your investment (advisory board; executive coaching; leadership development/training).

Ready To Be A Part Of The Acumen Community?