Christie Henderson – Henderson Partners, LLP
Christie Henderson is used to success. Her full service firm of chartered accounts and professional advisors has grown almost 20% every year since she became Managing Partner in 2005, leapfrogging the growth rates of most other professional service firms.
Even with that success, however, Christie was looking for the chance to truly take her firm, Henderson Partners, to the next level. So Christie set out to find a forum that would help push her to break the mould and accelerate the growth of the business. Before joining CEO Global Network in early 2010, she tried another executive organization, but found it wasn’t what she needed. “I love learning,” Christie says. “And I didn’t need just another group of friends. I needed to be challenged.” Finding that she was still craving a deeper level of learning and accountability, Christie eventually turned to CEO Global Network.
“In terms of what I’m getting out of membership now, a lot of it comes from my Group Leader, and our fantastic group of CEOs. I leave every group meeting feeling inspired and reinvigorated,” she says. That new perspective and support network has led Christie to a breakthrough in their business model that’s changing the way her clients think about investing.
“There’s always been this issue in the investment business with conflicts of interest everywhere. Our clients would always come back frustrated,” Christie says. “So we’ve launched a new platform for our clients to leverage high net worth resources, but offered to our clients at the same fees the big banks and brokerages would pay before they add on their fees to you – the consumer.”
The new collaborative model had never been done in the industry, and Christie credits her Group Leader for helping to assess the idea and potential challenges of the new venture. “He was great in terms of doing due diligence with our partners for the new platform. As an experienced CEO, he has been through a lot.”
Like many entrepreneurs, Christie admits she tends to get excited about new ideas and opportunities, but notes that the experience of her Group Leader meant she could maintain an objective view. “He was great at knowing what to look for and presenting all the possible scenarios. That was a good process to go through.”
While fast-growing, Christie’s firm is relatively small compared to most other CEOs’ companies in her group. Being exposed to those larger companies has been beneficial to Christie, as well to the other CEOs. The diversity of company sizes and industries is something many CEO Global Network Members tout as key to learning.
So what has been one of Christie’s biggest lessons since joining CEO Global Network? “It’s okay to slow down sometimes. I go pretty hard,” she says. “And as a CEO, I sometimes felt like I was underperforming because I wasn’t getting as much done as quickly as I wanted to. My Group Leader and my Group let me know it’s okay to step back and slow down sometimes.”
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