How does a concert pianist become one of the most sought-after Forum Facilitators in the World? Good Question!

I started my first business – a software training company – over 25 years ago. After taking the upstart from nothing to over $2M in revenues, I hit a plateau. My business was stuck. I was stuck. And I wasn’t sure how to move ahead.

Then I heard about the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), and became a member of a Forum. With the support and sound wisdom of my executive peers, I got my business ‘un-stuck’, and the rest – as they say – is history.

My skills as a trainer and curriculum developer have allowed me to give back as much as I continue to receive through my Forum experience. In the 18 years since I joined EO, I’ve been President of the Atlanta EO Chapter twice, and have served in several positions on both the Chapter and Global EO Boards. I developed the EO Forum Trainer Certification Program (2003), and helped author multiple curricula and training programs for Forum Moderators and Facilitators. My Forum Retreat Planning Guide is one of the most comprehensive resources for planning and executing memorable Forum Retreats.

I started ForumSherpa to share knowledge and proven techniques that help leaders and members get the most value from their executive peer team experience. I welcome input, ideas and suggestions from all Forum members as I have learned that the evolution of Forum strengthens through the collective creativity of the entire Forum community.

Why the ‘Sherpa’ theme?

I was on a ski trip many years ago in Snowbird, Utah when I caught a bad cold that kept me off the slopes. Boredom set in quickly as I sat in the lodge, so I wandered into the gift shop looking for a book to read. That’s when I found a book called The Seven Summits, a fascinating, true story about two highly successful businessmen who decided to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. I couldn’t put the book down, fascinated by the strength and courage required to be a mountain climber and pleasantly surprised by the pearls of wisdom sprinkled throughout the story.

So began my fascination with mountain climbing and soon the bookshelves in my home were filled with books on mountain climbing, mountaineer climbers and extreme expeditions. I never tire of the incredible stories of determination, success and failure. And I noticed in the backdrop of the most aggressive expeditions in the Himalayas, there was a humble band of local experts/guides, helping the superstars reach the summit. The books and movies rarely spotlight these quiet heroes, many of whom have lost their lives while attempting to serve their clients. These experts, called sherpas, affix ropes and ladders, provide tools, carry supplies, cook meals and advise the climbers on the numerous dangers in their path.

“Sherpa” is a perfect analogy for what we do. Like the iconic sherpas of the Himalayas, our facilitators are guides who lead the way, walking side by side with our clients to provide instruction, wisdom and expertise. Along the way, we are prepared to guide and support, continually cheering on our peer teams and leaders to execution excellence.

Ellie Byrd, Founder & Master Facilitator