How Community and Giving Back Can Multiply the Power of Your Network

“Give and you shall receive, much more than you would have ever thought possible…No one has ever become poor from giving!” — Anne Frank


A key motivator in my professional journey is helping others achieve greater professional satisfaction and success.

I first embraced this as a key to being a better leader and manager. And, it drove me to start the Journey CxO community. I wanted to create an authentic space for community and giving back to others.

By solving a problem I faced, “How to become a better leader?”, I also helped my direct reports have a more fulfilling career experience. And, the process of giving felt good.

Joe Meyer unlocked the same virtuous cycle when he started ExecThread amidst his job search as he was leaving Apple. Looking for his next leadership role in late 2015, Joe realized that the traditional job search process, particularly for senior leadership roles, was broken.


No one was really looking out for the candidate.

Most senior leadership roles are not broadly advertised on LinkedIn, Indeed or ZipRecruiter. Usually a retained search firm is involved leading the effort. The pool of candidates tends to be “friends of friends” and thus look a lot like the existing people in the role. Breaking in as an outsider (to a new function, industry, or geography) is really challenging.

For many folks, especially those under-represented in executive roles relative to their proportion of the workforce — women and people of color, particularly Black and Hispanic — getting access to a broad network is even more challenging.

All of us who have gone through job search processes have wondered….

Is there a way for all of us to supercharge our network and get access to many, many more senior leadership job opportunities?

Enter Joe Meyer and ExecThread.

ExecThread, freely available to anyone who wants to join their community, offers access to thousands of “hidden” leadership roles. There are myriad listings for VP, C-Level and Board roles on the site today. ExecThread has listed 11,000 confidential retained searches over the past three years, and is today the largest aggregator of unpublished executive-level job opportunities.

I have been fortunate to know Joe for many years through a kids sports connection (which as many parents can attest is a network of its own.) Joe kindly joined the Journey CxO Community on Friday September 17, 2021 at our weekly Fireside Chat event.

He talked about what motivated him to start ExecThread, his views on the hidden job market, and his journey to becoming an ally to under-represented groups.

One of the biggest (pleasant) surprises to Joe is that the ExecThread membership is ~50% women, Black, Hispanic and LGBTQ. That figure is a multiple of their current representation in the senior roles in the workplace.

Joe is a strong believer that diversity of thought, perspective and experience (which typically results from differences in ethnicity, upbringing, gender etc.) leads to a better functioning workplace.

Recruiters and companies are now realizing that ExecThread is a “diversity and inclusion pain killer” and directly listing jobs there as well.

Most people working in high growth companies tend to change jobs every 2 to 4 years…That pace of change is part of the start-up and high growth experience. ExecThread is even more helpful to those of us in these situations.

I encourage everyone to follow Joe on LinkedIn and join ExecThread. His content is powerful, authentic and from the heart. The Journey CxO members were fortunate enough to hear Joe’s unfiltered views in an intimate forum.

Learn more about Journey CxO and our membership offering for leaders and emerging leaders here.

Aditya Dehejia

Adi’s experiences as a CFO and HR leader in start-up companies inspired him to start the CxO Leadership Accelerator. He saw firsthand the challenges in building a satisfying career, the importance of leaders in developing people, and the difficulty in building broad business acumen while excelling in your functional role. Prior to his operating career in start-ups, Adi held roles in a growth capital investment firm and in the corporate development and strategy department at a Fortune 500 company. Adi is an active volunteer mentor in the FirstRound Capital and TechStars networks as well as within his University alumni communities. Adi was born in India and immigrated to the US at age ten. He attended Princeton University (graduated with a degree in Politics) and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He lives in the suburbs of New York City and has two adult sons and two lovable, crazy dogs.

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