Episode #1092: In this episode of the Arete Coach Podcast, Chip Webster, a Co-Founder of TEC/Vistage Keepers of the Flame, Mentor, Strategic Consultant, Business Owner, Author, and former long-term Vistage Chair, discusses the impact of peer groups, powerful questions, civic duty, and safeguarding democracy. Chip closes the conversation by providing insight into his own mission: to make a difference in the lives of others, help others realize their dreams, and be an angel to others.
About Chip Webster
Chip Webster is the Co-Founder of TEC/Vistage Keepers of the Flame, as well as a Mentor, Strategic Consultant, Business Owner, Author, and former long-term Vistage Chair. Chip is a leader in the peer-to-peer learning space with over three decades of experience, providing high-level mentoring, strategic support, and executive guidance to over 100 companies.
Prior to his entrance into the executive coaching field, Chip was the President of Consolidated Directories, his own independent phone book company. From 1987 to 2015, Chip was a Vistage Chair leading 4 groups. During this time, he helped take 2 companies public. In 1999, Chip was awarded the Don Cope Award and was later promoted to President of Vistage Florida where he oversaw 45 Vistage Chairs and 75 Vistage groups.
In 2005, Chip co-founded an organization called Keepers of the Flame, a nonprofit organization for 10-year experienced Chairs to share their story, their journey, and their wisdom with their peers. Together, they learn about the soul side of being a Vistage Chair with the intention “that the flame be passed from generation to generation.”
In 2007, Chip was named one of the 50 most influential people in the first 50 years of Vistage. He also served as President of the TEC Vistage President’s Council for three years. From 2018 to 2020 Chip was the Chair of the Tiger 21 Tampa Bay Group, an exclusive peer membership organization of high net-worth entrepreneurs and investors.
Today, Chip is a member of the Board of Directors for Tampa Bay Watch and the Central Florida Urban League. He is also on the board of Hire Velocity, an executive search talent advisory and RPO company. Chip has also published two books, A Passion for Life: Reflections from the Journey and Paint and Poetry an Ekphrastic Journey.
Chip’s executive coaching journey
Chip Webster has been in the coaching industry for 35 years and shares that he was “backed into it” and that “it wasn’t [his] objective at all.” Before entering the coaching industry, he was President of Consolidate Directories in Georgia. During his time in this industry, encountering mergers, and seeing potential indicators of “running out of money,” he was introduced to TEC. Chip started coaching with TEC (now Vistage in Florida) and built his first peer group in 90 days. Over time, his peer groups grew. Chip shares that in the 70s, he wrote down his “life mission” which was “to make a difference in people’s lives and help them be successful.” After writing this down, he realized coaching was his calling. As one of the 50 most influential people in the first 50 years of Vistage, Chip has seen great growth in the coaching industry and worked with many successful executive coaches and Vistage Chairs.
Mentors and learning from others
In order to be the best coach he could be, Chip “spent as much time as [he could]” with high performers in the executive coaching world. He has made friends with many Don Cope Award Winners and explains that without them, he wouldn’t be who he is today. Chip believes that “we become the average of the 10 people we hang out with” and has used that to his advantage. Later in the interview, he states that he has “been the luckiest guy in the world. Every phase of my life, somebody showed up… or opened a door…”
“Everybody wants to tell the truth”
When asked what is “something that is powerful that you’ve learned in your life that others might not have learned yet?,” Chip shares that “everybody wants to tell the truth, they just are looking for someone to tell it to.” He explains that the role of a coach is to turn these life stories into something helpful to the individual. Chip states, “people need connection and they need to have real conversations.”
In discussing what sayings and mantras Chip has used in his life, Chip shares a poem he wrote titled “Act Now.” His poem discusses the importance of being active and always moving forward.
“Act now, when I act the universe provides all I need. When I act doors open, help arrives. When I act, the unknown becomes known.” - Act Now, a poem by Chip Webster
Angels for others
Chip’s “why” is his life mission, “making a difference in peoples’ lives and helping them realize their dreams.” His “why” is to also be an angel for others. Chip explains that this is “why we exist and we’re here to learn.” He shares, “that really is a question I asked myself a lot in the early days of my Vistage Journey… Why are we here? Why do we exist? And it’s to be angels for each other.”
Mosaic of life
Chip is 76 years old and has continued to coach and add value to the coaching industry. When discussing why he continues coaching, he explains that “if you’re not adding value, you’re taking up space.” Chip sees life as a mosaic, much like Salvador Dali’s portrait of Lincoln. He states, “I believe that at the end as you’re closing your eyes for the last time, the mosaic of your life is done and it’ll be a picture of you and all the little squares or the different people you’ve interacted with… all those different tiles create who you are.”
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