Mastering Success: How Tony Robbins’ Principles Align with Vistage Peer Groups

After years of reading Tony Robbins’ books, watching the Netflix special “I’m Not Your Guru,” and hearing great things from others about the impact of his events, I was finally able to attend his 4-day workshop, Unleash the Power Within. It was an intense and powerful experience, and I’m excited to share my takeaways with you.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with Tony Robbins. As an entrepreneur, #1 NY Times bestselling author, philanthropist, and the nation’s #1 life & business strategist, Tony Robbins is a business and popular cultural phenomenon. He is the author of six international bestsellers, and I’ve read most of them.

I have dedicated over forty years to studying the best life practices and business strategies and was already familiar with Tony’s insights. Still, there was something unique about hearing him present his research live.

The foundation of Tony’s work is his belief in the power of a growth mindset. Throughout the workshop, he reiterates the importance of believing in the ability to grow and improve through hard work, strategies, and input from others. This mindset is crucial for overcoming challenges and achieving success, and he offers intellectual, emotional, and physical tools to this end.

Of the many insights, tools, and nuggets of wisdom that Tony offered over the four-day event, two stood out to me: the 3 Principles of Mastery and Extraordinary Life. The 3 Principles of Mastery align perfectly with the purpose and function of a Vistage peer group. Living an extraordinary life requires a mentality that makes the most of all opportunities and overcomes suffering.


    1. Model
      This is what artists and athletes do, and it is what business leaders should be doing as well—model greatness. Identify someone you admire, someone who represents the success you would like to achieve, and identify what you can emulate. Many of us had adults in our lives who warned us with the adage, “You are the company you keep.” Tony says something very similar, “people’s lives are the direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group.”
      High expectations of a peer group are what benefited me when I was a Vistage member, and it is my job to facilitate this as a Vistage Master Chair. Vistage peer groups consist of sixteen to twenty CEOs in diverse industries doing between $5M and $500M in revenue. There is always someone in the group playing a bigger game, and there is guaranteed to be someone who has expertise in an area that you don’t. There is no shame in this—it is the key to true mastery.
    2. Immersion
      Tony’s premise is that we hold ourselves back, and we are the ones who need to move forward. For that to happen, we need the time, motivation, and space to dedicate all our attention to overcoming obstacles.
      Vistage peer groups are a commitment of time—time necessary to fully immerse oneself in learning, investigating, sharing, and resolving problems. We take a day a month to immerse ourselves in working on our business, on our leadership, and on the issues and obstacles getting in our way. Non-competing members offer an unbiased perspective on what a member can do by sharing their experience of what they did in a similar situation.
    3. Space Repetition
      Mastery requires repetition. Period. Just like muscles don’t grow without regular workouts, business acumen and mastery don’t evolve without regular analysis and practice.
      In Vistage peer groups, we guarantee our growth and momentum with monthly meetings. In addition to that commitment, we have triad meetings with two other CEOs who hold each other accountable. This is what allows for mastery not only to be achieved but to also be sustained.


Tony’s mission is to equip people to live extraordinary lives. This is no small goal, but the tools he offers to achieve it are incisive and practical. I appreciated his reminder that we all deserve and are capable of living life on our terms. For that to happen, we need to understand that the greatest obstacle to living our best lives is usually our own thoughts. Fears, insecurity, suffering—these patterns and emotions hold us back.

Tony says,

“If you’re an entrepreneur, I’d say, don’t be so damn hard on yourself. I know that sounds counter to being an achiever, but when you’re beating yourself up, you’re sucking out the energy and need to move forward. Energy is life. If you have strong energy, you can do anything.”

We can choose to change our mindset. For us to be able to direct our energy and shift our mindset, we often need to change our physiological reactions. Forty years ago, while getting my first coaching certificate, I learned from Fernando Flores and Julio Olalla that body, emotions, and language are the three entry points to coach someone. The event provided a welcome reminder of my early learnings, and Tony gave us numerous ways to change our physiology.


I recommend this workshop to all business leaders and to anyone who is struggling with limiting beliefs. Stanford research has validated the efficacy of Tony’s work. It is an awesome experience that can really help business leaders achieve the success that they strive for.