written by Xan Pearson, CEO & President, CTLF



When I accepted the role of CEO with Colorado Thought Leaders Forum, I knew I wanted to spend the first few months meeting and talking with our community members about CTLF and what makes this organization so special. As I began diving in, it occurred to me that my experience was not unlike those of brand-new members—excited to join and eager to learn more about how we help business owners, entrepreneurs, and senior executives grow by challenging convention and developing HEART-level leaders.

My onboarding for this new role has afforded me a unique opportunity to experience CTLF with fresh eyes, and I realized that sharing my learnings about our history and program offerings would not only edify me as the CEO, but also prove beneficial to our members. This post is a little longer, but I hope you’ll take the time to read through it as I’m confident you’ll find the content helpful in understanding our amazing CTLF community.

History—It starts with “Community.”
Colorado Thought Leaders Forum was founded in 2009 by Bob Neuman, Greg Greenwood, Doug Sparks, and Sara van Rensburg in response to the challenges posed by the great recession. Rather than trying to spend or save their way out of the economic downturn, these visionary leaders believed that by supporting and encouraging one another, CEOs, business owners, and other influential executives in our community could not only survive but could actually prosper in even the most challenging conditions.

This dynamic group set out to build a trusted community of like-minded leaders who would help each other thrive, grow their businesses, and alleviate the pressures of what often felt like “going it alone.” By intentionally designing events, group discussions, and guest speaking opportunities, they created spaces to build authentic connections with others, challenge conventional thinking, and provide resources for personal and professional growth. They knew that to build great companies, you need to create great leaders—leaders who value personal and professional growth in themselves and their teams every bit as much as they do a healthy bottom line.

Since that time, CTLF’s programs and approach to leadership growth have continued to evolve with numerous programs, but the mission remains largely the same: to create healthy, prosperous, purpose-driven business leaders for the 21st century.

We do this by creating opportunities to defy convention, expand your thinking, grow as a person, and experience authentic connection. When CEOs, entrepreneurs, and senior executives expand their capacity to lead, cultures thrive, businesses succeed, and communities prosper. Now in our second decade of existence, with new ownership in Class VI Partners and a veteran operations team behind the scenes, CTLF is poised for continued growth in the service of our members and our mission.

CTLF’s programs are built around three pillars designed to help members unleash their potential and expand their capacity to lead their businesses: abundance, thriving, and wellbeing. Abundance focuses on expanding circles of influence and creating authentic, trusted relationships to help drive business growth. Wellbeing focuses on supporting leaders in their own personal growth. And Thriving focuses on helping entrepreneurs,
owners, and key executives develop and expand their leadership growth.

To varying degrees, all of these programs are designed to promote and encourage five core characteristics we believe are the distinguishing qualities of truly great leaders: humility, engagement, authenticity, a regenerative mindset, and a spirit of togetherness. By developing HEART-level leaders, we believe CTLF has the potential to help business become a leading force for positive change in the world.

Over the next few months, I will be sharing more about each of our programs, how they came to be, who they are for, and how they advance our mission. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about each of our different programs and events, check out our summary here.

As I previously mentioned, our history starts with community and that has never wavered. Whether you are an entrepreneur or a corporate senior executive, CTLF recognizes that being a successful leader involves more than a title and responsibility. We strive to provide valuable programs, events, and resources to support participants, build community, and help Colorado leaders thrive. It starts with you, our members, and the community you have helped to evolve and enrich over the past 13 years. Thank you for helping us strengthen our mission. I’ll continue next month with a deeper dive into one of our most incredible programs, Strategic Connections!

In togetherness,

CEO & President
Colorado Thought Leaders Forum