Mastermind

Back in the ’80’s, I had my first experience of a Mastermind group through a course I took. Its a concept that was developed by Napoleon Hill in the ’30’s. Since then, I’ve enjoyed such a group for a time, sometimes formal, sometimes a more informal group, perhaps as part of a discussion group. Its an excellent way to keep on track and not get lost in the noise of negativity so common in our culture. Ties in nicely with Marc Allens concept of working in Partnership I spoke of here. Today I received a newsletter from Juliet Austin outlining the main points of a Mastermind nicely. Its surprisingly powerful if you have a solid group.

What is the Mastermind?

Napoleon Hill in his 1937 book, “Think and Grow Rich”, defined the mastermind in the following way: “The coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose”.

From a business perspective, what this means is that when two or more people work together to help one another move forward in their businesses, they will accomplish more than they would on their own.

Many of the most successful people in the world utilize the principle of the mastermind and attribute their success largely to the implementation of this practice.

If you are looking for ways to excel in your success, becoming part of a mastermind group is seriously worth considering.

Benefits of a Master Mind

o You have access to ideas, knowledge, and resources that you would never have on your own.

o You will achieve more in your business in less time, with less effort and less money than you would otherwise.

o You will learn from others who are already more successful than you.

o You will get support and guidance that will help keep you motivated and propel you to set better and bigger goals.

o You will tap into the power of the “group energy” which is more powerful than any energy you can create on your own.

o Solutions to problems will be resolved more easily.

o You will benefit from the accountability factor. People are known to perform better if they have others to be accountable to.

o You will become more brilliant yourself as you learn from others.

How To Set up a Mastermind Group

There are many ways to be part of a mastermind. You may choose to work with a group led by a business or marketing coach, or you may set up a group on your own. If you choose to the latter, the steps below will help you in setting up your mastermind:

1. Determine the Size of the Group: Although mastermind groups can be any size, a group of 3-6 people is likely best. You want to be sure that everyone gets their needs met and that there is enough time to discuss everyone’s ideas or problems.

2. Select Members Carefully. Choose people who are at least at the same level as you or higher in terms of the success they have achieved. The more successful your groups members are, obviously the more you are going to get out of it. You don’t want people in your group that will hold you back.

Also, make sure you feel comfortable and like the people you decide to have in your group. You want to choose people with whom you can build trust with or the mastermind will fail.

3. Get a Commitment from Each Member. Masterminds work best when a commitment is required from each member. Members should agree to attend all meetings unless an emergency prevents them from attending. If members do not show this kind of commitment, your group is going to have a high risk of falling apart.

4. Frequency of Meetings. If you want to be sure that you build and maintain momentum, it’s probably a good idea to meet at least twice per month.

5. Length of Meetings. Although the length of your meetings is largely up to you, 1-2 hours s ideal. It will depend on how many members you have and how much time you allot for each member to share their business concerns and plans.

6. Maintain Confidentiality. You must ask for complete confidentiality of members in order for people to feel safe enough to share their challenges and ideas.

7. Structure of the Meetings. Choose a timekeeper for each meeting and then decide on how much time each person has for sharing. You can either have a set amount of time for each person at each meeting, or you can have members negotiate for how much time they want for a particular meeting.

8. Keep Meetings Positive. Your mastermind should not be a place where people complain about what is not working. Of course you want people to be able to share their problems, but it should be in the context of getting help to make positive changes.

9. Start Meetings By Sharing a Success. This serves as are inforcement of member’s personal successes and reinforces to the group that it is working.

10. Allow Members to Take Turns. In Expressing Their Problem, Challenge or Idea. The other group members then listen and brainstorm solutions and ideas.

11. Discussion Topics Can Be Professional or Personal. Problems discussed can be focused on your practice or on personal issues that relate to, or are currently impacting on your practice in some way.

12. Members Commit to an Action Step. Each member who spoke at the meeting will then make a commitment to an action step that he or she will take as a result of the ideas offered by the group.

13. Accountability Reporting. Each week the members report on the action steps they committed to and whether they achieved them or not. ”

Juliet has some other articles here, focused around her business, marketing for therapists and healing professionals. Her Members program is focused around a Mastermind model for supporting this group. Also, check out her blog.

(I’m not in that business area but I have taken a couple of her excellent workshops)

David

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6 Responses to Mastermind

  1. Fantastic – I love it when people break things down into specific steps and bite size chunks. I very much believe in the team approach, and I think point 2 is most critical – make sure the co-members are at the same evolution level that you are [see Spiral Dynamics].

    Great article. More please!

  2. Davidya says:

    You may want to follow the links to Juliet’s site. Mastermind is not my area of expertise, though I have enjoyed the benefits. The trick is finding a group you can keep going. This is something to go long with.

    Spiral Dynamics has some useful ideas but is essentially a mental framework. Evolution is better understood to take place in consciousness, which is then reflected in intellectual development, emotional development, and so forth. So understanding the process of the evolution of consciousness is the key. This doesn’t have the upper end limitations many constructs have. I talk about this elsewhere here.

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  4. danielholmesdxb says:

    One of the main problems with most mastermind groups is there full…so what to do? You need a place to go where you can create you very own easily in less than 5 minutes.

    In this case there is 4 remaining spots left, but what if this not your niche? You need to find the right mastermind group that fits your need, right?

    Also, once you have decided you wish to start your very own mastermind group…you’ll need all the right mastermind tools and resources to get you up and running!

    Next you need other mastermind group members to begin – one of the best ways to do that is through social networking sites. That’s great if you’re looking for new friends and getting in touch with lost ones, but most of them are not going to much help in your mastermind group! You need likeminded people, mentors, peers, etc to help you in your quest for success!

    Walla – everything you need is ready for you to start right now, simply got http://www.imindlive.com to GROW your dreams now!

    Regards, Daniel Holmes
    info@imindlive.com

  5. Davidya says:

    Hi Daniel
    Good luck with your service. Can’t say I agree with all of your comments. It’s true that it’s a good idea to start with a new group so it develops together. But the commonality is in mutual support, not niche. It’s not about discussion but networking and people from other fields can have surprising connections.

    I would agree that finding a committed group of people can be challenging. I’ve had a few groups fall apart. And social networking sites tend to encourage ‘skimmers’.

    I see you’re using Playbox. Have not tried that -looks a bit like Ning but with live video conferencing. As some of you seem to be from the Middle East, I guess it won’t be in person (laughs)

    One minor tip – It’s Voila!, French. Walla is a term used in sound recording to denote background crowd murmur. It originates from a director who had a group of extras all saying “walla, walla walla” 😉

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