Leadership Management Best Practices
Business Leadership and Mastermind Groups
Have you ever wonder what a mastermind group is and what makes it hold so much appeal for successful people? Dr. Napoleon Hill, most renowned for his classic "Think and Grow Rich", defines a mastermind group as "an alliance of two or more minds blended in a spirit of perfect harmony and co-operating for the attainment of a definite purpose".
In Dr Hill's book, he came to the conclusion that a group of like-minded, achievement-oriented individuals dramatically leveraging upon one another's strength provided the crucial platform for their collective success. This finding is based upon the research and analysis behind the achievements of no less than 500 of the most successful people in America, in a glittering list that includes Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.
This is due to the fact that having a mastermind group allows one to tap into the power and wisdom of many, and put in place a support group to assist all in attaining personal and professional goals. This is in stark contrast with the individual who cuts a lonely figure struggling to build and shape an entire business by himself.
How can business Mastermind groups benefit you?
"Me" no longer exists in a Mastermind group, it's harnessing the power of "We" that is intriguing. Imagine have a Mastermind group of people that are fighting with you in the same trenches or people who have been that, done that! And you given access by them to this unique brain trust, so as to speak, to generate support and understanding and ultimately solutions from these people, allowing you to dismiss that temporary setback as an insignificant blot on your otherwise impressive CV in future...
How does that sound? A mastermind group does exactly that for you! You are able to leverage upon the skills, knowledge, experiences, ideas and abilities of others as though they were your own and in the process, create a synergy within your group and a precious compilation of thoughts which would otherwise possibly never be generated.
The benefits of being in a mastermind group are bountiful. It provides you with marketing contacts, sales referrals, and information about new business opportunities, as well as advice on how to improve the way your business is run. However, it's important that you realized that referrals and leads exchange is just a small part of what a Mastermind group does.
Being involved in a mastermind group also calls for accountability. There can be no excuses not to get things done as you are not only answerable to yourself, but to your other group members as well.
Once you have accrued the long-term benefits such as being able to sustain your business and being able to build lasting and deep friendships with the other members of your mastermind group, you can expect unbiased and non-judgmental advice from them, and over time, they will grow to become your most trusted business associates upon whose shoulders could be relied on should you run into any sort of trouble in future.
To be able to reach that stage though, you have to first learn to give and share, objectively. Sharing allows you to process things better in your brain as you are talking to a group of people who genuinely care and this allows you clarity of thought so as to be able to set more definite and realistic goals. To benefit the most from a Mastermind group, follow the credo- Givers Gain!
Finally, should you reach this stage, you can even rely on members of your mastermind group, people whom you trust, to help regulate your business and serve as a layer of protection against external threats.
4 Ways a Mastermind Group can benefit Business Owners
Mastermind groups are nothing new. Ever since it appeared in Napoleon Hill's 1937 classic "Think and Grow Rich", more people have embraced the concept to create their desired changes in personal goals and wealth creation. Like many other business owners, I have applied this idea in my Internet business and have gained favorable results in many aspects. Hence, today I will share 4 ways a Mastermind group can benefit business owners solely in the Internet business.
A simple definition of a Mastermind group is the getting together of two or more minds for one common purpose. They work in harmony to give support to each other through ideas, encouragement, insights and resources in a non-competitive environment.
The bottom line is that Masterminding is an effective process to provide solutions to challenges and problems through other powerful tools such as creative brainstorming, networking and accountability structures. Most business owners can benefit from this simple process.
The 4 Benefits Mastermind groups can bring to most Business Owners
(1)Influx of new ideas and fresh perspectives. Perhaps the most valuable asset a business owner can have to his existing business is a constant influx of new ideas and fresh perspectives from a group of peers he trusts and respects. This is possible with a Mastermind group where you would meet your group every month to bring your business to a higher level.
(2)Staying positive and motivated. The greatest challenge a business owner may face is staying positive and motivated even when the entrepreneurial seizure has ended. To give up a profitable business due to lack of motivation is perhaps the saddest thing you can do. Thus to effectively prevent this, engage in interaction with your Mastermind group on a regular basis. The discussions and stimulation that occur can challenge and inspire you with high levels of energy, excitement and passion to keep you in the business.
(3)Accountability and Responsibility. Staying positive and motivated and to be charged with high levels of energy is important but not sufficient to bring your business to the next level. Mastermind groups can act as sounding boards for your business decisions and hold you accountable and responsible till completion of your plans. Simple systems can be set up within the Mastermind groups to track members' progress or if any follow-up action is done.
(4)Shorten learning curve by a huge margin. In an era where time is money, we have to learn double the things in half the time. By connecting with peers in a Mastermind group who have similar experience, you tap, learn and benefit from others' input. This greatly shortens your learning curve by a huge margin and this process can be repeated with you sharing related ideas and experience to others in the future.
The above benefits mentioned are only made possible when members of your Mastermind group are dedicated and committed to contribute unconditionally. If members were to join a Mastermind group solely to "take and receive", it will greatly drain the energy of the group. Hence, when choosing your Mastermind members, the screening process is as rigorous as finding an actual business owner (?).
Optimizing Teams and Mastermind Groups to Survive and Thrive
This article is written in the context that you have some background knowledge on the working dynamics behind teams and Mastermind groups. Mastermind groups and teams usually face one such problem, i.e., as time passes by, the synergy and energy within the group drops to low levels. Do you notice people skipping the Mastermind sessions? Or are members even leaving the Mastermind group, meaning to say the drop-out rate is high?
If all of the above or some of the above is happening, then it is perhaps time to review just exactly why. Should you make the mistake of dismissing the occurrences as yet another unavoidable aspect of any Mastermind group, then you are gravely wrong. It is better to nip in the bud now than allow it to develop into a situation that you are unable to salvage.
One of the reasons could be because some members are simply not committed. When you first moot the idea of a Mastermind group to these people, they tend to get hyped up and be very excited but after the euphoria has died down, you will notice them not starting to turn up for meetings. This offers some issues for you to consider.
Do you propose to end that person's stint in your Mastermind group, or do you speak to that person in private and try to get his/her focus back on to the group? To be fair, each group is unique and each individual's has his/her own way of handling conflicts, but a viable way would be to find out the reasons for that person's lack of commitment. Communication is crucial. Only through communication can you find out the real reason behind the no-shows, then decide whether to drop the person from your group or not.
Another possible reason could be because the group as a whole does not have a clear focus and the direction which it is heading toward is not specific. There is no proper agenda. Meeting to discuss ideas is one thing but meeting to generate ideas and take it a step further by the advocating of concrete action is another. There must always be an objective to be met, and failure to ensure that lead to the core of the group disintegrating. Everyone does not share the same vision, and that makes it impossible for the group to proceed. Therefore, before the start of any Mastermind session, always sit the group down to re-iterate the vision that everyone has come up with right from the start. This will serve to re-affirm the group's belief in the collective vision and goals and everyone will strive harder to make it work.
Last but not least, a high drop-out rate does not necessarily mean all gloom and doom. It could be because of the fact that they have achieved their objectives from participating in your Mastermind group and would like to focus all of their time and energy into their own projects! That has to be seen as positive! Perhaps an adjustment that could be made in the light of this would be to hold the Mastermind sessions less frequently, so that whenever the group meets, it will be more fruitful and more ideas will be exchanged and updates shared.
Through this article it is hoped that you will get to see the other side of the coin, i.e. instead of worrying how to make your Mastermind group work why not see it from the other point of view and understand what causes Mastermind groups to fail instead? It will allow you to implement steps to ensure that you have a sound Mastermind group in place ready to work towards achieving your common goals!