The Power of a Mastermind – Is it Right for You?

I am a strong advocate of mastermind or peer mentoring groups for every one.  In fact, I have participated in a mastermind group or two every year in the past 20 years.  A mastermind group is your Success Team, Board of Advisors,  and Confidant.  Together you work together for your collective success.

Whether you want to grow your career, advance your business, initiate changes in your department or keep yourself accountable to your goals, a mastermind can help you.  The father of the mastermind, Napoleon Hill (and author of Think and Grow Rich), described a mastermind group as

“The coordination of knowledge and effort in a spirit of harmony,
between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

 

In an article, “The Benefits of Belonging to a CEO  Group”, author Christopher Haan discussed how a peer mentoring group can help you manage your business and your better.  The same can be said for managing your career.  In his article, Haan states that participants  in a mastermind or peer mentoring group must be ”active participants …– doers, not just listeners”.  Mastermind participants who are CEOs, executives, or leaders participate because they are most likely not always going to hear what they need to hear from employees, the Board of Directors or colleagues, he says. “They come because people will tell them what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear. They really like having an objective sounding board of CEOs whose only agenda is to help you and your business get better.”

 

How does a mastermind group improve your business or career?

When you join a mastermind group you have an opportunity to join a select group of motivated and dedicated business leaders who are open and willing to take the steps toward collective success.  Each participant brings their knowledge, skills, experience and insights.  They also embrace the concept of sharing & supporting each member of the group.  Receiving honest, frank feedback is not always what you want to hear but when given in a supportive environment, it allows you to seek solutions to turn negatives into positives, gain insights into how others perceive a situation or brainstorm new ideas.

 

A spark sets you in action, allowing you to gain velocity and sustain momentum.

 

Virtual or In-Person

There are a variety of different mastermind groups available for entrepreneurs, professionals, CEO’s and more.   Each group brings its own culture and can be run in both facilitated and non-facilitated formats.

Virtual groups offer you the ability to connect with others in your city, province, state, country or globally all from the comfort of your home or office.  There are great time savings because you don’t have to travel to the meeting location.  Technology allows groups to video-conference together and improve the connectivity over telephone calls alone.   Not meeting in person takes self-discipline to turn off your cell phone, email notifications and any other distractions.  A mastermind only works when every member of the group is fully engaged and involved.

I have loved my virtual groups.  My current mastermind team is global.  We meet via Zoom.us because members of our group live and workGlobal Virtual Mastermind and Mentoring in the USA, Canada, the Netherlands and Hong Kong,  Each of us are business owners or senior managers, some in similar fields, others very different.  It is the distance geographically that works to our advantage as we are better able to share our approaches and we learn the differences between cultures, specialties and more.  The bond we have created and the support we each garner has helped members grow their business, write a book, take action on a dream to spend a month in Peru, and connect with new opportunities that may have passed by otherwise.

In person groups offer participants very focused meetings where you can connect in-person with other participants.  For some, this format works much better than a virtual group.  I have participated in this type of mastermind as well.  In fact, I really enjoyed getting together with my mastermind team.  We created a great environment to share and gain the support we needed to really step up into new arenas.  A face-to-face group does have some drawbacks — most importantly is that everyone must live in the same geographic area and you have to allow extra time to travel to the meeting location.  Timeliness is also critical – Time is money!  Respecting each other enough to arrive on time, stay focused on the topic at hand, and being willing to discuss the “hard” areas will make this type of group a valuable addition to your business or career.

Facilitated or Self-Run – There are two different approaches to mastermind groups.  Some groups are self-run, usually with one or two members taking on the role of leader.  Many self-run groups have a loose agenda and experience a shorter lifespan.  I have belonged to several self-run masterminds in the past two decades and two of them have survived for more than 10 years, although a few members came and went. the core remained in place thus offering stability.

On the other hand, facilitated masterminds offer members an opportunity to focus on their business or career.  Rather than having to organize and lead the group, energy is spent on participating in the mastermind.  The facilitated meetings generally have a fee attached and the facilitator will organize and lead the group, keep everyone on schedule and help coordinate resources, guest speakers and screen new members.

To Retreat or Not

In many facilitated mastermind programs, an in-person retreat is included.  A retreat usually include only the mastermind participants.  Others may invite other people to participate to ensure the group size will maximize the benefit a retreat can create.  A Retreat may include fun activities, guest speakers, learning sessions, mastermind “hot seat” sessions and more!  Getting away from your daily routine to focus on what’s important to you, and interacting with other motivated and supportive individuals make these retreats, in my opinion, the most valuable part of a mastermind.

 

Few things can accelerate you toward your goals faster than a mastermind group. Michael Hyatt

 

Take the next step

If you are ready to take action and ignite your career or business and reach new goals, a mastermind group maybe tGo Confidently Quotehe solution for you!  As a mastermind facilitator, I bring groups together who are at the same phase or have a common focus,  In September 2016 I will be hosting a virtual mastermind.   The Gold Spark Mastermind is a 6-month program designed for experienced managers, executives, entrepreneurs, CEO’s.  Groups help to create their own mastermind culture.  Members also have input into the approach, topics, schedule and format.

Three options exist —

  • Mastermind alone,
  • Mastermind + Retreat or
  • Mastermind + Retreat + 1:1 Coaching

As a member of a mastermind you will be supported in your goals and accountability is a built-in component of each group.  You will receive a Mastermind Success Tracker, access to monthly book reviews, expert interviews or tele-seminars for added support.

Learn More & to Apply

If you have questions, book an Ignite Session with me and we can explore this option for you.

Fast Action Bonus — ends August 20th.

Are You Ready to Get Going?

Decide what you want .. believe you can have it, believe you deserve it, believe it’s possible for you. Unknown

This is a great start. Knowing what you want to do really helps your get started.  Yet, many of my clients claim they know where they want to go but are still stuck and unable to make their vision a reality.  Yes, a good vision can be a stumbling block for many.

If you aren’t clear on what you want, try writing down ideas – which one(s) stand out as worth pursuing?  Which one(s) ignite your passion and energize you?  This exercise will give you an idea of what you want.

Next, visualize it.

I love to see what it is I want to achieve. To do this, I have created a vision board (dream board). A vision board helps to Holding Dollars suphakit73_ID-100110359visually remind you of what your goals and dreams are.  Once created, its important to see frequently each day.  Your vision board subtly imprints your goals and dreams into your subconscious (in a good way!).  Where will you hang your vision board?

“All men [and women] of action are dreamers.” – James Huneker

What would you put on a vision board? Visual images, words or symbols that reflect what it is you want to achieve, what you hold dear and what you want more of.  Don’t forget to include things that are a big stretch!

Your vision board can be focused on your career, your business or your personal aspirations.  I created my dream board in a way that focuses on both my business and personal goals.  Because getting more balance in my life is important to me, having both integrated into one vision board helps me keep  this focus front and centre.   Both aspects are important and can be achieved simultaneously.

Remember you want to think big!  I have a cheque for a million dollars on my vision board!  I’m determined to achieve that payday before I retire!  What’s a big stretch goal for you?

Remember…

If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it. – William Arthur Ward

 

Business Journal Fosters Growth

Every quarter I take time to review my progress and accomplishments to the goals I set at the beginning of the year. Goal setting is critical for me to move my business forward and to transition it into new and exciting areas.

Tea break time at workStaying on target with your bigger goals can be challenging — particularly when LIFE gets in the way! I have found a solution to help me with this very thing – my business journal.

Every day when I write in my journal I am reminded about what I did that day, what is still left for tomorrow, thoughts and ideas that passed through my mind, and who I connected with.

I’m not a person who has had a personal diary throughout my life.  Instead, my journalling started when I was trying to find a system that would allow me to stay focused and on target – not just with the day to day side of my business, but with the bigger picture!

I also found that as good as journalling was for me, I couldn’t keep making the big strides I’ve set for myself so I reached out and now I also belong to a mastermind group and a coaching program.  These options help me hone and fine-tune my actions and to continue my learning process and growth trajectory.

Business journalling offers your an opportunity to reflect on what you’ve learned, remember the decisions you’ve made and why you made them, keep track of what works and what doesn’t, record insights, ideas and more.

I share this information with you because you may want to achieve more and yet the results of your efforts are falling short, or you feel frustrated because the pace is too slow or you feel alone and unsupported. We all can experience these feelings at one time or another but its up to you to take the necessary action to change the situation.
A complimentary business assessment session offers you an opportunity to focus on where you are now and the key action steps you can take to achieve your goals.

You have to work with a Coach… What Now?

Harvard Business Review posted an article called “If your Boss tells you to Get a Coach, Don’t Panic“.  Author, Ron Ashkenas shares some great points for you to consider if you ever face a similar situation.

1.  Take time to process the recommendation before you start working with a Coach.

Many times I am asked by bosses to work with members of their team. Yes, in some situation, the employee’s performance is less than stellar and I am the last hope.  Having said that, more often than not I am asked to work with employees because their boss recognizes the asset they have and don’t want to lose this employee to a competitor, or they want to help prepare them for advancement or  help them improve their skills.

Before working with a Coach, its important to understand what’s expected and how you can benefit from the coaching engagement.  A Coach can be your greatest supporter and confident during change or challenging times and they can be your greatest cheerleader as you advance.

2.  Recognize how Coaching can help you and your business or career.

As stated by Ashkenas, coaching is “a fantastic opportunity for growth, development, self-insight, and careerMentor Leadership Coaching, Training, Motivation, Siuccess progression – and an endorsement that the company is willing to invest in you.”   Let me use a sports analogy.  A top notch athlete consistently works with a coach – not because they aren’t great at what they do, instead they rely on their coach to provide some insight, a different perspective and help keep them focused on their goal.  The Coach helps with mindset, strategies and tactics.  Together they are stronger and more effective than separately.

The same is true in business.  One of my clients offers a contracted service to another organization.  They have had that contract for a long time and little has changed.  When I was asked to work with the principle, it was to help shift the focus of their service spectrum and integrate new strategies, not to fix a wrong.  We worked together for several months and created an amazing new approach that their client really appreciated.  They were commended for taking the initiative to make improvements that added value and offered a better fit with other services within that organization.

3.  Step Up and Reap the Benefits

No matter why you are about to work with a Coach, you will definitely get the most of your coaching sessions when you set specific goals that you can measure, do the activities or “homework” and be prepared for every session.

Here’s our SPARK approach to get more out of your coaching experiences.

Set Your IntentionsWhen you set goals you gain clarity on where you want to go, what you want to achieve, and why!  You can also measure your progress along the way.
Prepare and PlanCome to each session prepared.  This way you and your coach will know what needs to be discussed or tackled during the session.  A focused session is a productive session. You will want to be clear on what you want to achieve, what help or feedback you need and what is needed to take the next step.
Accountability As you implement your action plans, you will need to be accountable to yourself and the goals you set. Your Coach is there to help you stay on track and offer insights, brainstorming, support, encouragement and more.  Change happens when you “step up”. Bring your questions, concerns, challenges to each session so you can achieve a breakthrough and activate the next steps.
Review & RejigAs you work with your Coach, change happens.  Our on-going sessions offer support as you make any necessary adjustments in your action plans. Our collaborative review process will offer insights and feedback, to keep you moving forward.
Keep Focused & On TrackDay to day operations can challenge the best of us and lead us astray. Most coaching sessions result in “homework”.  This is your responsibility to get completed before the next session.  We offer a framework to maintain a strategic focus on deliverables and outcomes. I recommend you participate fully in all tools and resources to really reap the value and benefit of this coaching process.

If you have an employee who could benefit from coaching, or if you yourself want to be a stronger leader, better boss or have a more successful business, an Ignite Business Assessment session is a complimentary call.  Each 30 minute call can identify your top priority and actions that are right for you.  Book your’s now!

Do you feel defeated?

“Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat”
— Napoleon Hill,

Does this quote resonate with you?

Just when you think you are not able to take another step, an opportunity walks around the corner. I don’t know about you, but I cannot count the number of times I have hit the wall only for something to clear the clutter and whisk me off to great new things.

The word defeat is an interesting one.  It can mean

: win a victory over (someone) in a battle or other contest; overcome or beat.”  

: to cause (someone or something) to fail

: to control or overcome (something).

The definition tells us that we can defeat something or someone, and this reflects a success.  On the flip side, it can be a low point reflecting a failure or a lack of control.   Just like a coin, how you view defeat is based on which side you are seeing.

writing_block1.1.1.1How does this relate to your business?  Well, over the past 25 years in business I have faced some situations where I was focusing on the positive side and kept my eyes and mind open.  In these instances, the hard work I had done previously set me up perfectly to be opportunistic when something new came along. I refused to see failure – only opportunity.  Much of this mindset came with the help of  my mastermind group or Coach, who’s insights, ideas and support have helped me focus on the positives, set myself up for success and speed up the process from idea to action.

If you want to avoid hitting that wall and to know you have someone to turn to so you can quickly ignite your actions, then now’s the time to step forward and explore your options.  A free Ignite Business Assessment session offers you that opportunity.  You have nothing to lose.  I know you will walk away with some great insights.

What will it cost you if you don’t take action?  The opportunity cost of inertia is through the roof.  Don’t let it take away from your goals and the success you aspire to achieve.   Book your free Business Assessment session right away.

Happiness Matters

There is much written about the impact of an organization’s culture and employee contentment on productivity and quality.  Entrepreneurs are more successful when they are passionate about what they do.  The long hard hours don’t feel like work when you love what you do.

“Over 40 percent of the companies listed in the top 100 of Fortune magazine’s “America’s Best Companies to Work For” also appear on the Fortune 500.”

As many of my regular followers know, I am an avid Vancouver Canucks fan.  Last year, the team was struggling and it was clear the players were not enjoying the game they love.  The Coach also didn’t seem happy and his frustration erupted at one point in the season, and he was suspended.  Wind the clock forward to today where TV commentators are talking about the changes they are seeing in the Canucks.  They are performing, scoring, and playing more like a team.  Commentators cite the change in coach and the fact that the guys love coming to work as fundamental factors for this change.

What is the atmosphere like in your business?  

Are your employees happy and engaged?  

Do they like coming to work?  

Executive Leadership Coaching has been identified as an effective method for organizations to enhance employee engagement and improve productivity.  The rollover effect is improved customer satisfaction.  Each of these outcomes are good for your bottom line.

Coaching is utilized by organizations to enhance leadership, performance and to develop employee skill.  I have hyena reality| freedigitalphotos.networked with many business owners and managers for this exact purpose.  In each situation, the goals of the organization and those of the individual manager have been explored and directs our time together.

Coaching offers a non-judgmental supportive environment for each manager to grow and stretch.  When we confront challenges, short-comings and strengths, we are also able to focus on solutions and next steps.  This vulnerable point of coaching offers the most growth potential and is essential for shifts to occur. I am always so impressed with the shifts that occur as we work together.   Coaching really does bring out the best in you and builds on your skills and interests and self confidence grows in a positive way.

Contact me to discuss how Ignite Leadership can help you and your organization improve leadership, employee engagement and your organizational culture.

Three Steps to Consider when Facing Obstacles

motivational-quotes-motivational-pictures-2How do you react when you face obstacles?

Is it a challenge to be over-come or a barrier that stops you in your tracks?

Every week I work with executives or professionals who are leading their business efforts in new directions.  More often than not, these highly motivated and successful people can become stuck and unable to move forward.  It may be a fear, a past experience or a lack of clarity which holds them back from making the progress they desire.

When you “hit the wall”, you can view it as a barrier  that will stop you or one in which you will overcome.  Alternatively, you can view it as a challenging opportunity leading you to shift and move forward.

Last week at a networking meeting the speaker discussed  creativity and leadership.  Interestingly enough, he presented examples of how two leading chocolate companies in North America (Hersey and Mars) have navigated the challenges and opportunities in the competitive confectionery world.  Over several decades these two companies have jockeyed to be number one.  The one common denominator in their path has been how they each  have overcome obstacles and converted them into an opportunities to grow and diversify.

Creativity in their thinking and leadership were two key factors.  Here are three more tips you can consider when facing obstacles.

 

1.  Keep it Simple.

How many times have you faced an obstacle and viewed it as a huge problem, only to later realize it wasn’t nearly as bad as you first imagined?   At first glance, a set back or obstacle may look insurmountable yet a simple change in your perspective, the  integration of some creativity and keeping things simple can quickly change the landscape in front of you.

One of simplest steps is to review your current situation and the actions taken to your plan.   Observe where you are now and how you got there.  Your observation skills will offer valuable information.  Gain the insights from your team.  Now consider where you want to go and what steps are needed to move you in that direction.  Stepping back, giving yourself some space and taking a more strategic look at your business can help simplify and infuse a spark of creativity.

 

2.  Stay Focused

When things get challenging, it is so easy to get distracted by new ideas or things that are within your comfort zone (but may not be moving you and your company forward).  If you get distracted in this situation, you are not alone.

One of the best ways to stay focused is to break down your challenges into simple action steps that allow you to make small steps forward to a solution and your goal!  Then identify which step you need to work on and set aside time to work on that step.  Set a time limit for working on that step.  It’s easier to make progress when you know you only have to work on that activity for a short time.  Remove yourself from distractions.   If your office isn’t working for you, can you move to another room or another location.   One of my favourites in the summer is to move outside under a tree where I still have wi-fi.  The calm surroundings revitalize my thinking and help spark my creativity and focus.

 

3.  Embrace Support

One of the most important things you can do is to reach out to others for support.  If you work with a team, what can they do to help you find the solution or take the necessary steps to over-come your obstacle.  Can you delegate or outsource tasks to others.  For example, if you have lots of ideas but get blocked by writing, can you record your thoughts and have someone else transcribe your story.  If you don’t like marketing yourself, can you StudyBuddy2hire a marketing person, a copy writer or the services of a Virtual Assistant to connect with potential customers, set appointments etc.

Working with an Executive Business Coach can offer you the support, encouragement and accountability you need to keep moving forward.  Your Coach offers a confidential and safe environment to share, explore and overcome obstacles.  Together with your Coach, you can brainstorm challenges, identify fears and distractions, face new situations and create a plan.  Your Coach can also offer different perspectives, help you explore options , identify action plans, timelines and solutions.   A Coach can also help you revitalize your approach, your leadership style and guide you through the changes you need to take to ensure your business is successful under your watch.

A mastermind is another option where you can bring your A-game and build you confidence, expand your network and your thinking.  A mastermind, facilitated by and integrated with coaching will create greater results faster  – its the key to the success of many top leaders so why shouldn’t you tap into the same system?

 

Whether the obstacle or challenge you face is a new opportunity, a goal that stretches you outside your comfort zone, a downturn in business or revenues, or a change you must, or want to undertake, these three tips will help you overcome the obstacle and allow you to achieve the results you envision.

 

 

 

That Little Voice

Every day I work with people who are bright, successful and “go-getters” yet their vulnerabilities have a huge impact on their lives.  Unlike those who do not experience success, these business leaders and entrepreneurs recognize they have an insight that enables them to continue.

The Gremlin

Gremlins-Wallpapers-Movie-HD-1080p-2Everyone has that little voice which questions what you are doing, instills doubt or tries to talk you into the safe option instead of taking a risk to

grow and develop.  I call this voice your Gremlin.  Your Gremlin can be loud and distracting, or it can be silenced – the choice is yours.

When you are stuck, your Gremlin is most likely very vocal — telling you why you shouldn’t make a decision, or adds doubt to what you think is right.

Why Do You Get Stuck?

Dr Timothy Butler, a professor at Harvard Business School, and author of the book “Getting Unstuck: How Dead Ends Become New Paths” says

“This feeling of being stuck in one place, while troubling, is part of a necessary crisis leading to personal growth.  Without it we cannot grow, change, and—eventually—live more fully in a larger world.”

According to Dr. Butler, an impasse doesn’t happen overnight.  Instead it is something that grows over time.  “When we feel stuck, getting our energy moving can feel like a Herculean challenge. It can seem as if we are glued to wherever we are, with no hope of a remedy,” says Dr. Butler.  “Feeling stuck can take a lot of forms. It can manifest as boredom, the blues, impatience, frustration and even hunger. If you stay stuck long enough, it can translate into more serious things like depression, hopelessness and despair.”

When is it Time to Take Action?

Have you ever known that things are not ideal but you rationalize the situation, believing things will be better?  As time goes by, the situation doesn’t improve; it only gets worse and if you wait long enough it comes to a peak and you face a true crisis.  The ideal time to take action would be when you know things are not right.   You hear the Gremlin talking you out of making changes or ideas or you are letting your head talk you out of things your gut feels are right.

The reality is we generally do not activate changes until a crisis point is reached.  This is the toughest stage of an impasse (Butler, 2007) but it is also the impetus for a new beginning.

Tame your Gremlin and silence the negative voice in your head.  Success follows those who are willing to take a calculated risk so they grow and stretch to new heights.    Isn’t it time for you to make the decision and silence the Gremlin?

“Remember, a real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken new action.

If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.”

~ Anthony Robbins

 

Feedback

When you think about feedback, what comes to mind? 

Does it invoke a positive thought or experience or a negative one?

Feedback is a powerful tool that allows you to communicate information to another person.  This information can be positive, inspirational, thoughtful, and valuable.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, feedback can be negative, hurtful, pr thoughtless.  Sometimes, feedback can be neutral — neither positive or negative, and when given you wonder what point they were trying to make. [Read more…]

Good Advice

by Elsa (6yrs old) copyright 2012 Ignite Leadership International

 Sometimes We Just Have to Have Fun!

 

 

 

 


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