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.

Building Team Focus

I’ve written before about how important it is for a team to have a common focus in order to be successful.  This is one area where diversity of though is not good.

 The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.  You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.  — Babe Ruth

Once a team culture is created it can be a challenge to change, yet it is possible to improve it.  In their book, The Discipline of Teams, Katzenback and Smith stated, “teams have four elements—common commitment and purpose, performance goals, complementary skills, and mutual accountability.”

Does your team have a common commitment and purpose?  If not, you have a group of individuals not a team.   Teams are link jigsaw puzzles, they fit together and interlock to create the bigger picture.  One broken or missing piece leaves aConnected team-StuartMiles_ID-100146283 gap.

High performance teams adopt the four elements of a team.  They come together for a common purpose, remain focused on that purpose as a collective.   As a leader of a team, your role is to help every team member identify the
key purpose and operating principles of the team.

  • Why is the team together?
  • What is the purpose of the team?
  • Who is responsible for what tasks and actions?
  • How will the collective results create a positive impact on the organization?

 

Aim higher. Stay focused.  — Brandon Adams

The vision and operating principles are created by the group as a first step in achieving a common focus and commitment from each member of the team.

Secondly, high performing teams revisit their operating principles regularly.  Are they still applicable.  What, if any, changes are needed and why?   When changes are needed, its important to understand why the changes are needed.

Lastly, it is important for each member of the team to be held accountable to the operating principles.  As discussed in the post “One Bad Apple – Can One Person Impact a Team” when a team member goes rogue, the focus and productivity of the entire team can be negatively impacted.

A point for Team Leads

If your team cannot see how their efforts are helping the entire organization and how working together is good for each individual as well as the team, there is work to be done to build a high performance team.  Consider a dedicated meeting to address the differences, gaps and challenges, identify solutions and celebrate what’s working well.  Team leader trust and transparency can make all the difference in this process.  You must also demonstrate you are on the same page with your team, supportive and willing to pitch in.  Remember, great leaders lead by example.

Is your team focus waivering?  We can help you be a better leader, build trust and engagement through focused conversations, leadership coaching and training.  Ask us how one of our solutions could benefit your team. 

One Bad Apple – Can One Person Imact Team Success?

Can one person impact the dynamics of a team? Absolutely!

“Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” –Vince Lombardi

We only have to look at our work environments or sports teams for examples.

Recently, the Montreal Canadiens traded P.J. Subban for Shae Webber which shocked many fans.  P.J. was a key part of the Montreal hockey team, very active in the community and a fan favourite.  Why would they trade away a key resource?  Some say the downturn in the teams performance on the ice wasn’t related to the loss of the goalie. Instead it was reflective of strained dynamics in the locker room.  Webber brings a leadership component which is needed to ensure this decline in performance doesn’t happen again.

Another example is here in B.C. with our football team, the B.C. Lions.  For the past two years we had two new head coaches and results were a complete reversal of prior performance.  This year, former head coach and GM, Wally Buono returned to the sidelines and its like watching a different team.  Reports are Buono treats every player the same- whether they are a rookie or a veteran.  He also has the same expectations — come to practice and games prepared to work and give it their best effort.

Although these are sports examples, the same occurs in business.  A negative nellie can ruin a motivated and productive team.  A leader who lacks trust in their team can lose the respect of team members and morale will drop, leading to turnover, poor productivity, conflict and more.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” –Andrew Carnegie

Here are three ways you can ensure that one bad apple doesn’t ruin your team’s efforts.

  1.  Create a positive culture with a strong vision, mission and purpose.    If a team lacks focus or understanding of their role and what’s expected of them, they will flounder.  Each member of a team needs to have a role and understand how their role is part of the whole.  The team leader may not always be the manager or coach.  Sometimes it will be a member of the team who will have the most impact on ensuring everyone stays on track.   No matter who or why the team isn’t on track, we do know that a team that attracts the very best and deals with negative nellies before they do damage.
  2. Take action fast when ‘negative nellie’ shows up!  If a team member is not embracing the roles and behaviours acceptable to the team, its important to step in and address it quickly.  Feedback is one of the most effective ways to address negativity or a lack of engagement.  A conversation with the team member is vital for them to recognize the impact of their behaviour or actions on the entire team, and to identify a solution to the issue.  Sometimes the ‘negative nellie’ has to be removed from the team so that other members can achieve their best.
  3. Recognize differences and outcomes.   Every team is made up of different personalities and people with different perspectives.  It is this diversity that adds to the strength of the team, much like a mastermind.  Together the team is stronger when all perspective are brought together to create a new solution.   As a team lead, your role is to ensure everyone has an opportunity to contribute.  Some will prefer to be more visible than others.  Recognize the contributions of each member (not just those who are more vocal or visible) and celebrate positive outcomes or positive learnings from mistakes.

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”   — Phil Jackson

Team dynamics are a key factor in achieving a successful outcome.  Don’t let one person stop the team from pulling the whole team down!  Whether you are the team lead or a team member, you have a role to play — be the difference maker!

 

Does your team experience challenges?  We have a number of solutions that can assist you.  Contact us to explore how our solutions may benefit your and your team and boost results.

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