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Creating Leadership Mastermind Groups for Personal Growth
Introduction to Masterminds
My journey into the tech world began in April of 2013. I was starting a podcast where I interviewed leaders in my vocation. After spending many hours researching articles on the internet and perusing blogs and forums, I found myself often frustrated with the lack of resources available to me. Not always the lack of information, but the lack of knowing what to do with the information. It wasn’t until three years later that I discovered Mastermind groups and their importance to business and personal growth. This article will give a brief overview of Mastermind groups, show their value to organizations, and give insight into how to begin and maintain them for profitable exchanges.
What is a Mastermind Group?
Masterminds — A simple definition
Merriam-Websiter.com defines a mastermind as, “a person who supplies the directing or creative intelligence for a project.” The idea is that two heads are better than one. Try four heads! How about 10? All of the individuals contribute to the discussion and thus you have the distinct beauty of the mastermind.
What is a mastermind?
Why you should start a mastermind
As an entrepreneur, I saw the value of getting myself in touch with people and making sure that I had an avenue for growth.
Growing through leadership mastermind groups
Some of the reasons I think masterminds are essential to a growing leader is that, first of all, it causes accelerated learning in the individual experience. Instead of talking things over with one person, a group setting gives you an explosion of information that would take much time and explaining to extrapolate on an individual basis. It may take hours or days to uncover what you could receive in a forty-five minute session with top leaders in your industry. This aspect includes the opening up of resources that may be shared during a session. These resources may be the result of an individual’s personal creativity and not available to the public.
The second reason mastermind groups are so vital is that it gets new or peripheral people around you. For example, in one of my mastermind groups I had a friend with whom I had attended one year of college. While we knew each other as acquaintances, we became more intimately associated through the group setting as we hashed out problems and asked deep, probing questions. The new people you will meet in a mastermind will help you “get out of your box” in a safe way. Let me explain; some people get in a rut of their own circle of friends, coworkers, and family. They get boxed in and reach a plateau in their thinking because they may be “too busy” to meet new people, they have a fear of getting out of their shell, or they may just not care about growing. One of the comments I have heard a couple of times is, “You know, I have been wanting to make some new friends but just haven’t had the time.” Not only are you able to meet new people but you are able to meet like-minded people in a certain area or field. It has been a relief for some of my invitees to have a ready-made potential friend circle they don’t have to put together themselves. You are able to meet people in your industry, field of work, or some other point of gathering.
Accountability in mastermind groups
The last reason I think that group meetings such as this are important is because it gives you an environment of accountability. One person at the meeting will be present an issue or situation where they need help. After sharing the situation, one of the group will say, “Let me dig a little deeper on this…” or, “help me understand more about this…” The person being questioned can experience some level of discomfort but it is a tremendous opportunity to examine a problem or frustration from a different angle. As a result of the group setting, a participant is presented with a forum to talk through and mentally unwrap their problem or situation.
While it can be painful at times, this act of vulnerability can provide a platform for growth in areas you may never be able to see in your own circle of influence. For example, one of my group members in the “hot seat” was having trouble clarifying his next step in life. One of the participants suggested that he go and see a counselor/life coach to clarify his purpose and personal vision in order to work through the issue. This would not have happened in the man’s current work situation where things seemed to be “perfect” to everyone else. It took people asking the hard questions, motivated by a desire to see the man succeed, which caused him to take a different look at his life and seek the needed help. It is true that we all have trouble “seeing the back of our own head.”
As some have already experienced, sometimes you have to “talk it out” when working through a problem or situation. That is commonplace in a mastermind setting as you work towards a solution with a group of coaches standing by.
Five steps to creating a mastermind group
Identify your circle
Will this be an industry based group? For example, will your group be comprised of internet marketers? Machinists? Car dealership owners? While you don’t all have to be from the exact same field, you must have some common ground. Finding your similarities will determine your cohesiveness and activating your differences will determine your effectiveness.
Lay down the ground rules
How will your group operate? This structure, while it may be simple or complex, will give you the ability to become a long-term and effective entity. Decisions in this area include connection formats such as video, Google hangout, or conference call. It will encompass the date, time, and length of the sessions. How future members will be added, confidentiality agreements and any other necessary rules should be included in this part.
After you have put your ground rules together (these may change over time so be flexible!), start making the calls, sending the emails, and reaching into your network for participants. For the most part, you will be working with people you already know but be open to adding those who may not be in your circle yet.
Set up your initial event
This can be the most difficult aspect of the process. I use a simple template for each of my groups that allows participants to denote their availability. The key to this part of the process is follow-up. You are the one with the passion and drive and you must stay in communication with people to motivate them. Some will not stick through the process when they find out what is involved. Setting a date for the first event (usually a month out) will give you a target.
Keep it up
As you continue on your mastermind journey, you will face ups and downs. Your group may lose passion and dissolve; you may get busy with life and need to quit. Or, you may start multiple groups! You may find a niche of helping people and empowering others. Keeping yourself motivated will be vital, as you will carry the main passion for the events. I would encourage you to write down testimonials and ways the group has grown (financially, influence, business growth, etc.) and celebrate your successes.
Nothing worthwhile and appreciated in life is achieved through laziness and passivity. Making an impact in people’s lives is no different. Your drive to help others can be the catalyst for a change that will impact generations. I hope you will get started working on a mastermind group today!
What benefits have you received from mastermind groups? Leave a comment below!
© 2017 Jacob Tapia