Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Power of Mastermind Groups

often recommend that small business owners and entrepreneurs have three key tools in their "success toolbox": a coach, a mentor and a mastermind group.

I've covered coaching and mentoring in another article and on my web site. Let's explore the role of mastermind groups in helping you to set and achieve your goals.

Mastermind groups are small (6-8 people) and made up of peers and colleagues who are on a similar path as you. Most groups are not local because this helps you avoid the potential issue of working on ideas with competitors. So instead, groups meet by phone for an hour or 90 minutes monthly to do goal-setting, brainstorming and to review action steps.

Mastermind group members should be working in a similar role (entrepreneurs, online marketers, freelance writers, etc.). This allows for an effective exchange of ideas and information that everyone can contribute to.

They should also be of an equal experience level to prevent experienced members from feeling there is no value in the group and less experienced members from feeling lost or intimidated.

A critical requirement of the group members is that they keep their commitment to meeting times. The ongoing appointment should be on every one's calendars and considered as important as a client meeting. To keep everyone accountable, many groups charge a meeting fee. Everything discussed should be considered confidential as well.

Groups should have a facilitator who is experienced and understands group dynamics. A facilitator is the traffic cop of the group-NOT a teacher or coach.

They make sure everyone stays on point, gets involved and the conversation flows. They can contribute when asked but that is not their primary purpose.

In the first few meetings, groups should explore what their individual value systems are. You cannot build a success plan if you don't know what you value in life and what you need for your own personal happiness.

For many people, more time trumps more money. Everyone has a different set of values and they should not be judged. Having members understand your values allows them to hold you accountable for setting goals that don't conflict with those values.

After value systems have been defined, mastermind groups should begin setting their individual goals. It is crucial that group members are capable of BIG dreams, bigger than they've had in the past and dare to say them out loud! Goals should be actionable with target dates that are short-term.

They must mesh with values. The group will hold members accountable who's action steps and goals routinely go unmet and ask them if this is truly something they want.

When you gather a group of driven, engaged individuals you have access to more resources, ideas and contacts than you would on your own. This is the hidden power of joining a mastermind group! They also help you identify, and remove, stumbling blocks you might have missed on your own.

Add a mastermind group to your success toolbox! I guarantee you'll see results.

By : Steve Schlagel

No comments: