So what is the mastermind and how does it work? Essentially it is a matter of surrounding yourself with the right people who can add value to your business and you can add value to theirs.
My first mastermind was set up with four other companies. We committed 10 days a year to meet together and challenge each other’s businesses. That’s a big commitment – 10 days of support from four external advisors. If you do the maths, that is 40 working days of support from what will become very close colleagues and friends, you can’t put an equivalent price on that!
The timeframe per business was as follows:
1) Open – 15 minutes update on activities, successes and issues;
2) Body – 1 hour to discuss issues requiring solutions. Other
mastermind members act as consultants, brainstorming and working
together to come up with a number of solutions. (An alternative
method is for a member to ask multiple questions about how to solve
the issue and then each member states what they would do if they ran
3) Close – 15 minutes of action setting – what you will achieve
by the next meeting i.e. the commitment.
That is a day’s worth of constructive interaction. Rules apply – The Chatham House rules stem from 1927: ‘When a meeting is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed’.
(See www.chathamhouse.org.uk.) This might feel like a very formal way of working but it reassures those revealing their inner thoughts and concerns.
When discussing masterminding with the great motivational speaker W Mitchell he told me of his numerous mastermind groups which were all focused on different areas of his business. So there is the opportunity for several sources of advice, not just one.
Mitchell’s International mastermind meets three times a year, is made up of seven members and they meet for two days solid. These are International speakers at the top of their game giving each other unabridged support, commitment, feedback, challenge and advice. The potency of this is so powerful that I can taste it as I describe it to you now.
The greatest impact on my own personal development has been learning how to be truly honest and open with others about what I am looking for and trying to achieve. If you don’t know exactly what you are trying to achieve, how can anyone help you? Actually being honest with others, showing that you don’t know all the answers, are scared about your next move or need help, was a massive hurdle for me (and still is from time to time). Should this first step prove a challenge then start by asking for help to understand where you want to head to.
Peer coaching is an incredibly powerful tool and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Your challenge for this year and next is to surround yourself with those you respect, those you trust and those you can add value to – anything can happen as a result.