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How to set up a mastermind group
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I appreciate the thoughtful responses I received to the following posting:
I want to form a MasterMind group and would appreciate information you can share -- including resources and experiences, positive and negative.
from Scott Friedman
As for some ideas in moving forward with your mastermind partners, here is what I would suggest:
In describing our mastermind group, Mark Sanborn wrote:
from Jan Carothers
My name is Jan Carothers and I have been in a weekly breakfast mastermind group for more than fourteen years. Through it my partners and I have gained and given support, ideas, accountability on all aspects of our lives - business, personal, physical and spiritual. We have been so successful in the longevity of our group, I have been asked several times to lead seminars for other groups on how to use the principles and to tailor them to individual group characteristics.
My group has gone from a basic three participants to as many as six, though I believe an optimum is 3-4 people. This way you have enough time, and there are still enough to meet effectively when any members are missing. As our businesses have grown we have found we have more conflicts from travel and commitments -- nonetheless, breakfast has proven best for us. The makeup of my group has always been business people, an engineering manager, an award winning photographer, an organizer, a management consultant, a small business owner, and myself who has been an executive recruiter and who changed careers to speaking and training twelve years ago.
During the course of the years we have sold houses, bought new houses, three of us have started and grown professional businesses, two have found their life mates and married, one got happily divorced, two have left their former employers and have found exceptional new positions, all have found their primary community interests and made significant contributions alongside their professional commitments.
We hold masterminding as a spiritual - not religious - endeavor as it definitely involves a recognition of a power greater than ourselves - the power of the Mastermind. Somewhat like a 12-step group - there is an element of surrender to the process.
Jack Boland (deceased), a Unity Minister from Warren, MI, distilled down MM principles (universal - but made famous by Napoleon Hill) into some very useful outlines and manuals/workbooks/calendars. These are still published in various formats by The Church of Today - Unity Church (in Warren MI; it's the Detroit area.) They can often be purchased in Unity and Religious Science, and other New Thought Bookstores throughout the country. It wouldn't surprise me if they didn't also sell them through Amazon.com.
Over all the years we have substantially adapted his guidelines - to a framework which works like a charm for us. Most important one has to clearly learn to be a partner/coach and not an advice giver. While MM groups do focus on goals, they are also a place to be known at a deeper level, they are places of "being" as much as "doing." So it becomes very important to have a group you can grow to trust. Together you must come to an understanding/agreement about the purpose of the group and how it will work. One must find people who are mature enough to commit over time and healthy enough not to suck energy (if you know what I mean.) Since this is deep work, but not therapy, you want people who basically see themselves as whole, (if not finished.) Otherwise a very "needy" person can upset the balance or serenity of the group. It has to be a solid foundation for people to come to their center.
Also, no matter how smart or successful are individual members of the group, they are not intended to be places in which partners impose or deliver solutions to the other members of the group. They are more like sounding boards. If a little problem-solving help is requested, fine. But it is not the main order of the day.
Masterminding as we do it is pragmatic and practical as well as conceptual, and as such we have racked up extraordinary results - in terms of fulfilled lives as well as exciting and productive careers.
from Sheryl Roush
I've participated in and lead Master Mind groups before. My experience includes both SPIRITUAL and CONVENTIONAL GOAL-SETTING. What types of tips are you looking for?
Begin with the OBJECTIVE of the MasterMind. For the spiritual group -- it starts off with prayer and alignment of purpose, and ends with spiritual intent, conviction and speaking out loud your goals... (there's more to this one!). A great Resource for this information: Unity Church.
For the conventional type of MasterMind - are traditionally for increasing business, networking, cross-coaching and standard goal-setting.
NSA/San Diego Chapter hosts a monthly "S.M.A.R.T." Brunch. There was a competition held to create what it stands for: Speakers Making A Real Transformation (courtesy of speaker Ken Sacher). Typically, 5-7 people attend -- and typically NOT the same people each month. This is open to Members and Affiliates ("apprentice" under the new NSA by-laws) Members.
The networking brings great value: "Who do you know who...?" (this question generates more leads)
We meet at a Coco's Restaurant (sim. to Denny's) from 9:00-10:30am in the same booth -- a round table with chairs -- to support brainstorming. Each person orders breakfast or drink -- we supplement the tip for time at the table. One a month. On a Monday - great way to start the week!
from Ed Rigsbee
This is an article that ran in Professional Speaker a couple years ago.
from Joanne Schlosser
We started a speaker/trainer/consultant Master Mind group 3 years ago and it has been a tremendous help to us all. We meet monthly and follow a loose agenda of sharing our recent successes, asking for help in a specific area and offering any general tips we've learned that month. We also allow schmooze time.
In addition to helping enhance the success of our businesses, it has enhanced our friendships and several of us have referred business to one another or partnered on projects together. If you want more info, I've written about how to start a group in Bright Ideas for a Better Life, and I would be happy to email you the relevant pages.
from Lisa Marie Nelson
I've been involved with a MasterMind group for almost 2 years now... the same 5 women meet Mondays from 7-8 pm. We got all our materials from our church (Religious Science) and we changed some of the wording to fit the way that we wanted to make our declarations or affirmations.
What we have learned so far: It works best to focus on goals and not to get into "telling stories", keep to the time limit, always end on a positive, upbeat note, make the group a real commitment (don't blow off the apppointment).
This has been a very positive experience for all of us. We have had other people want to join our group, but we choose to keep it to 5 and none of us has wanted to drop out yet. We are all very supportive of one another and look forward to the time we spend together. It has been extremely empowering!
from Tom Terrific
If you haven't already, read Benjamin Franklin's autobiography. His was one of the first Juntos. I prefer this term to Mastermind.
I don't use my Junto for business, but for personal goal setting. We only meet 3 or 4 times a year, but it keeps forcing me to stay in touch with my goals.
Here's some more information from my book....