The Elements of Effective Masterminding – Life Skills
In today’s post, I’ll share with you some of the key elements for making the most of masterminding. These elements include Mindset, Commitment, Organization, Leadership and a Bias for Action.
Self interest drives behavior. And people seek some kind of return on their investment of time and energy into any kind of system. And we live in a culture that has conditioned us to consider these things before making commitments.
But something remarkable happens when a group of intentioned people gather together to do whatever they can for the success of everyone else in the group, and expect nothing in return. If everyone comes with the commitment to assist and support all the other group members, everyone gains the support and assistance they need without any effort or concern about it at all. I think of it this way. In an interdependent world, the person who seeks happiness for himself will not find it, but the person who finds happiness in serving others will be abundant in all good things.
Buckminster Fuller called it the principle of Spontaneous Cooperation. It’s a universal principle built right into us. Beneath all our cares and concerns, people want to help each other out. Masterminding creates a context where they can.
The discipline of commitment is necessary for the success of a Mastermind group. Commitment is cultivated in yourself when you learn and repeat the pattern of ‘say it, then do it.’ Making promises is a measure of your faith and confidence in yourself. Keeping those promises gives you the experience of your own integrity. And if you can’t count on yourself, nobody else can either.
So a good way to measure commitment is to get each person in the group to make a promise and hold themselves accountable to keeping it for the next meeting. In this way, each member learns that they can count on every member, which builds the faith and confidence of the group in the group. It also let’s you find out early on who can and cannot be relied on. Unreliable people do not belong in Mastermind groups that intend to be successful.
The fact is that if people are not committed to the Mastermind process, to their own growth and development, to the success of the others in the group, it won’t be long before they abandon the group. A key rule of success is that things take longer than you plan and happen faster than you think. So winners never quit, and quitters never win. If it takes 6 months for a group to really gel and arrive in its zone of maximum effectiveness, but after 3 months it is still slow going, the uncommitted person may abandon ship before they experience success with masterminding. This accounts for the quitter’s lack of success in their own life. For a group to succeed, members of the group must be committed.
For a person to succeed in any system, the system must make sense and be consistent within itself. Missed meetings, cancelled meetings, and ever changing approaches inevitably spell disaster for mastermind groups. While every group has the capacity to develop it’s own best practices, consistency at the core of how the meetings are organized makes for a successful group. The key idea is that if you do simple organizational things well, the growing strength of the group will compensate for the occasional weakness of any individual in that group.
It’s valuable to create and stick to a schedule, and follow a predictable format. Suggestions: Only one person speaks at a time, and for a set amount of time. Each person should do their best to keep track of their allotted time and to use it wisely.
Each person in a group has their own idea of what should happen, and how it should happen, and who should do what. So getting people to work together well is not an easy thing, and leadership is fundamental to the success of a group.
But its no good if leadership falls on any one person. The tendency is that this will lead to difficulties between group members, as some strain under the dominance of one individual, others rebel against it, and others grow dependent on it. To protect the effectiveness of the leadership position, everyone should take a turn leading a meeting.
The result of this is that each member of the group becomes a better leader, which serves them well outside of the group as well as in it. The leader has the function of keeping discussions going the meeting on track.
Bias For Action
A Mastermind group is not a shmooze fest. It’s not a love in, a reading circle, a salon, or a philosophy discussion. And it’s not a support group where people tell their story and get into their feelings. You can use groups for all of these things, but the purpose of a Mastermind group is to produce action that leads to success.
Everything at your Mastermind meetings should be focused on producing action, by identifying next steps, making commitments and holding each yourself and each other accountable for those commitments. Otherwise, group time becomes a time waster for the individuals and the group will eventually fall apart.
Or think of it this way. If people don’t follow up on the energy given to them by the group, why would they continue to offer the energy? They wouldn’t, and the group eventually would fall apart. If people keep coming with the same requests for assistance at meeting after meeting, it rapidly becomes clear that there is no commitment and the group falls apart. It is essential to take home a harvest from each meeting in order to grow yourself and strengthen the group.
To develop this bias for action, I encourage group members to act on the ideas they leave with and make contact with offered contacts within a couple of days of each meeting.
Your comments and feedback are always welcome.