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How Your Mastermind Makes Good Business Great

I’ve been a member of my current Mastermind group for over a year, it’s by far the most supportive (and challenging) group I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of. In that time I’ve expanded the number of clients that I work with and become much more focussed on the value I bring to the table. Good enough on its own, as that unlocks sustainable profits for my business, but better still we all make far fewer costly mistakes, especially on the big strategic elements.

What is a mastermind group?

A group of business people who meet when it is sensible to do so (my group meets about every 6 weeks) to tackle challenges and problems together. We give advice and sometimes do business, and refer each other. I know we all really benefit from the dedicated time each of us uses to explore the topics we bring. Planning, and taking action, as a result, is important, Accountability is a key element of it. Knowing you will be held to account ensures that action is taken with significant and positive impacts.

Some mastermind groups are self-organised and may have very little cost, others may involve a paid facilitator or other added value elements and so may carry a fee for membership. I’ve been honoured to facilitate ad hoc and regular mastermind meetings over many years.

What happens at a mastermind meeting?

Mastermind meetings need an agenda, without it, they can become just another meeting. With experience, the agenda can evolve to meet the needs of the members. When they first start you may need to meet more often than you do in the long term meetings timings and frequency will evolve. It is important in the early days that everyone attends so that the relationships are built strongly. Generally, every meeting will have a number of focus sessions where one member is the focus of the groups’ attention

Each focus session needs a topic, an opportunity to be grasped or an issue to be resolved. The process I’ve found works best is after the topic has been introduced, that the group questions the topic holder in order to get a greater understanding. That’s not the time to start talking about solutions or actions to take, nor to imply them in the questions. Curiosity is the key. Quite often in that section the opportunity or issue changes as understanding grows, so it’s worth restating it. Then the other members can provide their ideas and suggestions before the topic holder plans their actions.

Quite often in that section the opportunity or issue changes as understanding grows, so it’s worth restating it. Then the other members can provide their ideas and suggestions before the topic holder plans their actions.

Meetings must be confidential so that the everyone can speak freely. Trust is vital, and mutual respect is critical. Mastermind groups usually have shared values that every member endorses completely.

Joining a mastermind group

Any group of peers, whether that is all people from the same business or across many businesses can work as a mastermind group. Having different skills and experience is important, and it is surprising how often an idea from an unexpected area is the one that unblocks thinking and results. You should ensure that everyone has respect for the skills every other person brings. Positions are less important, but it is vital that titles and hierarchy are left at the door.

If you join a group, make sure you take the time, not just for the meetings, but to take the actions that you plan afterwards, and to support the other members who may need additional support.

Mastermind groups become very close. The relationships are powerful, and it’s vital they are. If you want to develop yourself, improve your career, and develop the business you work for or own, then a mastermind group is one of the most powerful tools in your armoury.

About William Buist
William Buist is a speaker, author and mentor to owner-led businesses. William runs an annual programme for small business owners who have an inspirational vision and are honest about their motives. Are you eligible for this programme? Read more of William's story here...
    

William is also the founder of the xTEN Club, a community for business leaders. Join us at our next business dinner - More information here...

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