Mastermind Your Way to Success

Competence is one of the four keys to career and life success in my Common Sense Success System.  I also discuss it in some detail in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success; Your Success GPS; and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  If you want to succeed you need to develop four basic, but important competencies: 1) creating positive personal impact; 2) becoming a consistently high performer; 3) dynamic communication skills; and 4) becoming interpersonally competent. 

There are four key competencies that will help you become a career and life success:

  • You have to be able to create positive personal impact.
  • You have to be become an outstanding performer.
  • You have to be a dynamic communicator – in conversation, writing and presentations.
  • You have to build strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the important people in your life.

Belonging to a mastermind group is one of the best ways of building strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the people in your life. 

To the best of my knowledge, Napoleon Hill was the first person to use the term mastermind group in his timeless work Think and Grow Rich.

The idea behind a mastermind group is simple.  No one person has sufficient experience, knowledge and ability to succeed in this life without the cooperation of other people.  When you’re creating your success plan, it helps to get the input and thinking of as many people as possible.  Remember, surrounding yourself with positive people is a good way to build your self confidence.

Entrepreneurs often form mastermind groups to exchange ideas on how to grow their respective businesses.  However, I think that everybody can benefit from being part of a mastermind group.  You can form a mastermind group with friends at the company where you work, or with friends you know from your church or synagogue – or friends you meet at your kid’s sporting events.  It doesn’t matter.  You just want to find a like-minded group of people; people who want to succeed in their lives and careers, and who are willing to help you succeed in return for you helping them succeed.

Here are a few ideas for forming a mastermind group…

  • Mastermind with people you like and who share your interests and goals.  If you don’t feel that the mastermind group is discussing things that are relevant to you, you are probably in the wrong mastermind.  That’s OK.  Just leave the group and find another group of people who are aligned with your thinking and your career and life success goals.  This is less of a problem if you take the initiative to create your own mastermind group.
  • Meet in person if you can.  In the best mastermind groups, people are comfortable with and like and trust one other.  This comfort, affection and trust, comes with personal connection.
  • Meet frequently — at least once a month. I think every two weeks is better.  Frequent meetings will create momentum which will create personal accountability and drive.
  • Make sure everyone gets a chance to speak and have his or her ideas reviewed by the group.  Some mastermind groups designate a timer to keep things on track. You can’t have one member dominate the meetings, while others don’t get a chance to get the benefit of the group’s thinking.
  • I find it’s best to not add new members once the group has been formed.  If someone leaves the mastermind, you may consider inviting another member to join.  If you do, make sure it is a decision endorsed by the entire group.  In effective mastermind groups, a sense of cohesion develops quickly.  This cohesion can be hampered by the addition of even one new person.
  • Care as much about the success of the other members of the mastermind group as you do your own.  Keep the sixth point of The Optimist Creed in mind – Be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own – as you meet with your mastermind group. 

The common sense point here is clear.  Two heads, or three or four, or five or six, are better than one when it comes to creating the career and life success that you want and deserve.  That’s why forming your own mastermind group is a good idea.  Mastermind groups are not just for entrepreneurs.  We can all benefit from the thinking of others.  Others can benefit from our thinking.  A word to the wise though, your mastermind group will work for you only if you are willing to work for it.  Mastermind groups are a two way street.  The more you put in to helping others, the more others will put into helping you.  When you get in to a mastermind group, don’t keep score.  Remember, Rule # 2 in 42 Rules for Creating WE: “There is no quid pro quo in WE.”  It’s the same with mastermind groups.  Be willing to listen and share your advice first – with no expectation of return.  Ironically, if you follow this path, you’ll get a lot in return.  I guarantee this to be true.

That’s my take on mastermind groups and success.  What’s yours?  Have you had a positive experience – or even a negative one with a mastermind group?  If so, please take a few minutes and share it with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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