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Problem Solving

Is My Mastermind Having a Meltdown?

Melanie Benson Strick asked:

I was recently speaking at a marketing conference when Janet approached me. Janet, a business coach and author, knew that I was a big promoter of mastermind programs. She had heard me mention my personal mastermind, which has been responsible for helping me position my company for the success I have, launching my self-study program and most recently, creating the ULTIMATE Business Breakthrough Intensive – my live coaching program.

Janet asked me if we could speak privately for a moment. As we walked toward a quiet hallway, I found myself quite intrigued. I’ve never met Janet before so I’m really curious and I wonder what her question could be.

Finally Janet said, ‘I know you have a really powerful mastermind, one I’m very envious of. How did you get it going?’

I told her the story of how I’ve been masterminding for 12 years and that I have a process of attracting a mastermind team that few people have ever been able to duplicate. Generally speaking, I create a vision of the outcome I desire and go into ‘attraction mode.’

Next Janet said, ‘I heard you say that you are the average income of the five people you spend the most time with. I really get that. I’ve been with my mastermind group for almost a year and we are all in the same place – lots of goals and very few results. As a matter of fact, we are stuck in our success. What’s wrong with my mastermind group?’

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this statement from my clients, my network, my colleagues and complete strangers who hear me share my story about mastermind groups.

If you haven’t yet heard of masterminding, let me give you a little more information on it.

A mastermind group is a team of people who come together to talk about their business (or sometimes another type of focus like relationships, real estate investments, spiritual growth, etc.) The members of the group come from a like-minded focus to grow and excel in their success.

Napoleon Hill coined the mastermind concept in his book, Think and Grow Rich. The magical element to a mastermind group is when the members come together and play at 110% a third mindset is created that is unique, synergistic and out-of-the box. There is no other way to access this level of creative brainstorming and problem solving.

A mastermind can also provide a level of accountability. When you speak a commitment to your group, you are expected to follow through. For many of us entrepreneurs who don’t have bosses anymore, accountability can be extremely valuable!

Many people when learning of the unprecedented results possible in a mastermind program jump in and create their own program. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Here are some of the things that I’ve heard about (and some I’ve personally experienced) in a self-created mastermind group.

– The group gets comfortable and doesn’t motivate each other for greater results.

– Someone in the group feels like the unwilling mentor and leader and spends more energy ‘pulling the group up.’

– A member starts showing up late, missing calls or is routinely disinterested.

– The mastermind becomes a social club and loses sight of the original charter or focus.

– It’s not challenging you in a good way and everyone in the group is grating your nerves and you hate going to the meetings.

The truth is I have had hundreds of people over the last year share with me their ‘mastermind disasters’ and talk to me about joining my group. I’ve held workshops to teach people how I attract the right partners, how we run our group, and even given them samples of my mastermind tools.

But for some reason, mastermind groups still fail. My belief is that a group of equals often times needs a leader – someone who can take charge, ensure that the group meets, be a neutral third party and challenge the group to achieve more on a regular basis. It is very difficult to have someone play that role in a self-created group.

How Can You Get Unprecedented Results with Your Mastermind Group?

Here are some tips to transforming your group’s results with some proven coaching tools that I use in my own programs.

– Elect ‘roles’ that each member of the team will hold. For instance, time keeper, note taker, meeting scheduler, mediator, etc.

– Have written guidelines and agreements for how your program will be run. Include things like confidentiality, timeliness, regular meeting schedules, etc.

– Bring in an outside facilitator or join a third-party program. A few years ago, my group joined a three month intensive program. Boy, were we on fire!

– Identify written goals and check in with each other regularly. I suggest at least once a month.

– Uplevel the game – create unique challenges to each other to achieve more. Create some stakes that everyone can have fun with. This works well when someone needs to handle an issue or energy drain – like clutter.

Here is the most important thing. If you have a mastermind that isn’t serving you, you need to get out. I know from first hand experience that if you have ‘lost that lovin’ feeling’ for your group and there is no getting it back, that staying for a sake of loyalty will drag them down too. Be honest and let the group know how you are feeling. Take responsibility for your own experience. Clarify what you do need and want. And if the group can’t step up, then remove yourself and find a group that does serve you.

I’ll say again, mastermind teams can be a powerful addition to your business success. In addition to working with my own coach, having a great team and awesome friends, I’ve always had a mastermind group. What about you?

© 2007 Melanie Benson Strick, Success Connections. All rights reserved.

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