Tips for Starting a Mastermind Group - Part 1 & 2


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Valuable tips, suggestions and insights for those readers who are planning to start a mastermind group, or seeking to become an active member of a mastermind group in the near future.

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Tips for Starting a Mastermind Group - Part 1 & 2

  1. 1. Tips for Starting a Mastermind Group – Part 1 & 2<br />John Carroll<br />Founder & CEO<br />Email:<br />Web:<br />Twitter: @TresCoach<br />Facebook: http://www.facebook/trescoach<br />Tips for Starting a Mastermind Group - Part 1 …<br />In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill talked about something called a "mastermind alliance." Hill went on to describe his concept of a mastermind group as, "A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one another to follow through with both plan and purpose." Today, like-minded professionals come together through a plethora of available mastermind programs to help each other achieve success, thanks in part to Napoleon Hill's original idea.<br />Note: This two-part article is intended to offer some valuable tips, suggestions and observations for those readers who are planning to start a mastermind group, or seeking to become an active member of a mastermind group in the near future.<br />Before starting a mastermind group, do your homework. Carefully select the topic(s), and solicit the advice of others who have started similar mastermind programs, so you know what to expect. Attend several group meetings to learn about the differing formats, content, membership requirements, etc. This will assist you in determining the appropriate structure for your mastermind program before proceeding.<br />Get help with start-up. Karyn Greenstreet, the owner of Passion for Business and The Success Alliance, is someone you should schedule time with before you start or join a mastermind group. Karyn currently offers a variety of teleclasses and valuable resources on how to start and manage a mastermind group, including a free e-Book, to help you research and successfully start your mastermind program.<br />Mastermind programs, if properly constructed, require a serious commitment in terms of preparation and planning, personal and professional growth, and active participation. As a group leader, it's important to set aside the time necessary to develop the group's charter, format and content, and the outline for planned meetings, programs and events, well in advance. For the group to be successful, members must also share this same level of commitment through regular attendance at meetings, self-study, professional development and growth, and their support of other members.<br />The group charter and guidelines should clearly define the purpose of the group, information about scheduled meetings, attendance expectations, group etiquette, member additions and removal, communication and membership fees. Members should know as much as possible about the group's plans and requirements in advance, and what they will gain through their active participation. This clarity, in turn, will help new member candidates make informed decisions as to whether the group is the right fit for their specific need.<br />Whether you choose an open or closed group format, diversity and the group's dynamics are critical aspects to consider to ensure a rich mastermind experience. You want to create a "buzz" by recruiting business leaders with differing perspectives, business backgrounds, experience levels, and industry profiles. Above all, select business professionals who are passionate about their personal growth and success, and are equally dedicated to helping other group members achieve the same or similar goals.<br />Prepare for growth and attrition. In the early stages, you should expect a certain amount of attrition to occur for various reasons including time and workload requirements, schedule conflicts, family and health issues, and business changes. Your recruiting efforts, therefore, should be ongoing so you have a backlog of candidates in the event that you lose group members. Also, have a transition plan to help new members quickly get introduced to the selected topics, recommended readings, homework and group exercises, to enable them to contribute from day one, and not feel left out.<br />Part 2 of this two-part article will focus on several additional areas you will want to emphasize when starting your mastermind group including Communications and Confidentiality, Programs, Activities and Events, and Accountability.<br />Tips for Starting a Mastermind Group - Part 2 …<br />Part 1 of this two-part article focused primarily on the pre-launch planning and preparation necessary to develop a successful mastermind program. Part 2 will provide you with additional tips, suggestions and strategies to consider for both your pre- and post-launch planning endeavors as you and your new mastermind group participants begin to focus on the major elements of the program that will ultimately deliver business value to the members.<br />A sincere willingness by all members to provide open, honest and respectful communication is an absolute must to enrich the mastermind experience. An open platform for discussion enables business leaders to engage in an active dialogue and information exchange, without reservations. As participants become more comfortable with each other, the group will begin to function as a peer-to-peer Executive Board, offering expert knowledge, guidance, inspiration and support to benefit each member's particular business situation. <br />Confidentiality is also vital to maintain the integrity of the program and to ensure that proprietary business and financial information shared between group members is held in strictest confidence. Both members and guests should be required to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements in order to protect confidentiality and allow for full disclosure of business critical information that is relevant to the group discussions and any subsequent 1-on-1 meetings held by its members.<br />Next, providing prospective mastermind group members with an outline of the proposed Programs, Activities and Events calendar will help you in the new member recruiting and selection process, and give group participants a roadmap to help them prepare in advance for future meetings and assignments. Make periodic changes to the agenda format by adding new topics, selected readings, case studies, member spotlights, guest speakers, etc. to keep the program fresh, substantive and highly interactive.<br />The last area that cannot be overlooked in any successful mastermind program is accountability. Mastermind programs, as mentioned in Part 1 of this article, require a serious commitment in terms of time, preparation and planning, personal and professional growth, and active participation. Without strong accountability and a shared sense of commitment on the part of the group leader and the group’s members, a mastermind program is little more than a networking group.<br />For the above reason, I would encourage you as the group leader to assign Accountability Partners so members can work together in teams on self-study and group projects. This will help facilitate the successful completion of assigned projects and provide group members with unbiased thought leadership, guidance and support on the development of all required content and deliverables. In addition, the accountability partnerships help to further unify the group and improve the quality and depth of the outputs.<br />The information contained in this two-part article is derived for my own personal experiences in developing and launching the Business Leaders Forum℠ mastermind program in September of 2010. The Business Leaders Forum℠ is a comprehensive mastermind program established for serious business owners and leaders who are committed to life-long learning, personal and professional growth, and to achieving high levels of success in all aspects of their lives.<br />If you would like more information about the Business Leaders Forum℠, please send an email request to me at <br />Tell me about your experience: How has your participation in a mastermind group program helped you achieve your personal and/or professional goals? What advice would you give to someone planning to start or join a mastermind program? Please let me hear from you regarding your success stories, or any additional information or thoughts you would like to share on this subject.<br />Enjoy the journey!<br />COPYRIGHT © 2010-11 John Carroll<br />About the Author: John Carroll is the founder and CEO of Tres Coaching Services™, a professional coaching, consulting and training services company located in Keller, TX. He is a visionary, results-driven business leader known for his proven ability to drive transformation and change and deliver outstanding results in highly competitive global markets. <br /> <br />During his 30-year professional career, John held Director, Vice President and COO positions within Fortune 100, mid-size and emerging companies, leading high-performing business divisions that generated more than $1 billion in revenue. He was also a member of the senior leadership team that developed the go-to-market plans for the one of the largest IPO’s in the history of the Internet industry.<br />Mr. Carroll received a MBA with distinction in General Management from the University of Central Missouri, and a BSBA in Marketing and Economics from Rockhurst University. He has received numerous sales, leadership and excellence awards during his career, and has been recognized by both Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals and the Global Registry of Outstanding Professionals and Entrepreneurs for his outstanding sales and marketing leadership accomplishments.<br />John is an author and frequent speaker on business related topics including the How to Improve Results in Any Economy and the Back to Basics 2.0℠ series, and works extensively with both entrepreneurs and small business owners to help them systematically improve sales and marketing performance, increase profits, more efficiently manage their business operations, and “achieve the results to move beyond their vision”.<br />For more information please visit or follow John or Tres Coaching Services™ on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and SlideShare.<br />