Masterminding: “When two or more minds come together a third invisible intangible force is created likened to a third mind.”… Napoleon Hill. “The Master Key to Riches”
Mentoring is a form of masterminding. 2 minds coming together for the common purpose of unleashing intelligence. There are other forms of masterminding opportunities within a company, that when guided effectively, can take your company to a new level of experiential knowledge. Think of each team in your company as a mastermind team and guide them more effectively. A sales team is a mastermind. An accounting team is a mastermind. A production team is a mastermind. Etc.
One of the most exiting mastermind teams I was on was a sales mastermind group. We were a young group of 5 all under 30 years old, working in a very competitive equipment rental industry, in a recession economy, where the other company’s teams were much more mature and experienced. Our mastermind team increased sales 30% year over year for 3 years in a row, while the competitors sales were decreasing.
How did we do it? We met daily. Most sales teams meet weekly. Our advantage in the recessive economy was the daily mastermind sessions. We had the common goal of increasing sales as individuals and as a team and we were all driven to be the best. At the end of each day, after completing our outside sales calls, the team of 4 sales reps met with the sales manager. We did a round table discussion. Each member of the team discussed each and every sales call they made. For each call they shared what went good, what went bad, what the customer said, what the sales person said. We discussed what could have been done different when it applied. We learned from each other’s mistakes and from each other’s wins. The quality of each person’s sales calls increased dramatically in a short period of time.
Learning curves increase naturally and dramatically in a masterminding environment.
When I started consulting, one of my client’s customer surveys told them that their weakness in comparison to the competitor was lack of industry knowledge with customer service people. They were a strong competitor new to the market. The competition had been in the market for 20 years. My customer was here for 12 months and grabbing market share, but they wanted more and wanted it quicker. Customer service was the key.
We set up a system for masterminding with the customer service team and set a goal for one-call customer service. There were 4 members on the CS team and a manager. At the end of each day, the outside sales team came in to the office and monitored the customer service phones while they completed their paper work, etc. This freed up the CS team for a mastermind session each day.
The CS manager came out of his office at 4 PM, and the CS team, working in a square cubical system, all stood up at their desks and went through their CS calls for the day. They discussed the challenges, the solutions and wins they came up with for customers. Each team member learned from the others and the knowledge for each team member grew daily and they learned from 4 people’s experience rather than just their own. It 4X their knowledge growth each day.
Why does this masterminding system work so well?
The reason well organized and structured mastermind teams work so well to achieve objectives is simple and it’s been proven in a study done by Gail Matthews of Dominican University at the turn of the century. Matthews put people into 3 groups and recorded their progress on achieving goals.
The 1st group set goals in their mind but never wrote them down. The 2nd group set goals and wrote them down. The 3rd group set goals, wrote them down and set up a system to report their progress to someone on a scheduled and consistent basis.
The group who wrote goals down achieved significantly more than those who did not. The group who wrote goals down and kept themselves accountable to someone else, achieved yet another level of progress unmatched by all the groups. The lesson here is write goals down and keep yourself accountable to others for progress on those goals. The following mastermind system assures your people are writing their goals down and keeping themselves accountable.
How do you implement and use an effective mastermind system?
- Set and write down the goals for the team and have each member of the team write down their individual goals. Get each member to write and share; 3 things they want to do better at. 3 challenges they are having. 3 things they are committed to doing that will help them achieve what they want or get through their challenges.
- Schedule a consistent time for meetings. Daily, bi-daily, weekly, monthly. What makes sense for your team? With some teams, daily is too much depending on the objectives and desired goal time frame. If you want quick results, meet daily. Don’t waste time. Keep to the agenda.
- Set a standard and group round table discussion agenda. What experiences do you want each team member to share? How do you want them to share it? What is the discussion format? Make an effective agenda and stay on track.
- Take minutes. Minutes are like writing goals down and they keep people accountable and clear on what they have committed to. Share the minutes with each participant. Begin each meeting with reviewing key items in last meetings minutes and get progress reports when it makes sense.
- Keep the meetings going. Don’t stop doing them. Make them part of the company culture. Adjust time frames when it makes sense.
What’s the best size of mastermind group? When I first learned the mastermind principle, one of my mentors shared what he called, a channeled message about ideal mastermind group structure. It was; “Four wise men close and two distant make up the nucleus of your mastermind. One of the four is two.” This was very intriguing to me, so I have been watching and analyzing mastermind teams for 30+ years. I have found that the most powerful and effective teams are 4 to 6 members. Jesus’ mastermind team was 13 so there is obviously room for adjustment here.
‘One of the four is two’ means to me that it’s best to have someone who can play devil’s advocate in the group — seeing both the positive and negative consequences of each idea. An effective mastermind group includes a participant that can explain two sides of any story.
‘Two wise men distant’ can mean having two members of the mastermind group that are not always present at the meetings but hear about the agenda and offer input through one of the four close members. A general manager might be one of the two distant members of a company mastermind team. Maybe an HR person or an outside consultant or mentor. There are many options. Just do it. Set up masterminding teams in your business and guide them. It will 4X your results. Good luck.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.