Tag Archives: mastermind

Masterminding and Mentoring in a 5 Step Process

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.

Masterminding and Mentoring in a 5 step process to 4X Learning

Masterminding and Mentoring in a 5 step process to 4X Learning

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Mike Garska.
President, FindAMentor.com

12 simple Tricks to Success – Part 7

This is the seventh blog of a series, “12 Simple tricks to Success” from Findamentror.com. We reveal one trick each month for you to read and practice so that in 12 months you’ll have developed some habits that can expedite your success. Enjoy!

Just like every trade and profession has its’, “tricks of the trade”, all very successful people have 12 tricks they do, no matter what industry or institution they work in. They do those things consistently. They are important processes that great and successful people follow.

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12-success-tricks-part-7

Trick number Seven:

DECLARE YOUR RARITY, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, BUILD CONFIDENCE

Get in touch with your purpose in life!

There may be large groups of people who appear to be the same, or at the very least, similar. But people are classified into groups to simplify talking about particular issues, not to acknowledge unique personality traits.

In reality, every person who belongs to a group will have some traits in common with other members, but they will also have many very individual traits that no one else in the group possesses. We are all miracles unto ourselves. Each of us, even identical twins, has distinct thought and emotional patterns.

Successful people understand how unique they are. They have a deeply rooted belief in themselves as individuals. That belief may be shaken on the road to success, but successful people find a way to re-group and continue on their chosen path.

Discovering what makes us unique and celebrating our rarity is essential to success. We cannot achieve wealth or lasting happiness unless

we honor our uniqueness and believe in ourselves.

Og Mandino writes, “Proclaim your Rarity” as one of the five key elements of success in his ‘God Memorandum’ from the book “The Greatest Miracle in the World”.

When we proclaim our rarity, we begin to get in touch with our individual purpose in life. Knowing my purpose in life drives me and guides me. When I defined a purpose in life, it made it easier to decide on opportunity as it presented itself.

How do you get in touch with your purpose in life? Keep it simple. Some examples of simple life purpose would be:

Make Music that inspires others.

Write books to help people Learn.

Write books to Entertain people.

Help others see big picture better.

Paint beautiful pictures for people to Enjoy.

Invent.

Sell great Products.

Assist others to achieve their goals.

Live, Love, Matter.

Mother Theresa’s purpose was to help the poor and disadvantaged in India.

My personal overall purpose in life is to bring people together to better each other. To that end, I have found a way to align my purpose with every job I’ve had and let it evolve over time.

When I sold equipment to construction companies, I saw my purpose as being fulfilled by bringing equipment people together with construction people to help each achieve their goals.

When I sold industrial fasteners, I took the same approach.

When I had the cellular phone business, I saw myself as bringing people together to enhance their communications.

When I’m consulting in business, I bring people together to work in harmony and communicate better as they achieve their goals. I focus on enhancing team work using the mastermind principle bringing people together in common purpose.

I founded FindAMentor.com to bring people together to learn from each other.

Notice that purpose in life has to do with serving others. Each person’s definite purpose in life is about service. No one builds wealth of any type without serving. We are rewarded for service. It’s that simple. If you want more wealth of any type, find a way to offer more service, even if it’s through others and a team you’ve built.

You can identify your purpose in life by reflecting on your life so far.

What are your goals in life? Refer to your goal lists from chapter one in this series.

What are your passions in life? What do you love to do? What excites you? How do your passions fit with your goals? Become aware of your unique desires and passions and decide how you want to serve in our world? If you served in this way, would it invoke enthusiasm in you? As you go through this process you will be able to identify a simple purpose in life.

How will you serve? Define that simple purpose right now. As you get to know yourself better through service, your purpose might change. It’s okay to change purpose and focus as you grow through life and change. Having a purpose of any kind gives you direction and helps you make decisions as opportunity presents itself. Just do it now. Follow a purpose. You’re rarity will begin to shine.

As you follow your purpose, your belief in yourself will grow. Your confidence will grow. You will get better at serving. You will become an expert in your field and your riches will grow.

When we live with purpose, writing our goals down, utilizing the 12 tricks outlined in this series, we build confidence and our wealth grows. Each time we cross goals off a list, our confidence grows. It doesn’t matter how small the goal is or how much our confidence builds, as long as it grows.

Even when we go to the grocery store and purchase everything on the shopping list, there is a feeling of accomplishment. That positive feeling anchors itself in our subconscious. The more we anchor positive emotion in ourselves, the more we attract positive situation and circumstance. It’s that simple. Get in the habit of anchoring positive emotion and you will begin displaying the habit of expressing positive emotion. As that happens, you will attract more positive people and emotion into your life and your ball of riches will begin to roll and grow like a snowball rolling down a snow covered mountain. You won’t be able to stop it.

Each time we achieve a goal and cross it off the list, our confidence and belief in our self builds.

As we move further into this process of writing goals down, serving, and crossing goals off the list, our positive emotional self grows and we become more passionate about our purpose. The energy of passion brings new ideas, opportunities, and people to us that in turn help us achieve more goals. Our confidence continues to grow, and we set larger more complex goals that we feel more capable of achieving.

As we achieve larger and larger goals we find our brilliance — that absolutely unique combination of thoughts, feelings, and intentions that make up who we are at the most unique level. You can become the best you and be in touch with your highest self.

Identify a purpose to follow. Serve the best you can and achieve more starting right now.

Keep your purpose and goals to yourself until you feel strong and confident in yourself. I don’t often share my goals or purpose with others. Sometimes I’ve told others about some of my goals—when I think telling them might build my confidence or help me achieve them. Sometimes I guessed wrong, and telling others made me feel less confident.

Make sure to write your goals and purpose down. Writing down our goals rather than talking about them has two benefits. First, it allows us to declare our rarity, just to ourselves. It’s humble that way, but we can also remain confident. Second, goals change. Not sharing them until they are achieved allows us to keep our integrity. When a goal changes or takes longer to achieve than expected, we do not have to deal with the pressure of others’ expectations or negative comments.

Believing in ourselves and exuding confidence helps us go the extra mile and keep our agreements. It helps us build our networks — people are naturally drawn to those who seem to know what they want. It gives us confidence to make choices that suit us.

Belief in self leads to discovering new desires. It allows us freedom to celebrate our own, and others’, rarity and live with a sense of love. Proclaim your rarity. Serve others how you want and add enthusiasm to the mix. Have a great day. Thanks for reading.

FindAMentor.com

12 simple Tricks to Success – Part 6

This is the sixth blog of a series, “12 Simple tricks to Success” from Findamentor.com. We reveal one trick each month for you to read and practice so that in 12 months you’ll have developed some habits that can expedite your success. Enjoy!

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12-sucess-tricks-part-6

Trick number Six:

Ask Questions

. . . many of them, of yourself and others—any kind, most days

 

“To wonder is to begin to understand.” (Author unknown) This is one of the most influential statements I’ve read in my life. Wondering is about asking questions with an open mind to answers. Our intelligence is sparked in the process.

All humans have intelligence. Some of us don’t know how to maximize our intelligence, but that doesn’t mean we’re incapable. We each have different learning processes — ones particularly suited to who we are. Learn how you learn, follow your interests and passions, ask many questions and you will become very smart.

We can increase the range of our intelligence by simply asking questions. I believe in a law of intelligence, which ensures that every question ever asked is eventually answered.

“Everyone that asketh receiveth,” says Matthew in the Bible (7:8).

Answers may come in the form we expect, but often they come in unexpected ways and times. What we need is the patience to wait for answers and the openness to see them when they appear. Some of the answers may not come right away, but rest assured, they will come.

Einstein stated a theory that gravitational waves exist because he continually asked the question, ‘what makes the universe work?’ He was inspired by the answer he received from the universe so stated a theory. Theories are actually questions because they are not confirmed. By stating a theory I’m asking; How? 100 years later the universe provided the answer to prove the theory through other scientists. He asked the questions for human kind and the answer eventually came. Not all questions take that long to be answered.

I wondered how mobile phones worked when I first used one in 1976. 12 years later I got into the cellular phone business and attended courses explaining how they actually worked so I could explain it to customers.

I wondered about the similarities and differences between Christianity and other religions. I was looking for common denominators. I met many people of different backgrounds over the next few months and found many common denominators.

If you want to learn more, ask more questions of everyone you can think of. Eventually the answer will come and you will be more intelligent. As we ask questions and learn, we become more valuable in the workforce and to our networks of family, friends, and associates.

We can ask questions of children, teenagers, and co-workers—anybody with whom we carry on a conversation. We may learn a small detail about a person’s personal life, or we may find the solution to a complex corporate problem. It’s all learning and learning is valuable to our character. Every single person we encounter — regardless of age, race, occupation, gender, education, sexual orientation, income level, or religious or political beliefs — can teach us something.

The key is being open to learning without imposing negative judgments.

We make judgments about people and situations every day. Some positive and some negative. Negative judgments occur because we believe we’re better than others or we don’t have complete information or understanding or we’re afraid. Asking questions helps us understand and be less afraid. Asking questions before judging, helps us judge more positively which attracts more positive life situations to us.

One of the primary motives for negative judgment is to discredit others’ decisions, personal or professional, in an effort to validate our own or to feel superior. If left unchecked, negative judgment can lead to the implicit belief that everyone in the world should be more like us.

Difference, however, makes the world a wonderful place. Imagine if everybody were exactly the same. Would you like to be a clone? I wouldn’t. We all have our own paths and make our own choices. The more freedom we allow others to live their lives as they choose, the more freedom we gain to do the same ourselves.

Negative judgments block our ability to accept or gather complete information.

Without sensing compassion from us, for example, others will not be willing to share their whole story and we, as a consequence, will not learn as much as we might from the interaction.

My nephew shared a story with his mother about how he really had a hard time liking a fellow student, and then was surprised at how his feelings shifted when he found out how hard the student’s life had been. We were not born to like everyone. We can, however, learn from everyone when we keep our negative judgments at bay and inquire a little deeper with empathy and compassion.

When people feel judged, they don’t want to listen to our questions or opinions. They often withdraw and keep their thoughts to themselves. Sometimes they get aggressively defensive. The learning process stops for both sides, emotions heighten, block reason, and neither is able to accept responsibility for the negative situation. The more negative situations we put ourselves in the more we attract negative situations. It’s simple. If we want a positive life full of positive situations, we need to think and feel more positive every time we think of it.

One of the most effective ways to let go of negative judgments is to ask questions, examine why we have the judgments we do and then to take responsibility for communicating our desires, feelings, thoughts and intentions clearly, and with compassion.

By getting into the habit of asking questions when I’m feeling negative helps shift me to a positive state most of the time.

When my co-worker was installing a cellular phone into a customer’s new imported car, he inadvertently drilled into one of the car’s computer boards. The repair bill was $1500. When he informed me of the mishap, I had a few choices about how to react. I could have yelled, screamed, made him feel stupid, and then fired him.

That choice would have made the co-worker take responsibility for my anger, rather than his actions, and I would have been left with a big repair bill and one less employee who was an experienced, productive worker. I still would have been angry, and I would have had the additional expense of training another employee.

Instead, I let go of the anger — then the negative judgment — and looked at how we could turn the adversity into a benefit. I asked the co-worker why it happened (it was a new model of car that placed the computer board under the gearshift) and instructed him to phone all the competitors with whom we had strong relationships. He was to tell their installers of the new position of the computer board so they wouldn’t make the same mistake.

The result was that the co-worker was encouraged to take responsibility for his error, he felt supported despite his mistake, and my colleagues at other stores didn’t have to make the same expensive mistake. The worker received positive feedback from the other installers and felt good about himself in the end knowing he wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. My benefits included a productive and willing co-worker and a number of grateful colleagues and competitors who would return the favor to me in some way in the future.

Asking why instead of moving to instant negative emotion and expression turned an adversity into benefit and attracted positive situations in the future.

Ask questions and you will learn, you will be more positive, you will attract positive people and a more positive life.

FindAMentor.com

12 simple Tricks to Success – Part 4

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Trick number four:

“Build your networks wisely.”
. . . Find mentors, Coaches and Key Advisers.

The people we associate with, personally and professionally, become part of our network and affect our success rate. Each of us has a unique set of friends, associates and colleagues.

Our networks can help us advance or hold us back. When our networks expand, our careers build. When our networks stagnate, our careers stagnate. Networking has the potential to greatly determine how much opportunity we encounter.

Building our networks involves meeting as many people as we can. This was easier in sales careers than others in the past, and as a result, the sales profession created more millionaires than other professions. It’s different now.

Social media and the internet has changed the world and expanded opportunity. Regardless of our career choice, we have many opportunities for creating and expanding our networks and our careers.

Aside from going the extra mile at work (which helps influence networks positively), we can go the extra mile in building networks — work and personal. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, Youtube, LinkedIn and other social media sites can generate many new contacts. Signing up to blogs, email lists and listening to podcasts can help us too.

Don’t forget the personal face-to-face networking options though. They are very important. We can become involved in school functions with our children, corporate sports teams, community associations, chambers of commerce, or adult education courses. There are many options, personal and online, but remember — it’s up to each individual to follow through on them. You are the only person who can build your network.

Although each person’s network is unique, everyone’s network would benefit from the addition of a few key advisers. First and foremost are good mentors — people we can trust and talk too openly and who have expertise in an area of life we are working in or have a passion for. Mentors can save us much time in the world of trial and error.

Being part of mastermind groups is also key to positive networking and success. “When two or more people come together in common focus, a third invisible intangible force is created likened to A THIRD MIND.” …Napoleon Hill. Get the third mind working for you. Everyone is part of different mastermind groups. Masterminding is an expansion of the peer mentoring concept and can take different forms.

When a mentor and mentee come together to help the mentee, a mastermind group is formed. When two or more mentees work together to bounce ideas between them, with a focus on improvement for each other, they are masterminding. Work teams are mastermind groups: A sales team is a mastermind group focused on increasing sales. An accounting team is a mastermind group focused on tracking funds. Often, work mastermind teams could benefit with more focus on goals and communication structure. Hiring a coach to facilitate might help your work mastermind teams be more effective.

Even families are a type of mastermind group. They typically focus on maintenance and expansion of love.

Get the third minds working for you! Make sure members in your mastermind groups are on the same page — that they are clear on goals and progress for the group, and the goals for individuals in the group. Set a schedule for meetings and keep to it. Even if one member can’t make it to a meeting, do the meeting with who can.

It’s a good idea to acquire two additional network components. When I was starting my cellular phone business, a mentor told me to make sure I had good advisers for legal and accounting processes. Especially when we are self-employed, but even if we are not, having a good lawyer and accountant keep us safe and informed on legal and tax matters.

If we are determined to proceed on the path to success, we will without doubt need accounting and legal advice at some point—whether we’re buying a house, doing our taxes, or closing a deal on a corporate merger. As our wealth builds, good accountants and lawyers become more important.

I think it’s important to have a couple communications mentors. Communicating is something most people could become better at. I’ve found, when I survey employees for companies, it’s the most identified issue for improvement in businesses.

When we are faced with crucial conversations and difficult circumstance, how we communicate is very important. I will often make a phone call to a communications expert before I tackle a tough situation or conversation with others. I encourage those I coach to do the same.

Another key adviser might be a good psychologist. There are many obstacles on the path to success — career setbacks, emotional struggles, and self-doubt to name a few. A psychologist can help us deal with complicated emotional processes during difficult periods. Psychologists are expensive, however, so if funds are unavailable, we can seek a life process mentor—a compassionate friend or advisor whom we trust enough to share the intimate details of our life. Typically, this is someone we respect and admire, and he or she will have experienced the same situation or issue we are experiencing in our life.

Be careful with life process mentors and psychologists. We don’t want one that will enable us, and allow us to stay stuck in our past emotional traps and dysfunction, justifying our inability to move forward. We want to acknowledge our dysfunction and get tools to move through it, over it, under it, or around it when it triggers. Progress is what matters if we want to grow into all that we can be.

For successful people, the process of building networks continually shifts. People in our network can play different roles at different times. When I was deciding to move my cellular phone business to a larger store, I hired one of my mentors as a consultant/coach to help me complete a business plan and hire sales people. He coached me on what to say to the bank in order to get financing and on how to interview prospective personnel. In essence, he coached me on making decisions, like he always had as a mentor. During this period, the relationship was similar but intensified because I was paying him for a specific purpose. Mentoring is free, coaching is done for a fee. Later the relationship shifted to one of peer mentoring.

For successful people the process of building networks seldom stops. They understand that the more people they know, the more advice they will receive, the more sales they will make and the more fun they will have. If they can think of one or two people they’d like to adopt as mentors or peer mentors, they adopt them. We can do the same.

We do not have to accept everything our mentors, accountant, lawyer or psychologist says as the absolute truth, but we can listen and decide what is best for our situation. The more opinions we collect from people we trust, the more options we become aware of, and the easier it becomes to make decisions. We can save ourselves a great deal of time and hardship by listening to capable people whom we trust to have our best interest in mind.

Go out and build your network. Shift it where it needs to be shifted. Be open. Be confident and grow.

Have a great day.

Thanks for reading.

If You Want Your Life to Change, Get Better at Masterminding!

masterminding

Masterminding

I first learnt about masterminding reading Napoleon Hill’s books. He wrote many books on the subject of being successful and growing rich. Basic success principles haven’t changed for thousands of years. Hill interviewed thousands of the world’s most powerful and influential people throughout most of the 1900’s — Ford, Churchill, Gandhi, Bell, Edison, Roosevelt, Carnegie, etc. Writing about success was his life’s mission. In every book he devoted an entire chapter to the masterminding principle. He said everyone he interviewed told him they owed much of their success to the mastermind principle.

Great men and women around the world use masterminding principles in their daily life — always have. They build incredible networks where they source information to help them make wise decisions. Ask any successful person and they will confirm that their accomplishments happen as a result of using strong teams and implementing ideas from other people.

Using other people’s money is one way of getting help from others. It’s involves using a finance mastermind group for the business. One of Canada’s billionaires (Ted Rogers) once told me in a luncheon that he would borrow as much as people would lend him as long as he could cash flow the commitment. If they’ll lend him a million, he’ll take it. If they want to lend him a billion, he’ll take it, to help him achieve his goals. He used masterminds in every part of his business and made sure his people kept them effective. His team of vice presidents was the lead mastermind group and they coordinated the successful business culture through the many down-line mastermind groups.

Watch this video to learn more about Masterminding and peer mentoring:

In business, an accounting team is a mastermind, a sales team is a mastermind, a production team is a mastermind, etc. The leaders of these teams come together to form another senior management mastermind. There are four critical and simple masterminds to establish in any business that will assure success in almost any economy:

1. A mastermind group focused on happy customers.

2. A mastermind group focused on happy employees.

3. A mastermind group focused on happy suppliers.

4. A mastermind group focused on leading the above three groups to keep the shareholders happy.

It’s a four win situation and great success tool. In smaller companies, the mastermind groups may be smaller and some of the members may not be employees. An accountant, lawyer or business coach may participate in some small company mastermind groups.

In very small companies and start-ups the mastermind groups have to be assembled in the form of mentors, and/or service providers you might contract too, or buy from. We want to mastermind with people who don’t necessarily work for our company full time, or at all, in a start-up or very small business environment.

I started a cellular phone business in the late 1980’s from the trunk of my car and built it to three stores and 3 million in annual sales over a nine year period. At first I was working by myself with service providers to back me up. The service providers became part of my mastermind group for customer service. It enabled me to use the word ‘we’ when talking to customers about exceptional customer service, even though I was a one-man business at the time.

A very important word to consider using when talking to customers, suppliers or colleagues is ‘we’. A mentor once told me to always use the word, ‘we’, when talking to customers, even though I was a sole proprietor at the time. Using the word ‘we’ gives the large customers confidence they are dealing with a team that can meet their service requirements.

No-one accomplishes a major goal in life without the help of others. Success is a ‘we’ situation. Using the word ‘I’ is not inclusive of the team needed to service a customer or supplier, even if that team is not employed directly by my company. ‘I’ can be interpreted as egotistical expression — turning customers off. ‘We’ is accurate. If we’re selling a product, we bought the product from someone so it’s the manufacturer and my company providing the product and service. It’s not ‘I’, it’s ‘we.

Where do we find the people so we can assemble our mastermind groups for a start-up company? When building the cellular phone business, I had a minimum of four mentors to call to discuss challenges with. I would call different mentors for different challenges. I was very fortunate to have many mentors by the time I started my own business. Past managers, co-workers, suppliers and customers who I established relationships with while working for other companies became friends and mentors throughout my career. My mentoring network continues to grow vertically— more mentors and mentees.

I use mentors and mastermind groups for important aspects of my life. I have communication masterminds I consult with to keep my communication skills honed. I have spirituality masterminds I consult with to help maintain my integrity. I have business masterminds to help keep me successful. I see my family as a mastermind group for healthy loving. I see my network of friends as a mastermind group to keep my life balanced between work and fun.

Mastermind groups can be utilized in different formats. In a business the most common format is a face-to-face meeting. In a very small business the most common format is by contacting at least four different mentors on the phone in separate conversations, or in separate meetings. I talk to at least four guys about current issue or challenges. After listening to each, I decide which information is right for me to use, and act accordingly. In all cases masterminding uses more than one mind to discover and evaluate options and help make wise decisions.

Two minds are better than one, but what is the ideal group size for accomplishing goals? A mentor once shared with me what he called a ‘channelled from above’ idea on masterminding: “Four wise men close and two distant make up the nucleus of your mastermind. One of the four is two.” I was 17 when he shared it with me and I had read 3 of Napoleon Hills books by that time so I knew exactly what he meant by mastermind.

From the beginning of my work career I’ve watched and evaluated effectiveness of groups focused on objectives. The most successful teams I’ve been on, and witnessed, used the channelled mastermind formula. “Four wise men close and two distant make up the nucleus of your mastermind. One of the four is two.” ‘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 an 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. An accountant or lawyer might be two distant members of a business mastermind group. Mentors of primary, ‘close’ mastermind group members might be the two distant members of a mastermind group.

In all cases, when I see four strong members in a business mastermind group I see success. In the early part of my sales career I was part of a four person sales team. We were all very young and inexperienced in the industrial rental equipment field and had just gone through a huge economic downturn. We were also starting an aviation rental business. The company we were working for fired their entire sales team and hired a new young sales force. All of us were under thirty and closer to 25 years old. Every night of the week this team met with our sales manager and each member discussed our entire day’s activity. We masterminded our sales process with the team every day. We all learnt from each other what the best words to use, or approach to take, would be with different types of people and different companies. I received raises every six months because of performance. Sales grew 30% year over year for 3 years until I left for another opportunity. I was sales manager of a large industrial rental company selling to large plants and construction companies at 27. At 28 I started a cellular phone business.

We used the channelled mastermind formula to help build the cellular phone business. I’ve been doing business consulting and coaching for 15 years now and we help customers build and adjust their mastermind groups using the same formula.

Your success will relate directly to how effective your mastermind groups are. Life and business is a team effort. Masterminding is happening in your life whether you like it or not. Are you directing it to your satisfaction? Are your outcomes what you want? Remember the definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” If you want your life to change and get better, get better at masterminding.

To get better at masterminding, you have to become a great communicator. Look for our next blog post on being a great communicator — communicating from the HIP (Human Interaction Process). Sign up to our newsletter below to receive posts directly in to your mailbox.

January is National Mentor Month. Be a Mentor!

Be a Mentor! January is National Mentoring Month.

Millions of people around the world and in your community are looking for a mentor. Be a mentor to someone new this January either online or in your community. “Mentoring Transforms Adversity into Achievement.” The Mentor News.

President Barack Obama issued a proclamation designating January as National Mentoring Month in 2014. He stated, “In every corner of our Nation, mentors push our next generation to shape their ambitions, set a positive course, and achieve their boundless potential. During National Mentoring Month, we celebrate everyone who teaches, inspires, and guides young Americans as they reach for their dreams.”

Around the world people rely on mentoring to maintain and grow their families, communities and businesses. It’s our duty to give back. Thought and emotional processes that are critical to success cannot be taught and learned in a classroom alone. Real life experience is needed to teach our new generations the success tools required to succeed in families, communities and businesses.  Benjamin Franklin said: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and show me and I learn.”

I take on one new mentor each year from FindAMentor.com and then I hide my profile so I’m not flooded with requests. Most of us mentor many people and we have many informal mentors. I mentor my sons, their friends, my nieces and nephews, business colleagues, spirituality friends, etc.  Some people I mentor once a month, others once a quarter or once a year. The mentoring relationship differs with each mentee and usually shifts over time in each relationship. Some of my mentors I only see once a year now. As a mentor, we can set the time frames for a mentee relationship. I allow 1 hour per month of time for new mentees. Often, after the first session, time requirements diminish.

Mentoring is a lifelong natural process we all do to different degrees as mentors and mentees. Remember, mentors often learn as much as their mentees in a mentoring relationship. They feel rewarded.

Make a list of the characteristics you are looking for in a mentee and what questions you want to ask them, so you can determine how to help now or if they can be helped:

  • What type of experience do you expect them to have, if any?
  • Are they involved in the field of interest of career now, or just wanting to be?
  • How much experience do they need to have to be my mentee, if any?
  • How old should they be?
  • Should they be male or female?
  • Ask the mentee questions to determine if they are a good communicator. What does a good communicator look like?
  • Ask questions to determine what emotional process habits they have and if they are the right ones to succeed.
  • Can you help them with confidence, patience, persistence and perseverance?
  • Ask questions to determine what knowledge they have in your field right now.
  • What do they need to know that they don’t now?

Peer mentoring or masterminding is a great option if you want to have far reaching affect. Masterminding is simply a group of people working together and meeting regularly to achieve common objectives. Napoleon Hill identified Masterminding as one of the common denominators required in achieving success of any magnitude after he interviewed thousands of the world’s most successful people.  Any executive team is a mastermind. Sales teams, accounting teams or production teams, etc., are all mastermind groups. When a mastermind group is active, “a third invisible intangible force is created likened to a third mind’, writes Napoleon Hill. Hill devoted an entire chapter to masterminding in each of the many success tool books he wrote.

As a mentor, if you want to have a greater effect on more people, try leading a peer mentoring or masterminding group as a senior mentor. By leading a mastermind group you mentor more than one person at once and dramatically increase the learning curve in each of your mentees. Here’s how it can work best:

  • Have 4 to 6 people in the mastermind group.
  • The group identifies objectives each member, and the group, wants to achieve. Minutes are taken in each session by one of the members. Often the minute responsibilities are shared from session to session. Minutes are typed and forwarded to each member.
  • The senior mentor shares the knowledge and emotional traits necessary to achieve objectives the group has identified.
  • The mentees discuss how to utilize the knowledge and invoke the emotional traits determined necessary to succeed.
  • In each session, each mentee identifies goals to be achieved and practical actions they are committing to accomplishing before the next session.
  • In each session the mentees discuss their actions and goals achieved, or not, since the last session. Wins and challenges are discussed in detail by each mentee or mastermind member. Learning curves are increased dramatically when each person’s daily, weekly or monthly activities are shared and listened too. When there are two people sharing we learn twice as much, twice as fast. When four people share we learn four times as fast and four times as much.

The most successful masterminds I’ve witnessed in a business environment meet every week day. I’ve seen sales teams increase sales 30% year over year in a tough economy as a result of meeting daily. I’ve witnessed customer service teams increase product knowledge and improve customer service dramatically when the team meets daily. Meeting schedules are more demanding in a business team environment. Peer mentoring type masterminding with different purposes require much less time. I meet with a spirituality group once a week.

Common mentoring is a type of masterminding as well. When I meet with one mentor I am masterminding my development. When I call four different mentors and ask for an opinion on a challenge, I’m still masterminding using a different format.  I take what fits for me from each mentor and discard the rest.

Having at least 4 mentors for every aspect of life that is important to you is a great idea. I personally have four or more business mentors and the same for spirituality mentors. I have 4 communications mentors. I have mentors for hobbies like construction or renovations. We can and do have mentors for many aspects of life. It’s a good idea to continue growing our mentor network. I meet new people every year that I use as mentors.

Be a mentor to one more person this year. Millions of people are in need of guidance and searching it out. If you find a new mentee on-line at FindAMentor.com or another website utilize the ‘Tools and Tips’ pages (top menu on home page) at FindAMentor.com. There are mentee and mentor questionnaire forms that you can use to help you verify the authenticity of someone you meet on-line as a prospective mentee or mentor. There are tips for being a good mentee and mentor. There are tips for the different types of mentoring you might be interested in utilizing for your company or organization.

If you need a daily inspirational email from us, join the emailing list. We won’t send you spam, we will just inspire you every morning with some inspirational quotes from a different mastermind group each day. We want to motivate you to achieve your goals. Go out and make it a great day. Thank you for reading.

Please tell your friends to mentor someone. Millions of people are looking for mentors. And we can all be a mentor to someone in at least one field of interest.