What can a mastermind do for you? How does it work? When is a mastermind not really a mastermind? (Sorry, cannot explain with just a few sentences so please be patient :)).

Jan 2016 I got fascinated with a Canadian living in Calgary: Jay Fiset has 30 years of practice with all kinds of masterminds and he is truly excellent. As a psychologist I had no problems to see why it makes a lot of sense. Long story short, I followed his program for 3 years including his Elite Program and JVology program – Calgary, Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Diego. 

Everybody and their sister can run a mastermind; but running a great mastermind depends on people’s attitudes and personalities, how they connect and match each other; and then setting the ground rules for commitment, respect and mutual support. A mastermind is neither training nor group coaching; the intimacy of the group is important, as is the individual commitment to goals that matter enough to actually ask for support (for many this is huge!).

In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill wrote about how Edison, Rockefeller, Carnegie and others supported each other: “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”

As a facilitator you will hold the ground and know what it takes to get through those times when people inevitably get bored, when their priorities shift, when x, y and z happen. You will understand personality and group processes, how to encourage goals and accountability, stretch their comfort zones but never more than they can master. In Clinical Awareness you will learn how to be ethical and not play with people’s mental health as some coaches do.

Some of the things that make masterminds special:

Co-creation. Sharing discussions and asking for help as colleagues often have similar challenges but different solutions. You learn from working on projects together and form real teams. Dialgoue instead of discussion and debate

The attitude. A mastermind is an attitude of sharing, of being of service to each other, of sharing contacts, resources and helping in solving problems or winning opportunities. It transcends the differences in knowledge and background because you get to know each other. It transcends the differences in knowledge and background; you learn because you’re different; you want depth and solid knowledge instead of crafting meaningless elevator pitches.

Accountability. Your colleagues’ goals will start to matter to you, and yours to them. A great mastermind is facilitated such that it becomes fertile ground for personal and professional growth.

Work/life balance. Business masterminds are different – professional first, pesonal second. Participants may struggle with matrix power struggles, silos, difficult projects, systems that are often global; but there are always work/life balance issues, You must be able to work with personal issues when they arise. They are simply unavoidable and with a high-quality facilitator lead to professional and personal growth.

Safe, professional space. A mastermind is neither training nor group coaching. The power lies with the participants, their resources and their openness. Solid facilitation makes it so much easier to establish intimacy. What we want is progress.

As a participant there are several benefits: 

1) Hot seats and spotlights. You will hear your thoughts and ideas in ‘hotseats’ as you are supported by qualified, interested peers whose opinions you trust and respect – we make 100% sure that the focus is on your particular needs; A hotseat is usually 20 minutes, while a spotlight is limited to 5 minutes.

2) Buddy system. You will be supported to achieve your goals with a buddy system – if you promise something, you will be held to it but also supported through problems and tough times;

3) Relevance. You’ll get relevant contents, contacts and resources that are necessary to reach or even stretch your goals – this is why common interests and similar goals are important;

4) Breakthrough. You will experience new insights in how you think and act – a mastermind is (reasonably) honest and because I’m a psychologist, I can usually understand what’s going on (if not, I ask :);

5) Networking. Your network will become deeper and more useful – a group of 10 senior people can cover most of the world, with some (like me) who have contacts pretty much everywhere. Referring friends that you trust comes natural; and a group of 10 easily have hundreds of connections to tap into;

6) Running your own. Through active participation you may learn enough to run your own internal masterminds. For Inner Circle and Green Mentoring we will also run masterclasses to help you;

(7) Retreat or virtual? It is pretty obvious that both are useful, but also that a combination will provide the better results.

(8) A sustainable world. What choice will our children and grand-children otherwise be confronted with? Space-X and Mars?? Have a look at my Twitter account  @PaulOOlson where I retweet subjects and research – you will see clearly what interests me!

My masterminds are not for everybody! You are a favourite participant if we share common ground with social entrepreneurship, green technologies and a sustainable world. And you are a leader of course. Looking forward to serving you!