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 :)).

I like co-creation. A lot. Sharing discussions and asking for help on LinkedIn has been both fun and helpful. Sharing with colleagues at annual conferences. Working on projects together. But you also realise that people sometimes share very little ground. We meet as social groups, not teams. We have discussion and debate instead of dialogue – creativity can only come from dialogue and respect, from receiving and giving support.

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. Until you start working towards shared goals or supported goals, it can be hard to know whether a colleague has solid knowledge or just spread some common sense with irrelevant links to yet more opinions. A total waste of time? Been there, done that? In a mastermind, that doubt goes away. A great mastermind is facilitated such that it becomes a fertile ground for personal and professional development – depending on needs of the person and, obviously, who foots the bill. So you have masterminds aimed at the personal level.

A corporate mastermind is different not just because it addresses your work, career and well-being – a personal level mastermind can do this, too; it is different because the participants are leaders in a business environment. A corporate mastermind is professional first, personal second. But joining a corporate type mastermind also means that you cannot avoid personal growth. It is simply unavoidable and (with a high-quality facilitator) one of the best ways to grow professionally and personally. Want to know more?

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 loves it. As a psychologist I had no problems to see why it makes a lot of sense. Long story short, I am now in his LEAD Elite program. I have used mastermind to pilot The BRIDGE before going big and taking it to a premium level. Pilots are a necessary way to learn. 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!).

As facilitators we are this somebody who holds the mastermind together and knows what it takes to get through those times when people inevitably get bored, when their priorities shift, when x, y and z happen. The deeper structures of personal versus corporate type masterminds depend on participants, goals and contents; this is beyond the scope of this web page. In my masterminds you will be confronted with your comfort zones, but never more than you can master. You know, I don’t play with people’s mental health.

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.”

Some major points of what a mastermind is: 

1) 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;

2) 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) 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) 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) 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 is natural; and

6) Through your active participation you may learn enough to run your own internal masterminds.

You are a favourite participant if we share common ground with social entrepreneurship, green technologies and preservation of natural resources. And you are a leader of course. So my masterminds are not for everybody

My masterminds will help leaders create organisations, technologies and resources for a sustainable planet. 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!

Looking forward to seeing you on The BRIDGE, Leads2Excellence or a customised corporate mastermind!