I recently wrote this article for the Aesthetics Practitioners Journal on how to use Mastermind Techniques to improve the overall performance of teams and business itself.
I am 100% committed to the power of working with other professionals seeking out focus, answer and better ways of management using Mastermind Practices.
Napolean Hill in his world famous book – Think and Grow Rich, talks about the power of the Mastermind.
To your success,
Are You Using Your Mastermind?
By: Trevor Russell – Business Strategist, Sales & Team Trainer
In recent times he has established highly successful Mastermind niche forums of business managers and owners, a structure that he has perfected to deliver rapid business growth through dynamic monthly sessions that have been met with great popularity and success.
As Mastermind forums are a relatively new concept to business practices, in this article Trevor explores its objectives and what you can expect to gain from them. Trevor will also be speaking at the Australian Aesthetics Conference in Sydney (see pages xxx for further details).
‘What about me, it isn’t fare, I don’t have enough and I want my share.’ Have I got your attention? If you’re were around in the 80s, you’ll know those words, from the song, “What About Me”, sung by Australian rock band Moving Pictures and in recent times by Shannon Knoll runner-up of the first series of Australian Idol in 2003. Where am I going with this? Good question.
Well, I have two objectives, the first being to get your attention and by giving you something out of context, I hope that this will allow you to become more interested in what you are about to read. The second reason is to stress the actual words I have chosen from this song as they are often the soul cry of many as they grapple with business challenges. From my observations and experience, as human beings, we at times can feel challenged and experience difficulties in life to varying degrees and depending on where we are at in our life ‘we always want our share.’ If you’re reading this article you can probably relate to this notion.
In terms of your business this may mean:
You want your share in a successful and have profitable business
To have your share of productive motivated team members who are performing, at their peek and achieving all that is needed
- You have a team that is skilled in their professional roles as practitioners and therapis
- You and your team are able to effectively communicate and successfully sell to your clients your products and services.
- You have a website that sells your products and services 24/7 to further support a profitable practice and professional presence in the industry
- You want to achieve a consistent flow of revenue from your business so everything is paid on time and you get to enjoy a prosperous and happy life
So, what is needed to achieve this? You are committed to life-long learning. You read and study your APJ journal, industry reports, research papers and books to stay professional and on top of your business. You’re busy, working hard running your salon or practice dealing with the daily challenges of clients, treatments, bookings, meeting with their expectations or personality differences from your staff and working colleagues.
Your responsibilities require that you stay on top of everything, keeping a happy and productive team, making sure clients are treated professionally and are satisfied with the services they are provided with, not to mention your financial, marketing, sales and training responsibilities and ongoing improvement and skills development of your team. On the other hand you more than likely are also part of a family and have personal relationships that also require your commitment and have their own issues and challenges for you to deal with on a daily basis.
Life in 2013 is definitely in the fast lane! In this day and age of business you are indeed required to be a superhero. So what’s a solution that can help you? The solution should support not only your business objectives but should also support you – in other words it should not leave your needs out of the equation. I don’t mean in a selfish way, but in a way that contributes also to your personal fulfilment and happiness, while also achieving your business goals.
INTRODUCING THE MASTERMIND
A powerful tool in mastering your multi-facetted role is called your Mastermind. . One of the best platforms to foster this is by bringing a small group of like-minded leaders and managers together in a forum environment where you can share ideas, solve problems, learn new skills and connect and network. In this environment ideas are shared and conceptualised, solutions found, great ‘ah-ha’ moments are ignited that are epiphanies and provide valuable breakthroughs to problem solving. This is the mastermind at play; working to support your greater needs, while offering a new level of interaction and problem-solving.
The dynamic Mastermind platform offers new tools in management that are delivering amazing results as they provide support on multiple levels. The power of the Mastermind provides more personalised and in-depth information from the facilitator who offer direction and conceptual information. He then transforms it into an interactive session tapping into the energy and resources of the group. There is a greater force at play here, which contributes to a more powerful release of collective wisdom, experience and knowledge that can give you sharper clarity, focus, inspiration and motivation on how you can best tackle your challenges with new insight, options and energy.
With new information and knowledge you now not only have the tools, but also the motivation to go and take action in what is going to give you the results you need for your business and your life. By utilising the group dynamics of a Mastermind forum on a consistent basis you will be provided with a constant flow of new ideas and practical application strategies as well as stimulating your personal momentum to continually and effectively lead your team. The objectivity of such an environment also allows you to gain the broader perspective of where everything is heading with a great deal more clarity.
HOW THE MASTERMIND WILL BENEFIT YOU AND YOUR TEAM
In a snapshot here is what you can expect to gain from Mastermind forum participation:
Benefits to you:
- *Allows you to gain the objective perspective of how you need to move forward
- Gain new skills not only through mentoring, but also through the exchange of ideas of others who are trying to achieve similar goals as you
- Be given the opportunity for you to be supported as a manager/leader so that you can effectively lead others
- Be positioned in a unique environment to share and grow
Benefit for your team:
- Team will receive principles and strategies that are well balanced, tried and tested
- The team to gain from your energy and enthusiasm
- As you can gain team interactive skills you can foster these into your own team and allow them to have input into decisions that can help shape a more motivated, interactive and productive team.
THE RULES AND GUIDELINES
As with every effective technology there are rules and guidelines that will determine its success. Unless the structure is correct just putting people together can turn into a chat session that offers very little direction or solutions. Working with many business owners and teams I have seen businesses that run their own focus forums. However, the challenge I see with a large majority is they are facilitated by internal team members to the business who are often not competent enough to conduct these events with the level of specialised skills needed to achieve maximum results.
Here are some areas that contribute to a Mastermind turn off:
- The person being the director or business manager who has taken on the role, in most cases by default, is put in-charge to run these gatherings, and quite often don’t like running groups and speaking publicly.
- The person assigned to this role has no understanding of the unique behavioural style and operating habits of how to effectively facilitate an interactive group in order to get the most out of the session.
- Facilitating approach is boring and often focuses too long on the problem rather than solutions because of a lack of skill in running a Mastermind session
- The meeting session lacks structure and direction
- Managers can sometimes have to deal with internal politics and can be limited by a lack of objectivity so true sharing and ability to mastermind may be sugar coated to maintain a sense of self preservation and a ‘keep the peace’ type approach.
- Familiarity may inhibit the expression of true honesty because of fear of judgement or rejection.
However, by far the most common impediment with an internal facilitator is that they often have emotional ties to the group so very often emotions of resentment, judgement and biases can be running in the background.
While the internal manager’s responsibilities within this forum are meant to direct new concept and create feedback and interaction from the team for an increase in clarity and motivation, it very often achieves very average or poor results. The Mastermind is clearly not going to be able to show up when participants don’t feel free to express themselves and grow in an environment with possible hidden agendas.
In the most extreme cases, valuable team members leave and all your hard work of training and support goes out the door with them.
Turning on the Mastermind
While each Mastermind has its own set of needs, I will provide you with an introductory checklist to assist
in effectively running your own Mastermind forum. This list is not complete but it will provide you with key issues to operation and measure an empowered Mastermind session or forum.
Mastermind criteria and mode of operation
- Select a professional Mastermind skilled facilitator to manage and support the group
- Ensure that the person has no emotional attachment to the group
- Mastermind group meets at a consistent time every month
- Structure focuses on addressing challenges and exploring credible options for solutions
- The facilitator works with a clearly defined Mastermind structure
- Facilitator ensures the environment is open, honest and safe for all
- Facilitator ensures that the communication remains positive and productive with a view of reaching results
- Team members’ unique individual style is understood, recognised and acknowledged
- Projects broken down into tasks and outcomes and objectives recorded and monitored
- Specific training and education is delivered as part of the Mastermind forum
- Commitment of participants of what needs to be achieved by the next Mastermind forum
The other advantage of the Mastermind forums is that they are a lot more cost-effective than one-on-one sessions. While a group-facilitated event does not give you total one-on-one time with the expert, it will still be focusing on a theme, or a particular concern you have, you will be able to speak, to some extent, with the couch/ facilitator and you will also get a change to see how other businesses are addressing the same concerns you have. These diversified dynamics can offer you great benefits. You will be given homework to do on your business and the next session will proceed from there. That means that you will also gain the advantage of accountability and incremental support along your way to progress and success.
Coming back to costs, I’m sure you have experienced when making a decision, that the prime consideration is the value to you, when you have identified that you can always find the money. Don’t worry about the money you will increase your revenue quicker than you think. The other point I would like to make is for you to consider what is it costing the business by not running the business with this type of high quality, personal development team support?
Further to this area of discussion, we as humans often are plagued with feelings of fear and judgement around anything we don’t understand, or haven’t experienced yet. These fears and doubts will come up to protect us from a perceived danger – a danger that doesn’t really exist. All the same however, they do feel very real at times. This is all the more reason why it’s so important, to have an effective Mastermind forum, running consistently to support your business’s ongoing success and improved sense of confidence in the process.
If you don’t already operate a Mastermind forum within your business, I invite you to do so. Use my checklist as a basis for its operation and management. I would be excited to hear from you, with regard to what it created and how the team and business has grown from the exercise.
I personally would be very happy to discuss your needs and how I may be of assistance to you in your practice, whether it is in the creation of a Mastermind forum, or to assist you with putting in place and operating appropriate and specific business strategies or even a one-on-one support for your team.
My passion is in helping turn businesses around to where they are generating the necessary income to create a happy and productive work environment, while also creating a life they will love.
To your success,