Tips for Starting a Mastermind Group – Part 2

Part 1 of this two-part article focused primarily on the pre-launch planning and preparation necessary to develop a successful mastermind program. Part 2 will provide you with additional tips, suggestions and strategies to consider for both your pre- and post-launch planning endeavors as you and your new mastermind group participants begin to focus on the major elements of the program that will ultimately deliver business value to the members.

A sincere willingness by all members to provide open, honest and respectful communication is an absolute must to enrich the mastermind experience. An open platform for discussion enables business leaders to engage in an active dialogue and information exchange, without reservations. As participants become more comfortable with each other, the group will begin to function as a peer-to-peer Executive Board, offering expert knowledge, guidance, inspiration and support to benefit each member’s particular business situation.

Confidentiality is also vital to maintain the integrity of the program and to ensure that proprietary business and financial information shared between group members is held in strictest confidence. Both members and guests should be required to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements in order to protect confidentiality and allow for full disclosure of business critical information that is relevant to the group discussions and any subsequent 1-on-1 meetings held by its members.

Next, providing prospective mastermind group members with an outline of the proposed Programs, Activities and Events calendar will help you in the new member recruiting and selection process, and give group participants a roadmap to help them prepare in advance for future meetings and assignments. Make periodic changes to the agenda format by adding new topics, selected readings, case studies, member spotlights, guest speakers, etc. to keep the program fresh, substantive and highly interactive.

The last area that cannot be overlooked in any successful mastermind program is accountability. Mastermind programs, as mentioned in Part 1 of this article, require a serious commitment in terms of time, preparation and planning, personal and professional growth, and active participation. Without strong accountability and a shared sense of commitment on the part of the group leader and the members, a mastermind program is little more than a networking group.

For the above reason, I would encourage you as the group leader to assign Accountability Partners so members can work together in teams on self-study and group projects. This will help facilitate the successful completion of assigned projects and provide group members with unbiased thought leadership, guidance and support on the development of all required content and deliverables. In addition, the accountability partnerships help to further unify the group and improve the quality and depth of the outputs.

The information contained in this two-part article is derived for my own experience in starting the Business Leaders Forum in September of last year. The Business Leaders Forum is a comprehensive mastermind program established for serious business owners and leaders committed to life-long learning, development and growth, and to achieving high levels of success in all aspects of their personal and professional lives.

If you would like more information about the Business Leaders Forum, please send an email request to me john@trescoach.com.

Tell me about your experience: How has your participation in a mastermind group program helped you achieve your personal and/or professional goals? What advice would you give to someone planning to start or join a mastermind program? Please let me hear from you regarding your success stories, or any additional information or thoughts you would like to share on this subject.

COPYRIGHT © 2010-11 John Carroll