Mastermind Groups are becoming more and more popular as business leaders recognise the value of peer-to-peer mentoring, but they are not new.
The concept was first presented in the early 1900s by Napolean Hill is his books ‘The Law of Success’ and ‘Think and Grow Rich’. Hill described the Mastermind principle as, “coordination of knowledge and effort between two or more people who work towards a definite purpose in a spirit of harmony… No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind”, also known as, the Mastermind.
It was Hill’s many conversations with Andrew Carnegie that inspired the concept of Mastermind. Carnegie attributed much of his phenomenal success to a peer group of trusted advisors.
The power of Mastermind is mighty
Have you ever been part of a Mastermind Group?
If no, then you will not have experienced the mighty benefit of being connected with other motivated people, who bring insight from different backgrounds and experience, who inspire you to achieve success and are dedicated to holding you accountable. It really is quite powerful.
If you need further convincing, here’s 5 key reasons why you need to join a mastermind group:
As Hill recognised, a Mastermind Group is all about synergy. As a participant, you will learn from the collective intelligence of the group. Their perspective, knowledge and experience will help you overcome challenges and advance your own projects and goals more quickly.
Growth Ultimately participants of a Mastermind Group raise the bar by challenging each other. As facilitator, I help the group dive deeply into business discussions. The participants act as devil’s advocates and empower you to make wise decisions. You will not only think bigger, but your confidence will grow.
Support A Mastermind Group provides a trusted, non-judgemental environment where you can seek objective advice and feedback. Participants are motivated not only by accelerating their own growth, but by the reward of helping others solve problems and overcome challenges.
Accountability Your fellow participants will keep you on track and hold you accountable in moving your projects and goals forward. Just knowing that you have a regular, scheduled meeting will drive you to make progress.
The very essence of a Mastermind Group is a collective of like-minded professionals. It is likely that you will develop strong and lasting relationships with the participants in your group. This will result in extending your network by sharing connections, resources and even doing business together.
You already know that two heads are better than one when it comes to solving a problem or creating a result, so imagine if you met on a monthly basis with a permanent group of like-minded professionals who act as your board of objective and trusted advisors. Imagine the impact could this have on your effectiveness and growth?
My question now is; why are you not part of a Mastermind Group?
“Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher” Oprah Winfrey
We embark upon 2019 still frustratingly uncertain as to how the year will unfold and what impact it will have on our businesses. In these unstable times, the last thing you need as a leader is to lose your key players – whether they be established or rising stars.
2.8 million employees quit their jobs each month and it costs approx. £30,614k to find and train a replacement. Investment in your team is therefore crucial, and a people strategy must be an essential component of your business strategy.
Success comes from having a productive, motivated team but numerous studies show that turnover is higher than ever. As soon as next year, 40% of the workforce will be Gen Y. So what make this largest of talent pools choose one company over another and what makes them stay?
What Gen Y need
I touched on what Gen Y expect from their employer in my previous post. The defining factor is that this generation want a job that will accommodate their values.
Here are 5 key areas, I believe you should focus on to ensure you provide the right environment for your Gen Y talent to flourish:
Growth & Development A company offering opportunity and transparent development opportunities will retain Gen Y who will look elsewhere if they feel they are not developing in their role. This does not necessarily mean the hierarchical ‘step-up’, but more fluid, stepping-stone opportunities that involve added responsibility, experience, exposure and challenge. Gen Y are more than willing to participate in activities – traditional training or otherwise – that increase their skills and cement their value to the business.
Work/Life Balance According to a recent survey by Forbes, 74% of Gen Y employees want flexible work schedules which allow them to attend to their commitments outside work. This is increasingly disrupting the traditional 9 to 5 schedule as many employees and employers alike, recognise that productivity is not necessarily tied to a specific 7hr window. Requests for flexible working are at an all-time high, and business owners should understand, respect and accommodate work-life integration. Note: balance does not equate to less work, but working differently and flexibly.
Passion It is entirely wrong to assume that Gen Y are lazy. When provided with the proper motivation they are widely known to work above and beyond their contractual hours, including evenings and weekends. What motivates them is passion. They need to understand the WHY. Therefore, making the business mission at the centre of everything and open lines of communication at every step of the way is key to keeping their passion alive. Involve your Gen Y in key business decisions, make them privy to challenges and ask their opinion – it will generate trust and engage them even further.
Nurture Gen Y are the first cohort born of so-called ‘helicopter parents’. The patience, fairness, time and understanding they received from their mothers and fathers is an expectation in the workplace too. In fact, the relationship between leader and employee often works best when the dynamic is parent-child like! Gen Y require open communication, regular feedback and praise. They are ok with being vulnerable and will readily confess to fear or weakness. A nurturing approach, which may be quite alien to Gen X bosses, will bring out the best in them and help them soar.
We’ll be relying on Gen Y talent for decades to come. Only businesses that understand how this talent pool want to be treated and actively attend to their needs and expectations will avoid the turnover trap.
As a leader of your organisation, however large or small, have you considered that up to 30% of your time should be spent developing others; specifically, your future leaders? This isn’t as time-consuming as it sounds…
A broader, more holistic view of leadership development which incorporates cross-functional experiences and empowering stretch-assignments coupled with guidance and coaching (on your part) is both manageable and ultimately more meaningful and effective.
Not only will your future leaders will gain valuable knowledge from experiential learning opportunities; they will relish the empowerment and platform to demonstrate their skills as their generation’s mindset dictates.
I’ll take a guess that your future leaders are Gen Y (born between the early 1980s to 1995) and you, as leader are Gen X (born between 1965 to 1980). This presents startling and challenging differences in how each generation view leadership…
Gen Xers believe in a command and control approach, value working individually, view managers as experts and look to their employers for career planning. They like clear boundaries and have a generally inward-looking perspective compared to Gen Y.
Gen Y are tech-savvy, multi-tasking collaborators. They have an outward-looking perspective and interact with an extensive network of communities beyond their employer. Less motivated by traditional leadership methods, Gen Y expect their boss to act more like a coach or mentor.
It’s now well surveyed and documented that generally what Gen Y want from their employer is:
The chance to learn and develop
The opportunity to do work that excites them
Having a job aligned to their values & talents
Collaboration, support and empowerment
Understanding what drives Gen Y and incorporating this into your leadership development strategy is essential to retain and engage the talent that will drive your business forward.
Adopting a culture of learning is pivotal
Deloitte’s 2017 report on Global Human Capital Trends, cites a new breed of leader who “must understand how to build and lead teams; keep people connected and engaged; and drive a culture of innovation, learning, and continuous improvement.”
Leaders of today (Gen Xers) need to experiment, adapt and learn new ways to bridge the gap between their own experience of leadership compared to the expectations of emerging leaders.
Given the ongoing learning required at the top and the thirst for learning in in-coming the ranks below; a company-wide developmental mindset is essential. Leaders should not only incorporate L&D as an essential part of the business strategy, but continuously attend to their own self-development also.
Walk the walk, not just talk the talk
Just as Gen Y value authenticity, transparency and collaboration; these are essential skills required of leaders today. The modern-day concept of authentic leadership is in its infancy, but surveys already reveal that authentic leaders create a high-trust and high-performance culture. One of the core characteristics of authentic leaders, is that they are constantly growing. For once, aligned to their Gen Y colleagues – they continuously learn and evolve from their experiences.
“Authenticity has become the gold standard for leadership.” — Harvard Business Review, January 2015
What steps are you taking to ensure your that your leadership skills are meeting the needs of your business and your emerging leaders?
Come and talk to me about Authentic Leadership and how you can identify and harness your authentic leadership style.
Regardless of your business type or sector your competitiveness and ongoing success will depend on one thing: your future leaders. Leadership development is therefore one of the most valuable investments your business will ever make.
I don’t need to tell you… the business landscape has never been so uncertain and challenging; but it is also a place of immense opportunity and prosperity.
The people who will lead your business of tomorrow will need to possess an unprecedented range of skills combined with a deep understanding of your business and vision for its future.
A business with emerging leaders who are not only adept at navigating adversity whilst maintaining strategic and innovative mindsets but who are also technically and digitally savvy; will gain competitive advantage.
So who and where are your next generation of leaders? And how are you preparing them to lead?
Nature or nurture?
Many people possess the qualities and motivation for leadership success, but they require nurture and development. Even born leaders need grooming so that their skills are polished and honed.
By implementing well-designed, structured leadership development, you will not only ensure that your future leaders are equipped with the necessary skills; you will also have the benefit of developing exactly the type of leaders your business requires.
Investing time to work and develop your future leadership team will allow you to embed culture and values, align business strategy, and encourage a high level of teamwork and trust within this group.
Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. – Jack Welch
I am currently working with the UK branch of a global organisation who has suffered poor leadership for many years resulting in a negative culture, resistant to change and where fun and rewards are non-existent. The emerging leaders struggled to make their mark, facing historic uncooperative attitudes and a wall of “we’ve always done it this way, why change?”.
With the help of government funding we were able to work together and implement a 12-month leadership and management programme embarking the entire management team on a continuous journey to lead a successful business and implement change.
They are now on a path where there is evidence of a shared vision, aligned values, concise goals, clear reporting lines, support, reward and a real sense of a team success.
There have been casualties during the process, but this is both inevitable and positive as their values were not aligned to those of the organisation and they were ultimately not part of the future.
As a result of this particular leadership journey, the business has experienced an increase in productivity, a higher level of customer service and improved staff retention reducing their ongoing recruitment costs.
What happens if you don’t invest in future leaders?
At some point you, or your current leadership team will be ready to move on. But to ensure your business continues to thrive, you need to keep your best talent onboard and engaged.
If you don’t invest in your future leaders, they will leave.
A lack of high-potential, invested employees will contribute to poor productivity and engagement and will ultimately affect your bottom line. Study after study shows that businesses who invest in leadership development perform better than those that don’t.
No longer a ‘nice to have’
A Leadership Development Programme is critical to the ongoing success of your business.
As a leader, you will have created and articulated a vision for your future… now who is going to drive and implement that vision, and how?
It’s never too early to identify and develop future leaders. Many organisations don’t think about leadership development until there is a pressing need, but by that point it is often too late.
Come and talk to me about developing your future leaders – there’s no time like the present!
Many of us, whether we own a business or are employed, lose sight of our Nana Vision!
The demands of our everyday are all consuming and most of us work with a to-do list long enough to keep us busy throughout the whole week allowing very little time to think longer term.
My “Nana Vision” was first realised whilst planning with a client. It has provided me with clarity, direction, focus and comfort knowing there is an end goal and longer-term focus and a clear picture of what life looks like in my later years.
So, what is a Nana Vision?
A Nana Vision – a phrase I’ve personally coined – is the life you imagine living once you have become a Nana (or not, as the case may be). What will those days look like? What will you be doing? Who will you spend them with? What is important to you? What makes you feel happy?
My Nana Vision fills me with emotion… It’s like when enjoying your best day out; happy, fulfilled and surrounded by people you love. And this is what makes every day leading up to this time worthwhile and exciting.
I currently work as a business coach helping many business owners. The days when I am not coaching, I am planning, reading, or facilitating workshops and Mastermind groups all of which I love doing.
My Nana Vision is not too far away from my everyday now, except I will work with fewer clients, have less coaching days and I will be rewarded with much higher fees. I will enjoy time to research and write and help younger generations who are planning to start their own enterprises by speaking at schools, universities and entrepreneur clubs. My free time will be in abundance I will enjoy (I hope) days out with my grandchildren, husband and lots of lunches with the girls!
Having a Nana Vision has enabled me to look ahead, envisage the dream and plan my journey. I know how long I have and what I need to do – everything needs to lead to that vision.
Take some time to work out your Nana Vision – you deserve it.
It’s 6.30am and I’m out running in my local town…
It’s a time of day I never really knew before having children, and an activity I’m only just coming to terms with. I’m doing it because I do not need to think for anyone else for the next hour.
Running hurts, it’s tough but keep going because although I could easily stop, something in my brain has switched off and my body just keeps going.
You see, that’s what I really love about that hour. For a whole hour, I don’t have to make a single decision.
The rest of my day is not like that. Every second I’m making a decision or telling someone else what to do. Hurry up, we’ll be late for school. What should I take out of the freezer for dinner? At work, how many sales have we hit this month? Who can I outsource that to? Where should I take my client to lunch? And perhaps most importantly, how I do ensure I am always motivating and inspiring others?
As women, we’re told we’re good at doing multiple things at once, but I suspect this is a plot to get us to DO multiple things at once.
Running a company and being a parent is not easy. It requires resilience and grace under pressure. It means you need to constantly show strength, even when you’re not feeling particularly strong,
I now understand the priorities surrounding my main dual roles, I can now live with 80% being good enough and believe that I’m a better business owner because of my role as a mum, and I’m a better mum because of my role as a business owner.”
Women in business now have huge opportunities – the irony is that the one thing standing in the way of them and success is the confidence that they can achieve it.
I witness this in my coaching practice too often. I sit across from women who are unsure of their value within the business, unsure of what they as individuals offer towards the growth and development plans. I can see their worth and to me their potential is obvious; to me they are born leaders.
It is the most rewarding experience to share in a women’s growth journey; to see her overcome the self-doubt and self-sabotage, gain the self-belief and address the balance, to feel the fear, to grit her teeth and to own it!
I think women still need to find their own leadership style and have the confidence to follow that through.
One of the things I want to do, personally, is help inspire women to do that. Part of it is about accepting that it’s good for men and women to have different goals and priorities in life. Not better, just different.