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Here's Why You Should Develop Your Own Exclusive Mastermind Group

Learn from a skeptic turned advocate about how to make the most of it when you do

Read Time: 3 minutes 15 seconds

"What masterminds are you in?"

I had no idea what she was talking about.

"What the hell is a mastermind?" I asked.

She, in this case, was a long-time friend and CEO.

"YPO. EO. Vistage." I tried to see past her subtle disdain as these did nothing to help me understand. Fresh off of a 20-year corporate career, these names were meaningless to me.

"Google 'Ben Franklin Junto,' and you'll get the idea."

So I did. I Googled "mastermind" while I was at it. Those names, too.

They all seemed to have similar ingredients:

  • A smallish group, say 8-12 people

  • A common interest or mission

  • A regular meeting cadence

  • A commitment to help

  • A desire to learn

And just like that, the Frequency Illusion revealed itself.

Buy a red car.
See red cars everywhere.

How had I been so blind to these groups?

Their power, in hindsight, is obvious.

One person making mistakes is slow. Ten people making mistakes and sharing them for others to avoid is 10x faster. And because of learning compounds, it's even faster than that.

And while the internet marketing pyramid scheme crowd might have tainted the term “Mastermind,” I tend to think of them for what they are:

Peer Groups

And not just peer groups but peer groups with a purpose.

So, over the last couple of years, I've built versions of this:

  • Leaders pushing each other in my MGMT Accelerator program

  • Creators helping each other ship at a higher velocity

  • Writers critiquing each other into storytellers

In fact, I'm on a plane to one today.

I didn't create this one, but I'm thrilled to be a part of it. I get to spend the next 4 days with people playing the same (sometimes lonely) game as me, many of them much further down the path.

How do I plan to make the most of this time?

If You’re The Average of The 5 People You Spend Time With…

…Why not raise your average?

Join me and 50 leaders from companies like Amazon, Uber, Pfizer, and more in the last MGMT Accelerator for 2023.

Together, we will build out their tailored management systems to help them achieve more while doing less.

We cap enrollment so that leaders can make genuine connections. And because we offer 1:1 coaching with me to every leader.

Be Interested. Not Interesting.

Our instinct when meeting people for the first time is to try and dazzle them. Have the perfect joke ready. Break out that well-crafted story.

But the real trick: Be Interested

People love to talk about themselves. They love it even more if you listen. And there are easy tactics to show them they have your attention:

  • Use their name

  • Maintain eye contact

  • Say what you heard back to them

  • Ask them to elaborate on an interesting point

Do Your Own Research

Want an instant trust builder?

Break out a fact about the person you dug up.

Bonus points: Find one that is obscure but relevant to your group.

By committing your time in advance to knowing someone, you're signaling respect from the first interaction.

The good news is that the more exclusive these groups get, the more likely there are facts about them readily available.

Send Your Advance Team

Before you meet, drop each member a personal note or text. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but you want to hit three keynotes:

  • Gratitude

  • Excitement

  • Commitment

Hit the trust triad upfront so you can hit the high-value stuff fast.

Ask Unique Questions

If it makes them pause, it makes them think.

And most of the value from these groups is thinking differently.

You can add outsize value by having unorthodox questions that trigger a new insight, forge a novel connection, or break an assumption.

Give to Get

Want people to help you unlock your biggest problem?
Help them first.

Want people to share their biggest fears or mistakes?
Share yours first.

Want access to a game-changing connection?
Offer an intro first.

See the pattern?

Throw the value boomerang. It will return to you many times over.

No Competition

One of the biggest blunders business schools have made over the last 25 years is their obsession with competition.

For 95% of businesses, competition is a detail rather than the focus. There's plenty of space if you're playing in a growing market. And because you've assembled a unique offer and team, you're in a market of one.

So even though I'll be with people who, to outsiders, could look like competition, I'm leaning hard into the positive sum dynamics.

  • When I help them win, they grow.

  • When they grow, they help me.

  • When they help me, I grow.

That's the soundtrack I'm playing on repeat.

Bonus: How to Host Your Peers

I mean…

People - Just like business, it all comes down to talent. You need the right humans with the right attitude. Map out what everyone can give and get.

Location - If you want to raise the energy, pick an inspiring location. Mountains, water, nature, and art are helpful hacks.

Friction - Use it wisely as a hurdle to get truly committed participants. But then remove any that slows engagement. Hard to pay and easy to play.

Preparation - You're a serendipity engineer. You want strong stimuli but not hard constraints. Structure to shape but space to move.

Energy - Energy comes from collisions. And your choices and preparation create them. Orchestrate all of the above into your symphony.

Here’s a Secret

Since you read all the way to the bottom, we thought you might like to know that we’re just about ready to launch our new program:

Your First 100 Days Leading a New Team

We’ve spent 100s of hours getting this roadmap down to under 100 minutes. Think of me as a coach in your ear telling you the next play.

And we know that it’s best to show you the value, not just tell you how valuable it is. So what’s our best way to do that?

What's most valuable in helping you decide if this program will help you lead your new team more effectively?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

As a Thank You for giving us your feedback, we’ll add you to the list to be the first to receive them.

Help Us Grow

Our mission is to impact 1,000,000 leaders positively. 

If this playbook would help someone you know lead more confidently, please forward it to them.

And if someone forwarded this edition to you, please don't leave without hitting that Subscribe button.

Thank you for reading. Appreciate you!

Dave

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