Masterminding with Designer Friends

What is “masterminding?” Masterminding is not about plotting to take over the world. The concept, which came became popular in the mid-90s, is based on the idea that when it comes to achieving your personal or business goals, more heads are not only better than one, but together a synergy of multiple minds propels the individual members of a mastermind to greater success. In practice, a Mastermind Group is a gathering of colleagues or peers who come together on a regular basis (e.g., weekly, monthly, bi-monthly) to brainstorm, collaborate, guide, challenge, encourage, and support one another. Together, you help each other to succeed.

What makes a mastermind group different from a support or networking group are two elements critical to attaining success, sustained effort and accountability. Ahead of each meeting, a member volunteers or is chosen to take the Hot Seat, where they present a business challenge, plan or a stretch goal for their business. The other members of the group do not attempt to solve the problem or give advice. Instead, they assist the presenter with thinking through the problem, plan or goal; suggest approaches they might try and resources they might seek; and help them to develop some next steps for pursuing the solution or goal. In subsequent meetings, they check in with the presenter on how they are progressing, and continue to challenge and encourage them until the problem is resolved or the goal is met.

Mastermind groups work best when members can meet face-to-face, but they can be effective using tele- or video-conferencing. As with any group process, the success of the group requires that no member seeks to dominate the conversation or the group’s time, and that everyone has an opportunity to present their Hot Seat item and to participate in discussions. Often, one member of the group serves as a facilitator during the meeting in order to ensure the rules and etiquette of group process are followed.

While members of the group do not necessarily need to be from the same business sector, I encourage you to invite your designer friends to create a mastermind group, because our business is very different in some ways from others, and because you are likely to share similar challenges, experiences and access to resources. If there are not enough designers in your area who are available or willing to form a group, reach out to your network of designer friends and try conducting a group via teleconference, and see how it goes. Stay with it, and you’ll be surprised at the difference a mastermind group can make in achieving those goals that keep eluding you.

If you’re interested in experiencing a facilitated Mastermind experience, you’re in luck! Our Genius Exchange is exactly that. Join us August 3 – 5, 2017 at the beautiful property of The Ritz-Carlton, Denver, CO.

Photo: Brittany Beach for Editor At Large

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