Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Mastermind Construction Zone

Association conference organizers are always seeking unique programs that are interactive and offer lasting impact.  Professional speakers who serve convention audiences are more than a commodity.  The right presentation sets the tone for the whole event.  As a one who considers himself part of the meetings and association industries, I am always looking for new products to add to "The Conference Catalyst" program that will enhance the conference attendee experience.  We have found that with The "Mastermind Construction Zone" presentation is just that type of breakout or keynote.  In this talk people are excited to leave with the information to found their own "Catalyst Club".

Are you familiar with the idea of a Mastermind Group?  The term has been round for nearly a century and many successful individuals attribute much of their career achievement to these small circles of trusted peers.  But curating a mix of committed people who will both push and pull others to reach their highest level is not an easy task.  There are many ways to forge a powerful alliance that co-advise each other, but the first step is to understand "why?"

Many times I have been in an audience where the speaker instructs audience partners to discuss goals around their topic.  The presenter then encourages participants to exchange contact information and follow up as "accountability partners".  I have not found success with this type of alliance.  A random person seldom is the ideal long-term and mutually-beneficial support system.  

A true Mastermind Group has to be constructed over time and with a blueprint as to what is being built.  This group is not magic and results will never happen instantly.  The organizer of the group must identify what type of peers they are interested in having participate, and then assemble a group that is committed to the ongoing experiment.   

During my career I have been part of several formal Mastermind Groups.  Some failed to develop into anything worthy, but two have had meaningful impact on my career.  My current Mastermind Group is still evolving, but I always get excited before one of our meetings by phone (or Google+) or in person.  I know each time we gather there will be action items I will leave with.  And I always have somewhere to share the good and the bad days of my career journey.

Surprisingly many have never heard of this concept.  Napoleon Hill first introduced the concept in his book Think and Grow Rick more than 75 years ago.  Leaders in a variety of industries have utilized such groups to help propel their business accomplishments.  Nobody is an island, and having a personal "board of directors" is a great way to get additional points of view to weigh in on any issue.  The associations where I teach this to members all have active boards that guide the organization, and this translate well to each person who wants to find more opportunities for their own success.

This workshop takes the idea of networking to the next level.  Thinking about the people you meet at a conference as a possible piece in a lifetime tapestry of mutually beneficial relationships changes how humans interact. When attendees at the association conference make connections with others and discover similar long-term goals, they can then begin to explore ways to mingle shared visions into something that lives long beyond the conference.  When considering the selection of others to be part of an ongoing Mastermind Group it elevates casual chit-chat and transforms conversations into deeper explorations.  

The goal of the session is not to create a Mastermind Group for each person in the room.  In stead it is to shift the perspective of participants in how they look at the power of long-term and mutually-benefical connections.  Using the analogy of the construction of a building, long before the doors open on a new facility there was much that happened along the way.  We need to begin with the blueprints and permitting of the site ages before ground is broken.  Each person assumes the role of architect and project manager as we explore what they can create.

Networking can become so much more when you have the right affiliation with people who are committed to being a guide for success to each other.  But the right group will not self-select, there needs to be a planned effort to ensure the Mastermind Group will be supportive of the members and endure over time.

For more information on The Mastermind Construction Zone presentaion and "Catalyst Clubs", please contact Thom Singer at (512) 970-0398 or thom (at)

Have A Great Day

thom singer

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