Monday, August 04, 2014

Forming A Mastermind Group: Cavett Robert was Right - We Can Build A Bigger Pie!

Cavett Robert (1907-1997), Founder of the National Speakers Association, was right- we can grow a "Bigger Pie".

Mr. Robert was famous for encouraging speakers to help each other and not view all who speak on the platform as a competitor. He worked to inspire more people to join our profession and to get those who organize meetings to see the value in hiring speakers with professional experience. His efforts established credibility of those who make a commitment to the industry. Cavett made an impact on the lives of so many (both speakers and those who were in his audiences). Instead of competing he advised speakers: "Don't worry about how we divide up the pie, there is enough for everybody. Let's just build a bigger pie!”

Enough other people in the world will judge, assume, undermine, second-guess, naysay, and halt the efforts of speakers... we do not need to do that to each other!!!

The speaking business can be confusing, fragmented and lonely.  Few people understand what it means to be a speaker.  Most outsiders assume that the presentations they have witnessed are the whole example of what it is to be a "speaker".  Their experience includes celebrities, business owners, consultants, trainers, athletes, authors, etc...  However, there are several different business models, levels of experience, degrees of notoriety, and motivations behind those who take the stage.  It is not a single "thing" to be a speaker.  The confusion about this business extends to those who speak, which is why the National Speakers Association has been so important to the advancement of my career.

Beyond joining industry groups, I also have a small group of speakers who make up my "Mastermind Group".  We all originally met through NSA and have taken our affiliation and networking to the next level with the creation of this private group.  Together we have created a "Board of Advisers" for each of our businesses.  Over time we are learning to know the nuances of each person's topics, audiences, future goals, strengths, and weaknesses.  We are all committed to finding joy in the success of any member of our group.  Nobody is seen as competition, although some of our areas overlap, but instead we are a team blazing down the field together.  We are building a bigger pie.

This advice of working to boost peers is not only for speakers.  Anyone can benefit from creating a "Mastermind Group" and working together with others to find ways to allow everyone to grow their business.  In my work as "The Conference Catalyst" at corporate and association events I have began adding educational breakout sessions on this topic.  I encourage participants in my workshops to seek like minded people (at the event and back home) with whom they can grow an ongoing group of peers who will encourage, support, and assist each other in the journey to finding more opportunities.  I call these "Catalyst Clubs", and anyone can create one.  

Although Napoleon Hill introduced the "Mastermind" concept over 75 years ago in his book "Think and Grow Rich", few people have an understanding of what this really means to their future success if they participate in this sort of group.  Many of the meeting organizers I talk with like the mix of an old concept (Benjamin Franklin had a peer group called Junto) that can suddenly be "new" and "fresh".... Especially when it can have a lasting impact on their conference attendees.  Plus, when associations promote this type of engagement it helps add a value benefit to the cost of membership! (my group is 100% dedicated to our NSA family).

This concept is popular with CEO's and Entrepreneurs, who often participate in organizations such as EO, Young President's Organization (YPO), Vistage, etc....  Those who are active in these groups often attribute their success to the advice, counsel, and friendships they have gained from being engaged over time with a trusted group of peers.  This same value is open to people with any job title inside all types of businesses (and creating your own group is free!).

In our busy "social media crazy world" it is simple to get lost in the constant chase of promoting our own efforts.  But when we add to the succeeds of others, we get more satisfaction (and more opportunities) in our own career.  

What are you doing to grow the pie in your world, and allowing more people can have a slice?

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

No comments: