Thursday, 13 November 2008

The Power of a Mastermind Group

Napoleon Hill, in his book "Think and Grow Rich", discussed how important it is to create a support group known as a Mastermind Group, to hold you accountable for moving forward towards the achievement of your goals. As well as having your mastermind group keep you on track, perhaps more importantly, you are there to support your colleagues in fulfilling their own dreams and desires.

The group follows a structured agenda that ensures everyone gets and gives value to the collective whole; sharing insights, resources, challenges and successes. The whole process provides the members with an opportunity to brainstorm ideas and learn from each other.

I've been involved in several groups now and continue to get such tremendous inspiration from my fellow mastermind group members. Whether every thing in the garden is rosy or at those times when things are not going so well, every time we speak I am always inspired and motivated to move on after we've had our regular call or meeting.

I am also priviliged and honoured to be involved in Jack Canfield's "Platinum Inner Circle" mastermind group which is a collection of people from across the world with such a wide and diverse set of experiences that you cannot help but feel totally in awe of what is possible when the group gets together.

It is said that great minds think alike. The power of the mastermind group is that members are like minded in respect of their commitment to each other to create great things, yet their sometimes very very different experiences and knowledge brings so much added value to the table of the others.

As well as being involved as a member of my own mastermind groups, it is also a delight to be facilitating groups through our Step Up to Success coaching and mastermind programme. We see massive shifts in the results members experience as they enjoy the support and interaction of their respective groups, many being part of a mastermind group for the first time.

Napoleon Hill was spot on when he introduced the concept of mastermind groups in his book and it is certainly my intention to be part of a group for the foreseeable future. I wouldn't want to be without the support I get and I appreciate my friends in my groups so much for their unwavering commitment to me and the rest of the team. It also brings me so much personal joy and satisfaction to know that in some small way I can be part of something that literally can help to transform people's lives.

If you don't have your own mastermind group then you can form one yourself by simply inviting some like minded friends or business colleagues to get together. Alternatively, if you want to know more about our Step Up to Success coaching and mastermind programme then call us on +44 (0)28 9048 8673 or make an enquiry at and we'll be happy to chat and find out more about how we can support you to achieve your own goals, dreams and desires.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Will you do whatever it takes?

I was at a Dennis Lecorriere concert the weekend before last and for those of you who are too young to remember he was one of the lead singers with the band Dr. Hook who were one of the most successful worldwide acts in the 1970’s and early 80’s.

Whilst I have to admit I was not entirely inspired by the idea of going to the concert in the first place (it was a treat for my wife), I was very soon turned around once he began to perform. I say perform because he did just that. He built rapport with the audience by talking to them in a conversational style, sung a couple of tunes, talked some more, sung some more, and so on. It was as if we had known each other personally for years and he was simply engaging in discussion in a bar or someone’s living room.

It occurred to me that this genuinely pleasant individual was truly doing what he loved. He had been on tour for months and still has several gigs to deliver before, one assumes, returning home to the U.S. for Christmas. His son introduced him on stage and he had nothing more than a couple of guitars on stands, a table with two bottles of water and a few drapes on the stage. There was none of the cutting edge extravagance you might expect with a Robbie Williams or a Madonna or a Kylie Minogue stage show. Just one man, his music and a little conversation.

At one point, he got the audience involved in singing along with a chorus. First the men, then the women. Many did indeed play the game, and many did not. Lecorriere then made quite a profound statement that struck a chord with me, if you’ll pardon the pun. He said:
“There are those that will join in and they are fine. Then there are those who don’t join in because they just don’t want to, and that’s fine also. They have made a choice that they are comfortable with. The ones I worry about are those who want to join in but don’t!”

This reminded me of the saying “the way we do one thing is the way we do everything”. In other words, if you were one of those who really did want to join in but didn’t, where else in life do you hold back from doing what you truly want to do? What would not getting involved ultimately cost in terms of fulfilment, enjoyment, joy, satisfaction, growth, peace, success…?

Dennis Lecorriere is clearly doing what he loves when he is on stage and he seems to have a genuine desire to provide exceptional value to his audience. He wants to serve them and allow them the freedom to be themselves, as he does. He builds exceptional rapport with his audience without any apparent expectation of a return. He wants to give rather than take. He is a powerful salesman who builds a relationship with his audience and has them buying into the process without any suspicion or mistrust. He provides entertainment and in my case education. I suspect that had there been customer satisfaction forms at the door he would have achieved a resounding positive score. It was effortless because he wanted to add value and ensure that his fee paying public left feeling great about the experience and would come back for more some other time.

So, a couple of questions that you might like to consider, if you choose to, are:

“What would make adding value to the customer experience effortless?”

“How do I/we show up in the supplier/customer relationship?”

“Am I/we joining in or simply holding back from being truly fulfilled?”

Monday, 10 November 2008

Playing the blame game

Its been an interesting week... I used to say this to my coach almost every time we spoke and it always made us smile because we knew that there was so much more to it than "interesting".

The ups and downs of business can be a worry for many and certainly many people I have spoken to in recent days are bullish on the face of it and at the very least cautious. Some are downright worried.

The US election has been entertaining regardless of which side of the fence you sit. The razzamatazz that surrounds this most important of events at some level seems to have undermined the more significant issues.

People are playing the blame game, not only at a personal level, but at a corporate and even national level. They are looking to Barack Obama to wave some sort of magic wand and correct the US economic problems and this in turn will solve the global crisis we are apparently having, or going to have, depending on who you listen to.

I'm not sure that one man has that much influence and even if he does, is it right that we look to him and hold him responsible for success or failure in the future?

What does it say about our society that we hold one person ultimately reponsible? Perhaps it's easier to look to the leader of the most powerful nation on earth to solve the current challenges than it is to take personal responsibility and do whatever it takes to move forward ourselves?

Whatever our own current challenges are, financial, business success, a boss we don't like or can't get on with, a spouse or partner relationship problem, children and their exams, the weather and dark nights closing in, etc. etc. it occurs to me that I would prefer to hold myself accountable than rely on someone or something else to wave a magic wand.

At least, by holding myself accountable and responsible for my own results, I can look myself squarely in the mirror and say "you are doing your best".