Saturday, October 27, 2012

My 7 Keys to Forming Your Own Productive Master Mind Group


In honor of Napoleon Hill's birthday, and yesterday's Master Mind Webinar, here is a reposting of my favorite article...

There has been a surprising resurgence among young people these days in the works of original self-help, personal-success guru Napoleon Hill. What makes Mr. Hill's work so powerful and timely is a simple idea: success is not about money. In simple ways, he showed people how true success begins inside ourselves. Money, success or the ability to reach any goal is the by-product of right thinking, right action and aligning with ancient success principles. Just an FYI, he was talking about the Law of Attraction long before The Secret ever uttered the word.

Perhaps this is why Napoleon Hill's 1937 classic Think and Grow Rich is still being published to this day, (I have a leather bound copy, dogeared and highlighted to no end). Since the economy is leaving most depressed and hopeless, many people are turning to Napoleon Hill's work in order to capture even the tiniest clue to success.

Many of the chapters in Think and Grow Rich stand out: Thoughts Are Things, The Mystery of Sex Transmutation, The Six Ghosts of Fear and my favorite chapter 10, The Power of The Master Mind.

What makes this chapter so powerful is that it plays off of the idea that 2 heads are better than one. Mastermind Groups are designed to help create a path to success because the participants raise the bar of professionalism and ideas. They support each others goals by offering their experience and expertise. Ask anyone who is successful today and they will almost always attribute their success to the people they convene with in private.

But don't listen to me, listen to Napoleon Hill as he describes it..."No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind..." or a Master Mind.

Just in case you think this sounds a little silly, take a look at high profile Master Mind organizations such as YPO, WPO and Young Entrepreneurs—successfully making a definite change in our world. I have had the honor of speaking several times at the local chapter of Vistage International here in NYC— a Master Mind Group made up of C-Level executives and business owners dedicated to bettering their companies and their personal skills.

So how do you form a Master Mind Group for yourself? It is actually simple.

First get a small group of like-minded individuals to meet on a weekly or monthly basis for the same purpose—to support each other in the individual members success goals. I have been involved in many Master Mind groups throughout my career and I have to say, the synergy, positive energy and excitement that the participants bring to a group becomes intoxicating, and purposeful.

Make sure the group decides which day of the week is best for all...then commit to the dates. And more importantly, be dedicated to each both in your Master Mind Group as well as outside on a day-to-day basis.

Understanding that when two or more people gather together, solutions become easier.

Brad Szollose's 7 Keys to Forming a Productive Master Mind Group:


1) Choose Members with Diverse Backgrounds with Little Overlap

It is very important that the people you pick have very different skill sets that you may be lacking. If any 2 people in your group has the same skills, it becomes like two people paddling a canoe on the same side...you just go in circles. Best to choose those that have very different skills with little overlap.

Years ago I was asked to join a Master Mind Group in Manhattan. One of the guys was a longtime corporate coach who specialized in turning authors into bestsellers while providing research and story development. Since I was working on my own leadership book at the time, he was a natural fit. Our overlap was humor and consulting...so we could have helped each other in that area, but our real need was what the other lacked.

He helped give me feedback on my book and I helped him with his marketing. We shared our expertise in the area the other needed most.

2) Choose People Who Are Committed to The Group

This may take a long time to get the right mix. Members may come and go, but eventually a core team will start to form. Do not give up. Lay the ground rules for newcomers. No outside personal business is to be conducted during the Master Mind meeting. Phone calls can be answered during breaks, but the key is to not interrupt or takeaway from each person’s contribution. Now of course there may be interruptions but you will know very quickly who is supportive and who is not. Those who are big on letting life encroach into the meeting will be asked to resign.

That same Mastermind Team I was asked to join years ago had one individual that started to become annoying and disruptive to the group. He not only scheduled a private coaching session close to our 4th meeting, he was late. Late was actually a skill set for him. Which meant he wouldn't be able to contribute to the group that day, nor was he going to be there any longer than 45 minutes out of a 2 hour commitment once a month. It would have been better f he had not shown up. His presence became disruptive at best. We broke up shortly after that. And this leads me to my next point...

3) Members should be Committed to Supporting of Each Member

What is hard is getting people to commit to such a group on a consistent basis. We all have lives and interruptions, but letting each member know the benefits of their involvement becomes paramount to understanding why they should be committed to the group.

Each contributor to your Master Mind must receive an equal amount of support and contribution from the team. This is kind of self explanatory. Let's say if I coach Lisa on her business and how to market herself, I expect her to use her knowledge and expertise to give me feedback on my book as well as open up her Rolodex of publishers. Quid Pro Quo...equal commitment and equal time.

4) Commitment Means No Excuses

Be strict with each other. If you assign homework, each must have their homework done—keep each other accountable and supportive of each others goals. This is your chance to sit with colleagues who "get" what you want to do. These are not doubters or naysayers. So give them the same respect.

But don't listen to me, here is what Napoleon Hill had to say about the idea of a Master Mind Group... "The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony."

Harmony doesn't just mean a happy balance. It means professional courtesy. It means equal participation to the best of each members abilities. Those that waver in their commitment may need to be dropped from the group and replaced with someone with better energy.

5) Challenge Each Other

I attended a marketing and sales boot camp where I was both a presenter and a participant. On day 2, one of our colleagues spent over 4 hours tossing ideas out to one participant after another. When it was his time for us to present our ideas for his business, the group challenged themselves to give the same commitment he gave to us earlier. The results were astounding!!!

So in your own group challenge each other to give your very best to each other. Do not accept mediocrity. By doing so, you raise the bar for ideas, create better goals and brainstorm better breakthrough ideas. By showing this kind of support, each member will be fired up to never miss a meeting. Play devil’s advocate for each other. Your Master Mind is there as a catalyst for success.

6) Rotate Leadership Positions as Needed


Young people today are comfortable with collaboration and technology...after all, they have been raised through video games to do so. But more importantly, they have been trained as well to see authority not as a position on an org chart, but as a skill set. Each member of a team get's a chance to be in charge of a mission depending on their time within the rotation.

So try a page from Gen Y, rotate your leadership positions after one year. Perhaps your group has a president and a treasurer, and someone who does the meeting minutes, those positions may be shared or changed often. This keeps the group fresh and less tired.

I have a close friend who was president of his HAM radio club for 20 years. No one helped him and when they did, it was lackluster at best. When he finally resigned, he didn't just resign his position, he resigned his membership from the club as well. He was FINISHED.

Let that be a lesson to you...don't burn people out.

7) Keep Your Master Mind Group Small and Balanced

In order to get the most from a Master Mind Team I suggest small groups so that time is utilized more efficiently. Choose a balanced, small, professional group from eclectic backgrounds. Keep it between 3 and 5 people. Do not go past 9 members, otherwise there will not be enough time in one meeting to address each persons needs.

Eclectic backgrounds and balance are key to getting the most leverage from your team. Be very careful about the mix of people in your Master Mind Group.

If a group gets too male dominated that can be good if you are a hockey team, but bad in business when it comes to reflection and strategy. WHY? Men have a tendency to be competitive and black and white in decision making, whereas women are far more collaborative and supportive of the bigger picture, especially in corporate relationships. So keep the male/female ratio balanced for better ideas and strategies. Brilliant ideas come from everywhere and the more diversified, the better.

Now who wouldn't want to be a part of a group of people who want to support each other in each members mutual success? 

I get to rely on my Master Mind members outside of our get-togethers every 2 weeks or so. I know that if I have a win, they are their for support. If I have a problem, or need a solution, I have an experienced team of business commandos ready to help me...and I am ready to help them as well.

Here is an excellent book my Napoleon Hill that helps keep your mind focused and on target...and aware of the forces that are trying to sabotage your efforts:

Outwitting The Devil
Napoleon Hill wrote this book in 1938 right after the publication of his all-time bestseller, Think and Grow Rich —yet it was never published 'til now. As you read through the pages you will understand why Outwitting The Devil was suppressed for 70 years! It was due to it's controversial subject matter— that mankind has been controlled and kept from advancement because of a man-made devil that exists within our minds. It is a fascinating read especially as Mr. Hill predicts our future unfolding before us right now...a prediction from 70 years ago!!!

Co-authored by Sharon Lechter, her commentary on our modern era and the dead-on predictability of Mr. Hill's work, is an eye-opening commentary on how an entire system of success can be sabotaged by the wrong thinking.

I suggest you pick up a copy (and form a reading circle with other like-minded friends).

Thank you for reading,











Brad Szollose


Web Pioneer Brad Szollose is the *award-winning author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia which explores the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get the tech-savvy Generation Y and analogue driven Baby Boomers working together. ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

But this is not based on management theory:
Brad is a former C-Level Internet executive who went from entrepreneur to IPO in 3 yrs – co-founding K2 Design, the very first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His Results Only management model was applied to the first wave of Gen Y workers producing great results– 425% profitable growth for 5 straight years and winning K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation among his employees!

Today, through his workshops and keynotes, Brad helps Fortune 500 Companies close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a cultural divide—created by a new tech-savvy worker...and customer.

Mr. Szollose also writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.

* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership

* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author

"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York

Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Join Me TODAY for a LIVE Webinar Celebrating Napoleon Hill's Birthday!!!




To All Friends of Liquid Leadership,

Brad Szollose here with a special invitation. During your lunch hour today, Friday, October 26th, how would you like to learn some of the same techniques that, legendary auto magnate, Henry Ford used to overcome poverty, illiteracy and ignorance to become one of the richest men in America? The SAME techniques that helped Thomas A. Edison become one of the most successful and famous inventors of all time! The same techniques used by the TOP business leaders of today!

Please join me for a special webinar titled: How to Mastermind and Grow Rich, Friday, October 26th, 2012 at 12:00 Eastern Time.

There is no charge to attend this special training webinar. 


Napoleon Hill super-fan, Tony Rubleski and I will share the power of Hill’s wisdom regarding the Mastermind Principle as well as new, updated, techniques that can help you form Powerful Mastermind Groups and “friendly alliances” that can transform your personal and professional development to a new level of achievement, success, and financial competency.

In this exciting and informative training, we will:

1. Define and share the many benefits of a Mastermind Group
2. Share exactly (From our OWN experiences) how to properly find OR create your own Mastermind Group
3. Share the The Three “R’s” that the most SUCCESSFUL Groups have in common
4. A little known technique that can TURBOCHARGE your own mastermind sessions
5. Stories and insights that will ignite your own business success

....AND there will be plenty of free bonuses for those who attend the webinar.

In addition, Tony and I will share exciting new developments and details about the upcoming Think and Grow Rich Summit 2013.

To register for our webinar go to http://www.ThinkAndGrowRichSummit.com/mastermind and enter your name and email address and your biggest question about How to Mastermind.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

I look forward to having you the webinar!

Yours in success,









Brad Szollose


Web Pioneer Brad Szollose is the *award-winning author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia which explores the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get the tech-savvy Generation Y and analogue driven Baby Boomers working together. ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

But this is not based on management theory:
Brad is a former C-Level Internet executive who went from entrepreneur to IPO in 3 yrs – co-founding K2 Design, the very first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His Results Only management model was applied to the first wave of Gen Y workers producing great results– 425% profitable growth for 5 straight years and winning K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation among his employees!

Today, through his workshops and keynotes, Brad helps Fortune 500 Companies close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a cultural divide—created by a new tech-savvy worker...and customer.

Mr. Szollose also writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.

* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership

* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author

"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York

Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Key to Success? Harness The Power of Your Offline Network




For the first time in 30 years, I joined a business group. I know, I know “Brad, what took you so long?” I tell you why …I am picky. Its not that I haven’t tried, it’s just that I have a low tolerance for BS and egos. So, for lack of a better word, I was looking for something that was more of a sanctuary. Especially when it comes to the tone of an organization, I have high standards.

You see, in most business groups everyone is handing out business cards, tightening their elevator speech expecting each member to hire the other. They talk
at each other instead of sharing expertise and supporting new leads.

Usually at these business-networking organizations it is a one-way conversation. Each member pretending to care about the group but the bottom line is
“what can I get from the organization today?”
This is why many who join these types of organizations quit after a year stating that it never really helped.

And on another note, I have moved around too much to be a Rotarian, Lions Club or Kiwanis member.


Now I didn’t join this group overnight. I had no idea this group existed, but through a friend, I was introduced to Barry. I help organizations understand Generational Issues that affect their employees as well as customers. Several times over the summer, I sat with Barry and formed a solid relationship. We compared war stories from the trenches of business. Barry quickly realized I had to get in front of his sales people and show them how to approach a new tech-savvy customer.

But what was even more amazing to me was Barry worked tirelessly to help me get to the right contacts…and he asked for nothing in return. Every time I helped him with his own sales pitch, he helped me. In New York City, this is unheard of, especially when there is no money involved. And I began to notice a pattern: Barry is a giver, not taker. 

Eventually Barry and my friend Tim who introduced us, shared their secret…they belong to one of the best business organizations I have ever seen: Clients For Life/Total Network Consulting (or CFL for short). Led by Bruce Libman my first early breakfast meeting was so intense I left with 4 pages of notes. Each meeting was at 7:45 AM with a guest speaker— and finished up around 10:30 AM. We were encouraged to ask for advice and help from the group. Everything was out in the open and members were asked to look to the membership for help. We shared our business wins for the month and appreciation for the connections made.

 

The key difference I was to discover, was that CFL is a relationship-based - not a leads-based - networking organization.



Their philosophy is simple: help others and the members first! Form business relationships that are supportive. Meet outside of the group. Give solid critique. Meet in groups of threes and look for synergy. Offer your services within reason to the group for free. Charge when you must. Fire clients that are not supporting your dream. Tell everyone about the group, and support a new way of building business.
Exciting huh? It took me 30 years to find a group like this…one that REALLY worked with developing each member from the ground up. CFL is that organization.
You might be thinking “Well let’s wait and see Brad…if you get business let us know.” And here is the scoop so far, I have! BEFORE I joined, I was asked to give 7 presentations over a one-month period to each regional CFL group. This exposed me to HUNDREDS of contacts who need my services. I collected so many business cards I had to buy a 3 ring binder for them. It also helped me practice my speech and get my book Liquid Leadership into the hands of people who could create a buzz. In other words, exposure.
Meanwhile unbeknownst to me, Barry, also a member of CFL, was promoting me to his clients. Barry develops high-end office environments and is a reseller of Steelcase products. After finishing one of the largest installations of his career, he decided the environment would be a GREAT place to have an event that would be seen as a giant thank you to his clients, and potential clients. This event would center around an hour presentation explaining WHY such collaborative spaces are important in today’s business environments, and how young people flourish in these types of work spaces.
Little did I know, Barry was to make me the center of this event—The Keynote speaker at MasterCard Worldwide!


This is incredible exposure for me, yes, but more importantly, I have an opportunity to give back to Barry, Tim and Bruce on a much larger scale. Because now, wherever I go, I now have a network of some of the best professionals in the country willing to give of their time, efforts and expertise…and willing to give first. All I have to do is pay attention. Wherever I go, an opportunity will arise that will need my network. And I have the business cards and the relationships to prove it.


This is a powerful business strategy and a necessity in the 21st Century. Give versus Get. The Power of Success these days comes from the QUALITY of your network!

 
From Liquid Leadership, page 83…

“A revolution is happening. Not a physical revolution with guns ablaze, but one in which the battleground is our entire way of living, working, and playing. I am talking about something that has been forgotten for a few millennia and is now being reintroduced—the very human and quite disruptive side of the business paradigm is being included in the sales cycle. People at every level are starting to realize that for business to get done, you have to get connected with as many people as possible in as many strategically chosen networks as possible. This need has created a socialized business environment where people are treating their careers as an integrated part of their lives, not a separate thing they do just for money. Technology allows us to tap into networks that at one time were hidden and obscure. Leisure time is no longer without purpose or intention, as technology extends our reach and creates a borderless, dynamic lifestyle.”


So how do you create your own Business Network Group?


1) Set The Standard for YOUR Network
In order to be affective these days it is important to accept only those individuals that meet your criteria or standard for membership. For years I accepted any and everyone into my network hoping something would get traction. But wouldn’t it be better to have 100 solid individuals than 3000 people who are so-so?

Choose wisely. Make sure they are the best. CFL has a criteria that is ongoing. If you don’t meet their requirements of engagement, they ask you to leave.

2)
Make Sure The Group Comes FIRST Make sure the members of your network are encouraged to support each other first. Encourage relationships outside of the networking meetings.

Take a look at my network…It took time for me to form a solid business relationship with Barry and Tim. Same with a few others in my network. I can ALWAYS count on Tony Rubleski and Dave Sheffield. At first we only knew each other through phone calls. We started to form what Napoleon Hill called a Master Mind Team. Eventually I asked Tony to write the foreword for my book and Dave to give a testimonial. Eventually Tony came to New York City and we met in person at a Book Expo. That year I spoke at his MasterMind Group and finally met Dave in person as well. Since then, we have all been bouncing ideas off each other like crazy.

All of this trust took time. Building a relationship I could count on. Through these guys I met Dave Brown, Shawn Miller, John De Limme and many others. ALL before we met in the physical world. They all GIVE first. And I look to them first for answers.


3)
Support Each Other Outside The Group
One of the members of CFL introduced me to a woman who writes for Newsweek. He didn’t have to do this, but once he realized what I did, he wasted no time making sure I got exposure.  He didn’t charge me a fee. We have committed to a cup of coffee to see how we can help each other in the future. No plans, just possibilities.

And isn’t that what you want at the end of the day? A great relationship that could turn into a great business connection? Look, the money WILL come once we stop perusing money and start serving others. And on that note, how can I help you? Let me know...between Clients For Life and The MindCapture organization, there isn't a problem I can't solve...because of my network.
We are at your service.
Thank you for reading,











Brad Szollose


Web Pioneer Brad Szollose is the *award-winning author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia which explores the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get the tech-savvy Generation Y and analogue driven Baby Boomers working together. ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

But this is not based on management theory:
Brad is a former C-Level Internet executive who went from entrepreneur to IPO in 3 yrs – co-founding K2 Design, the very first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His Results Only management model was applied to the first wave of Gen Y workers producing great results– 425% profitable growth for 5 straight years and winning K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation among his employees!

Today, through his workshops and keynotes, Brad helps Fortune 500 Companies close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a cultural divide—created by a new tech-savvy worker...and customer.

Mr. Szollose also writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.

* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership

* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author

"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York

Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.