Group Facilitation: DunetzMastermind
Nobody really does it alone. They don’t, honestly, forget the myths we have all grown up on (at least in the West…). Look behind and around any successful individual and you will soon see that which does not readily meet the eye: opportunities offered, support and advice generously given, brainstorming provided, connections that opened doors, and much more. Success is much more about people being assisted about others than anything else, even if Hollywood likes the “rugged individual superstar” story much more…
If so, you may ask, why then is there so little stress on getting people together to help generate that success? What would happen if ALL OF US had a group of individuals who would help us think clearly, learn faster, feel energetic, access resources, initiate action and get things done? The answer is: we would all probably be much better off, happier, more successful as we move and shake our careers, businesses and lives!
The core concept of the mastermind is an ancient one, it can go by different names for different folks but the core principle is the same, as in the following Japanese proverb: “All of us is smarter than one of us”. The principle was aptly called “mastermind” by Napoleon Hill who was commissioned by U.S. billionaire Andrew Carnegie early in the 20th century to find out how and why successful people became successful. Hill wrote that one of the key points was that of the “mastermind” that the most successful had access to, or in his words, “When two or more minds come together in harmony there is a third mind out there…it is the mastermind“. Today, we would probably use words like “insight”, “synergy”, “the crowd effect”, or quite a few other terms in that direction.
The point is this: if the mastermind principle is so effective, why then do so few do it? If we are looking at the organizational or business world we can safely say that is more absent than anything else. That means leaving money on the table, losing opportunity, ideas, plans…it means failing to succeed when all the ingredients were there….just waiting to be picked up and made use of. What a waste!
Reasons why people and organizations DON’T mastermind!
After having studied this point for nearly nine years now, I can share with you what I have found are the main blocks in the road:
- Lack of awareness: in a world obsessed by 24/7 communication and drowning in information overflow, the power of the mastermind it overlooked, it is the coin under the lamp-post where nobody is looking.
- Ego, ego, ego: people have an incorrect perception that if they bring to a larger forum dilemmas, issues and concerns they will be looked down upon and lose respect of others. In fact, the opposite is true, by being open and truthful one gains respect and the desire of others to assist to help succeed. We all can thrive when problems and issues are looked at together. The ego blocks the mastermind…everybody loses!
- Excessive competition: mastermind is a collaborative exercise, organizations focus excessively on “competitive dialogue”…again, the mastermind is blocked.
- Excessive negativity: we are taught to focus more on what might go wrong and forget that positive thinking can bring opportunity and breakthrough.
- Lack of knowledge: people just don’t know how to run such a meeting or group! There are certain rules and principles to abide by to make it work.
- Lack professional facilitation: the best of the masterminds are professionally facilitated by someone who knows what he/she is doing and who has internalized the principles and goals of the approach and the way to establish the basic openness that allows for the mastermind to do its wonders.
- Lack of focus and commitment: to be part of the mastermind one needs to “be there”, listening, questioning, thinking and contributing. Have you looked around the meeting room of today’s organizations? Have you seen how often people in the room are actually more engaged with their smartphone, laptop or talking to their neighbor? Mastermind requires attention, focus and commitment…..it is quite lacking in most places…