Kevin MacDonald is a principal in this Vancouver based practice.
A CMAA Chapter as a Mastermind
By Kevin MacDonald

Part of my job as the Coach for CMAA is to help people make some shifts in their thinking that move them toward their goals. Most people are willing and anxious to do so. I wonder if it is possible to do that with larger groups of association members? Perhaps the concept of the mastermind might be a way to explore the possibility.

I am a coach. I was club manager. I was a leader in my CMAA chapter. I was the President of my chapter.

Since I changed careers, a lot of things in my world have changed. One of the most profound changes for me occurred when I was reading a book called “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Andrew Carnegie commissioned Napoleon Hill to spend over 20 years studying and interviewing the most successful people in America. He talked about many principles that he saw as common among the successful people. One of them was the concept of the mastermind.

Hill defined a mastermind as two or more people who work in perfect harmony for the attainment of a definite purpose.

He said that through the mastermind principle
·You may borrow and use the education, experience, influence and capital of other people
·You can accomplish in one year more than you could accomplish without it in a lifetime
·You can draw freely upon the spiritual forces within you
·You can have absolute protection against failure if your purpose is beneficial to all whom you influence

I decided that I would love to be a part of a mastermind group. A few weeks later I received a telephone call from a woman who was putting together a mastermind group of elite coaches from around North America. She asked me if I would be interested in being part of it. Without hesitation I said yes and my world has been different ever since.

My mastermind group started meeting at the beginning of 2003. Since we are spread out geographically we meet three Mondays a month on the telephone and about every six months we get together in person in some beautiful place to access the resources of the other eight people in the group and then in turn support each of them as well.

In our first in-person mastermind retreat we had agreed to show each other our business models, our income streams, our revenues, our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. After I showed what I was doing in my business I then had eight amazing coaches and business people sharing ideas on how I could be more effective, touch more people, build a business that served me and my family, and see things as possible that I had never seen before. I was astounded with the ideas, expertise and perspective I received.

Then it was someone else’s turn and as I watched and supported the other eight people in the group my thoughts and ideas expanded exponentially.

I just returned from our fifth mastermind retreat. It seems that each time I attend one the results get more profound. Perhaps it is a function of being better prepared. Maybe we each have a better understanding of what is possible. I am sure it has a lot to do with going into the mastermind experience with a high level of trust.

I often wonder what it would have been like to have experienced this kind of group when I was a club manager. Imagine what it would be like to be connected with some of the different kind of thinkers that are in CMAA. I was going to say “great thinkers” and although there are great thinkers in CMAA, I used “different kind” quite intentionally. This is part of the great power of a mastermind; connecting with thinkers who think very differently than you. Our mastermind group is made up entirely of coaches, which although positive in the fact that we all speak the same language, it can be limiting because we all think like coaches.

I think to get the best out of a mastermind group individuals may want to suspend their need to be right. If you are a person who is entrenched in believing what you have always believed then this type of group is not for you. When you can hear the ideas of someone that are diametrically opposed to your beliefs without judgment, you will be able to create your own ideas that may surprise you.

One of the keys to the success of our group is that we have been able to create a non-competitive environment. In other words we do not compete in markets with each other and we do not compete in the group to ‘out do’ or put down each other.

The success of this kind of group depends on the trust that is built in it. If the participants believe that they can say anything and it won’t be used against them and will be held in confidence then the group can be magical.

Imagine what could happen to your thinking if you were connected to a group of thinkers from different walks of life, different ethnicity, different genders, different types of education, different age groups, managers from different parts of the country, managers from other countries or from different types of clubs.

The question is “Are you ready to expand your thinking?”

Kevin MacDonald
Clarity Success Coaching
Phone 604-507-1288
Or send your question to him via email  [email protected]
Contact Kevin for more information about experiencing a Mastermind environment while playing a game that helps you to achieve your goals.

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CMAA Branch as a Mastermind Group

By Kevin MacDonald